About the Customer Property Shut off Valve


The customer shut off valve is in place for the customer to control water supply to their property.  Since 1980, Consolidated Waterworks has required any new construction to install a customer valve 6 inches behind the meter box, so there is a good chance you have one.  If you do not have one, Waterworks recommends you get one installed prior to an incident.

Knowing how and where to shut off your home’s main water supply is as important as knowing how and where to turn-off or reset an electric breaker or replace a fuse.

Shutting off the water is often the first step to many plumbing projects.  More importantly, every home owner should be able to shut the water off to their home in emergency situations or to make repairs or upgrades. It is also good practice to shut off the water when there is a chance of freezing weather.

Waterworks recommends you locate the valve and ensure it is fully operational.  It is good practice to have everyone in the household familiar with the location of the shut off valve, and how to operate it.


To find the customer shut off valve, locate the meter box.  The valve will be directly behind the meter box on the customer side in a box with a small circular lid such as the ones pictured here.

Oftentimes, the meter and valve boxes are not easily accessible.

If you need help locating your property valve, let us know!  We will mark it out with a blue flag or blue paint. 


Pictured here is the bottom half of a meter box highlighting the customer shut off valve.  Please refer to our About the Water Meter page for more information on how to locate your meter box.

The shut off valve will have one of two designs.

Gate valve:Turning the valve clockwise will close the valve and cut off the water supply to the house.  Turning the valve counter clockwise will open the valve, allowing water to flow to the house.
Ball Valve:This valve is open when the handle is aligned with the pipe. To close it, turn the handle clockwise 1/4 turn so that it’s at a right angle to the pipe.


It may be difficult to open or close valves that have not been turned for quite some time.  We recommend using a wrench to loosen tight valve nuts.  You can find them here.  Depending on the type of valve you have, you may need a pair of pliers or a t-wrench to turn it back and forth a few times to loosen tight valve nuts. 

If the valve is not turning, or if you need a valve installed, contact a plumber.