Toilets, just like other plumbing fixtures, come with a shutoff valve. The shutoff valve is mostly located in the toilet’s water supply line.
It’s necessary for every toilet to have its dedicated shutoff valve for convenience. For instance, you might want to shut off the toilet water supply when doing repairs or replacing some toilet components.
It’s important to check whether your toilet plumbing has a dedicated shutoff valve. To check whether your toilet has one, follow the path of the water supply tube that feeds the tank.
You can find the tubing on one side of your toilet tank. The tube is usually connected to the tank from one side and to the main pipe on the other side.
Follow the tubing from the tank towards the wall to find its shutoff valve. The valve should be somewhere close to the wall. If not, then it should be somewhere behind the tank.
In case you’re unable to find the valve, you can still do repairs on your toilet by shutting off the main shutoff valve. Also, if your toilet has a dedicated valve but it doesn’t shut off the water supply completely, then you’ll need to work with the main valve.
Turning off the Toilet Valve
Plumbing fixtures have small shutoff valves. These valves are usually installed on water pipes measuring 3/8 or half-inch in diameter.
The toilet tank usually has a threaded water outlet at one side. This is where the water supply tubing is connected to the tank. Most of these valves have a lever or a round handle.
- When closing a lever type of valve handle, simply turn the lever clockwise. A one ¼ turn may be enough to close it. It should be closed once it’s perpendicularly positioned to the pipe.
- When closing a football-shaped valve handle, simply rotate it clockwise until it’s completely tight. You might have to rotate it severally to completely close it.
Dedicated shutoff valves for most fixtures are rarely used. Thus, they may stick or even fail to shut off the water supply completely.
If you’ve completely closed the valve but water continues running, then you’ll have to turn off the main water supply to your home.
Only repair or replace the toilet when the water supply is completely turned off. Doing so will avoid water wastage or even a flood.
Shutting Off Your Main Water Supply Valve
In case your toilet doesn’t have a valve, then turn off the main water supply. The first thing you should do is to find the main shutoff valve. Here’s how to locate it:
- In case your home has a crawlspace or basement, then you can find the valve in either location. It should be close to a street, a corner, or near the wall. Check for any large pipe, probably a 1” pipe coming up from the ground or through a wall. The first shutoff valve you’ll see along that pipe is probably the main valve. In case the pipe has a meter along it, then use the valve located near the meter.
- If your home doesn’t have a crawlspace or basement, then you should find the valve probably near the water heater or within your garage. However, don’t confuse it with your water heater valves.
- Some homes, especially those in warm regions have outdoor shutoff valves. The valve should be somewhere near the exterior wall. You can find it near an outdoor faucet or hose bib.
- Upon locating the main valve, close it by turning its lever clockwise. A one ¼ turn should close it such that it’s lined perpendicularly to the pipe. In case the valve handle is ball-shaped or round, then close it by turning it clockwise. Upon turning off the main valve, open any faucet on the lowest floor of your home to relieve any water pressure from the entire water system.
Unable to Locate the Main Shutoff Valve?
In case you fail to locate the main valve, then turn off the main water meter valve. You can probably find it within a ground box next to the closest street.
Simply follow the main water pipe leading to your home to trace the valve towards the street. You can close the meter by turning it with your hand. If it can’t turn by hand, then use an adjustable pipe wrench.
If the valve has a lever handle, turn it clockwise until it’s lined perpendicularly to the water pipe. If it has a round handle, then turn it clockwise l it’s tight enough.