Shutting off your toilet may be necessary if there’s an emergency and the fixture is about to overflow. It’s also useful during a repair or inspection. You should know how to locate and operate the toilet shut-off valve. We’ll now explain in detail how to turn the water off to a toilet in your home.
Know Where the Toilet Shut-Off Valve Is
The shut-off valve is usually located near the bottom of the tank on the left side. To find it, follow the cold water pipe that runs to the water tank; connected to it is usually a football-shaped valve at the junction point with the wall. Depending on the configuration, the pipe may connect to the floor.
Determine the location ahead of time. Waiting until there’s a big leak or overflow can result in a panic during an emergency, which can cause you to make a mistake.
An older toilet may not have a valve installed. You’ll have to shut off your home’s main water supply or a curbside shutoff valve outside your home near the street (contact your local water company if necessary). Another option is to slide a small wooden board under the float lever in the toilet tank, resting the board on the bottom. The board holds the lever up to prevent the tank from refilling.
Rotate the Valve to Turn the Water Off
Turn the shut-off valve clockwise several times until it won’t turn any further (some valves close with just a ¼ turn). It should be relatively easy to move. But don’t force the valve if it doesn’t turn. Apply some WD-40 or another lubricant if the valve is stuck, feels tight, or looks rusty. Do not use a wrench to move the valve; it might break and cause a flood.
If your toilet has a round shut-off valve, turn it clockwise to turn off the water. A lever-style valve will be parallel with the pipe when on. To turn it off, push the lever to a perpendicular position.
Verify the Valve Is Off
Try to flush the toilet. When the valve is off, the back tank should empty out but not refill. You can now test the toilet to see if it’s clogged. To do so, lift the float lever (the part attached to the hollow float that sits on the water in the tank). Water will start flowing into the tank if the water supply is still on. Don’t leave the float lever up; quickly push it back into position so the tank doesn’t overflow and flood your bathroom.
What to Do If the Shut-Off Valve Isn’t Working
If the toilet’s shut-off valve doesn’t turn or shut off the water supply, try the other methods mentioned above. But it’s best to call a professional plumber to examine and possibly replace the valve. According to Angi, this will cost you anywhere from $50 to $150.¹
Call a Plumber to Turn the Water Off to a Toilet
Turning off the water valve to your toilet helps when you’re waiting for a plumber to arrive. If you’re having any difficulties, call your emergency plumber to avoid or minimize flooding. They have the tools and experience to manage any shut-off valve issues and fully repair your toilet. For immediate plumbing service, Contact Sky Heating & Air Conditioning online or call (888) 961-4282 now.