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Save Hundreds on Emergency Plumber Fees with This Simple Tip!

Learn how to locate your stopcock and use it like a pro in a plumbing disaster to avoid pricey 3am emergency plumber call out charges.


A brass stopcock to be turned off in case of plumbing emergency

Whether you’ve been in your home for years or just moved in, there’s one crucial bit of home know-how you should have: knowing where your stopcock is and how to use it.


This simple knowledge can save you from a world of trouble - damage to your home and a hefty bill from an emergency plumber at 3 AM. Let’s dive into where to find your stopcock and use it to turn your water off.


What’s a stopcock, anyway?


A stopcock (or stop valve, or main isolation valve) is a little valve that controls the main water supply to your home. If a pipe bursts or you have a major leak, turning off the stopcock stops water from flowing into your home, preventing major damage.


Why bother knowing where it is?


Knowing where your stopcock is and how how to use it can save you from a soggy disaster and keep your bank account happy.


  1. Emergency situations: If a pipe bursts or you discover a major leak, turning off the stopcock is the first thing you should do. It stops the flow of water and can prevent further damage to your home.

  2. Save money: Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to a flooded kitchen. Call out fees for an emergency plumber at that time can cost £100's and they may simply find your stopcock, turn off your water and return in the morning to fix. So, if you're able to turn off the mains water yourself - ta da you've just saved a packet! And you can book in a regular plumber with no call out charges (like us!) the next day.


How to find your stopcock


In most UK homes, the stopcock is usually in one of these spots:


  • Under the kitchen sink: A common location, especially in older homes.

  • In a downstairs toilet: Sometimes you’ll find it in a ground-floor bathroom or utility room.

  • In a cupboard or under the stairs: It might be tucked away in a cupboard or under-stairs storage area.

  • Near the front door: Occasionally, it’s near where the water supply enters your home, often close to the front door.


How to use your stopcock


Once you've located your stopcock, here’s how to operate it:


  • Turning off: Turn the valve clockwise to close it. This shuts off the water supply to your home.

  • Turning on: Turn the valve counterclockwise to open it and restore the water supply.


Handy tips for your stopcock


Here are a few actions that we'd recommend you take:


  • Regular checks: Give your stopcock a quick check every now and then to ensure it’s working. Turn it off and on a few times to make sure it hasn’t seized up.

  • Label it: If the stopcock isn’t in an obvious place, leave a sticker with instructions on how to find it in a nearby place and then label it (just like pic above), so you can find it quickly in an emergency.

  • Educate everyone: Make sure everyone in your household knows where the stopcock is and how to use it. You never know who might need to turn it off in a pinch.


Wahoo! You've protected your home and bank balance


Knowing where your stopcock is and how to use it is a must. It can save you a lot of money by preventing damage and avoiding those expensive emergency plumber call out charges.


Take a few minutes today to locate your stopcock and check it’s in good working order. This small step can make a big difference in protecting your home and your bank balance.


For more friendly advice and reliable plumbing services, give us a shout. Whether you need help finding your stopcock, fixing a leak, or dealing with any other plumbing issues, our experienced team in Poole, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Wimborne, Swanage and surrounding areas is here to help!


Call us on 01202 985368 or book online.

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