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Locating the stopcock

33 replies

Silversteakpie · 07/04/2013 00:26

Hi, after reading a recent thread it has got me thinking. Does everybody know where their stopcock is? Obviously it concerns me that in an emergency I won't be able to switch of the water.

The previous owners adapted the downstairs and put in a new kitchen - so I cannot ask neighbours about their layout.

In this situation should I be cutting holes in the back of the kitchen cupboards?

Has anyone else had to tear apart the house to find the stopcock?

OP posts:

CloudsAndTrees · 07/04/2013 00:31

I haven't had to tear the house apart, but I have had to pull up the drain on the pavement outside my house because for some reason I knew I could turn the water off there, but didn't have a clue where it was inside. Hmm

But the lovely plumber that came to fix the heating recently re routed the water pipe that has the stop cock on it, so now we know where it is. Smile


WorraLiberty · 07/04/2013 00:33

Lots of info on Google about how to locate your stopcock


ChippingInIsEggceptional · 07/04/2013 00:33

Yes - I had to cut holes in the backs of 3 cabinets before finding ours! Neighbours wasn't in the same place and ex-owners weren't contactable. Bloody annoying and it's in a stupid place. When we get some plumbing done I'm either going to get it moved or get a stop switch put elsewhere.


MsVestibule · 07/04/2013 00:34

Yes, I do, but only found out a few months ago (been here nearly 3 years!). But yes, better to do it now, rather than in an emergency situation...


nokidshere · 07/04/2013 00:35

Of course I do! Isn't it one of the most basic questions you ask when buying or renting a house?


piprabbit · 07/04/2013 00:44

The water comes in to our house under the kitchen sink, so there is a tap there to switch the water off.

If that fails, there is a manhole in the street at the end of our drive with the main stopcock.

How do I know this? Because one morning I got up to find the whole of our downstairs flooded 2 to 3 inches deep in lovely fresh water because the pipe under the sink had failed and we had to switch it off in the street. It took 4 months to get carpets dried out/painted/skirting replaced etc. etc.


Silversteakpie · 07/04/2013 00:45

We only met the owner briefly and the rest of the contact was with the estate agent. If I move house again i will ask where it is.

I don't understand why someone would fit a kitchen and block in the stopcock - it's a bit daft.

I will check google again :)

OP posts:

HeathRobinson · 07/04/2013 00:55

We had some plumbing work done a couple of years ago and I got them to put a stop switch in.


OrangeLily · 07/04/2013 00:59

Yup. Brand new house and under the sink. Handily came with a big tag on it saying WATER STOPCOCK. Excellent builders.


bunchamunchycrunchycarrots · 07/04/2013 01:02

I had been in my flat 11 years before I got a new bathroom fitted and was asked where the stopcock was. Turns out I was wrong and I actually have 2. Both located behind small wooden framed squares, 1 in bathroom, 1 in kitchen. I'd always wondered what they were Grin


DontSHOUTTTTTT · 07/04/2013 01:21

Of course I do!

I know where the one in the street is and the one in the house.

I also have a cut off valve next to my gas so I can easily turn off my gas supply and I have isolating valves on just about everything. I am in CHARGE Grin

I occasionally test the rest of my family. I think they all now know too.


DontSHOUTTTTTT · 07/04/2013 01:22

It is not that unusual to have two stopcocks.


Silversteakpie · 07/04/2013 01:36

This has been very informative.

I had no idea that we could shut it of at the street!

However I now realise that I did to know about finding the main shut of for the gas. I will be looking for that tomorrow, many thanks DontSHOUUT

OP posts:

DoJo · 07/04/2013 02:04

I have two too - one in the kitchen, one in the bathroom and I know how to shut off the whole lot from the street. It pays to at least have a vague idea of these things, because when you need to shut the water off the last thing you want is to be buggering about trying to find it.


oldraver · 07/04/2013 02:10

Yes I know where ours is and also the one in the street, though you have to lie down and put your arm down as hole. Our neighbour had an accident once where the stop cock came away in her hand, hence finding out where the one in the street.


AKissIsNotAContract · 07/04/2013 02:11

Ours is in the downstairs loo.


Bogeyface · 07/04/2013 02:50

I only know where ours is thanks to a major flood! Luckily it was in the second most obvious place, but if it hadnt been there then fuck knows what I would have done!

Its a major PITA if you have a house that has had any kind of work done as it could have been moved and it isnt the first (or last) think the seller or buyer thinks to mention!


WafflyVersatile · 07/04/2013 03:26

I thought I did but it didn't seem to work when last I tried. Eventually we found a stopcock just for the bath under the bath.


HollyBerryBush · 07/04/2013 08:16

Yes, but no one else would be able to find it!


Flisspaps · 07/04/2013 08:22

Behind the fridge.


PoppyWearer · 07/04/2013 08:22

Ours is in the study/dining room (very random!). No idea if this is standard for houses in the street or not. We had to cut a hole in he back of a bookshelf to make sure we can get to it.

I have a feeling that in our old house, the kitchen fitters blocked the stopcock behind a cupboard. Fortunately we never needed it, but I do remember thinking "where's the stopcock gone?" and we moved soon after, so never had a chance to do anything about it. Not thought about it until now. Confused


saycheeeeeese · 07/04/2013 08:26

If you can't find the one in the street ring your water company and they should come out and locate it for you.


Silversteakpie · 07/04/2013 21:55

Thanks for all the responses.

Poppywearer - I'm curious what made you think it was behind the bookshelf? Or had you cut holes else where?

The downstairs was completely changed so it looks like I will have to butcher the back of cupboards.

OP posts:

crazylady9876 · 07/04/2013 22:03

I had to get the fire brigade to find mine when my washing machine caught fire it was behind the dishwasher that was built in so impossible to get to without ripping kitchen apart.......Landlord loved me!!!!!


PoppyWearer · 07/04/2013 22:14

Sorry, I should have explained they were our bookshelves, we brought with us to the house. The stopcock happens to be in a corner of the study, where the bookshelves had to go (corner unit) so we had to cut a hole in the back of that one. Luckily just cheapie Ikea ones.

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