1. Locate your main water shutoff before your pipes freeze and burst.

Some good places to look:

  • In the middle of one of the basement concrete walls where a pipe comes out of the wall (or floor) and is followed by a valve.
  • In homes with attached garages at the front of the house, look on each side of the garage doors.
  • In basements with crawl spaces, look in the laundry room (under the utility sink cabinet?. or if you are unlucky it may be in the crawl space.
  • In some +/- 1940s homes without basements there may be a shutoff in the ground at the front of the house. the valve may be inside a concrete "tube," or there may be an L shaped metal rod sticking out of the ground.
  • Some houses have more than one 'main' shutoff, and some can only be shut off at the water meter or well.

CAREFUL, if the valve does not operate easily, don't force it, it could break.