A. Finding internal stop taps

In a home the inside stop tap is usually located under the kitchen sink, but can also be in an airing cupboard or under the floorboards near the front door.

In business premises they are usually located in a service point/cupboard along with the property’s other services as they come into the building or unit.

Finding external stop taps

External stop taps are used to isolate all of the water supply to your home or business. Ideally it should only be used by a qualified plumber or by the water supplier.

Note: the external stop tap normally belongs to your local water supplier and you may need to seek permission to operate the external stop tap even in an emergency. If you turn off the external stop tap in an emergency you may need to seek permission from your water supplier to turn the supply back on. Not all water suppliers will give permission to use the external stop tap and if you operate the external stop tap and damage the stop tap, you may be liable for repairs. So it is worth checking before you need to use it.

The external stop tap is often located near the boundary of the premises under a small cover, about the size of a CD case. If you have a water meter, it will generally be located in the same pit or chamber as the meter.

Many external stop taps are in paths or roads, so you may need to be aware of road traffic and ensure that you do not create a hazard. For example by leaving a stop tap cover open where it may trip up a pedestrian or damage a car.

Shared water supplies

Some properties share a water supply pipe and external stop tap. If you're on a shared supply, remember that turning off the external stop tap will shut off the water supply to all the properties on the same supply. You'll need to let your neighbours know before you shut off their supply so that you can complete your work.

Still having problems?

If your plumber can't operate the external stop tap, or you cannot locate it you should contact your local water supplier.

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