Master water valve

Does every house have a master water valve somewhere? Or is that too good to be true?

E.G. What if you have a leak coming from the ceiling, it’s 10pm at night and the city water meter is locked tight…? Talking a bad scenario.

Yes, every property should have a master shutoff valve where the waterline enters the basement or crawlspace. If it doesn’t, I’d put one in. Cost? Almost nothing if you do it yourself.


You need to know where the water meter is located and how to get the lid off. Keep a water key on each property or in your trunk at all times. Have someone show you how to turn off the water.

For peace of mind, have a plasticized emergency list at your home and in your vehicle: Gas emergency phone number, water emergency, electric company, etc.

Last year we had several ruptured water lines due to frozen pipes. A large geyser like Old Faithful appeared and quickly flooded the yard.

Twice this last year workers severed gas lines with shovels or something. Emergency! This is a call to the Fire Department and then the Gas Company 24 hour emergency number. I was happy that I had the number at my fingertips.

Also, a live power line fell on a roof after a windstorm and was sparking…electric co. emergency. We called the tenants: “Don’t come outside!”

You will feel much better if you know how to shut off the electric breakers and the water and how to call for help.

There is no way I would put in my own shut-off valve like Propertymanager. But I do have the cell phone number of my Swat Plumber and he responds to emergencies. Try to get the name of a trusted plumber for those late night problems.


There should be a master valve. It there isn’t, it’s easy to install one.

The local water companies do not lock their meters, so I usually turn the water off at the meter. There is no reason for the water company to care if you turn the water off. They only lock the meter when it is off and they don’t want you to turn it on.

Back flow devices should also have a turn off valve.

I’ve got additional turn offs in any water line that has a long run so I don’t have to turn water off to the entire property to do a repair to the irrigation or to the house.

Showing new tenants how to turn off the water should be part of their orientation tour.

check in the ceiling of the basement theres probaly a shutoff valve in one of the floor bays