Thursday, 7 February 2013

How to find your stopcock in an emergency!

In moments of crisis people often panic and have no idea what to do. That is why we always recommend to our clients to be proactive and prepared.  You never know when a leak might happen; leaks are unpredictable.  They will require you to take action promptly to prevent water damage from occuring to your property and possibly to other properties around you.     The most obvious first step is to turn off your stop cock. Your stopcock is a valve which turns off the mains water within the property. 

I find myself continually nagging clients to find their stopcock and, once found, to make sure that they can turn it off!  It really could save you a fortune and is such a simple, proactive thing to do.   I would say from experience that 80% of people really do not know where this essential little valve is.   

Even if people do know where their stopcock is, many forget to check it properly to ensure that it works.  Stopcocks have a nasty habit of jamming up which means that when you want to turn them off, you can't.  To prevent your stopcock from jamming, simply give it a quick turn every 6 months or so. 

Back to basics now.  How do you turn off your stopcock?  It's not a silly question, why should you know if you are not doing maintenance day in, day out?  When you turn the stopcock in a clockwise direction the cold water supply will be shut off. You can turn the water supply back on by turning the stopcock in an anti-clockwise direction.
Normally, you should be able to find your stopcock under the kitchen sink.  However, it can also be also be located in the hall (sometimes under a panel by the front door) or in a larder near to a sink unit.    If you are in a block of flats, you might find that your stopcock is in the basement.  You can check with your neighbours or the concierge because more often than not, the stopcocks are not labelled properly.  Make sure that yours is!

Above all, and this is my main point.  Just make sure that you know where your stop cock is!  Don't wait until you have an emergency!  Check out for more information or call us on 020 30785920 if you want to have a chat.  We are here to help!


  1. This should be read by every home owner, renter, or just about any one else who need running water:)

  2. Thank you for the top tip My Plumber. I have no idea where the stopcock in our house is: will be checking tonight though!

  3. Hi Sara, I am glad that you found the post useful. You would not believe how many people have not checked. Particularly, when they have just moved to a new house.