Turning Your Water Off

There may be occasions when you need to turn your water supply off - when repairing a simple drippy faucet, replacing the water heater, installing an irrigation system. Most homes are equipped with interior and exterior shut-off valves for this purpose.

Interior Shut-Off Valves

These are typically found in the following places:

  • Above water heaters
  • Behind toilets
  • Inside bathroom and kitchen cabinets, under the sink

Exterior (Private) Shut-Off Valves

With this valve, you can shut water off for the entire house, a specific exterior faucet, or an irrigation system. This valve is usually located parallel to your water meter and is attached to the pipe coming from the ground to your house and near your water faucet.

Irrigation systems can usually be shut off at two points: at the automatic control box or a valve control box. The valve control boxes are set in the ground, sometimes near the water meter. They too, are rectangular, green plastic or concrete and can be covered by a layer of dirt and grass. Inside the box there will be two wheel-valves and a series of smaller bleed-valves. Either of these valves will shut off the water.

Exterior Shut-Off at the Meter Box

Because the City of Portland must meet strict environmental requirements, we do not permit anyone but a City employee to turn the water on or off at the City’s water meter. If you would like a water cutoff near the meter, you can request permission from the City to allow a licensed plumber to install a separate cutoff on the customer side of the meter. Each case must be evaluated for safety before the request can be approved.

The City can turn off your water at the meter during normal business hours.