In an emergency, could you find your stop tap?

Imagine this: it’s a Sunday morning, you’re half asleep, your head’s a bit sore after last night and all you want is a big, hot mug of coffee, to lounge about in your pyjamas all day and watch TV.


You sleepily walk into the kitchen and there’s water everywhere, something’s leaked or burst then you realise it’s your water pipe. You know you need to turn the water off because it’s spraying all over the place and has started to cause a small flood – water is coming out quickly and you need to act quickly to stop the burst.


You need to turn your stop tap off. What’s the first thing you do?


Most people wouldn’t know the first thing about their stop tap. But that’s OK –  we’re here to help.


We’ll start with, what is a stop tap?


There are two types of stop tap (sometimes called a stop cock), your external, and your internal. Your external one is our responsibility, but your internal stop tap is for you to look after. It’s quite self-explanatory – it stops the water coming out of your taps, and is a life saver when it comes to internal bursts or leaks.


What does it look like?


Your stop tap will look a little something like this:

Where is your stop tap?


Well there’s no one answer for this, it depends on a lot of things. But most commonly, the (whether you live in a house or a flat) you’ll find them in one of these places:


  • Under a kitchen sink

  • Kitchen cupboard

  • In a connecting garage or utility room

  • Bathroom

  • Cellar

  • Cloakroom

  • Under the stairs

Some of the quirkier builders pop them in all sorts of places, so if you’re not sure where yours is, it’s best to call in a plumber to help you find it.


But how do you turn it off?


Probably the most important question – as this can really help you if you have an internal leak or burst. To turn your water supply off, simply turn the stop tap anti-clockwise until it’s fully open, then turn back a quarter of a turn. We’ve even got an old video that should help you, if you’re more of a visual learner, click here to take a look.


And that’s pretty much everything you’ll need to know if you get an internal burst or leak. Taking five minutes out your day to nip around the house and locate your stop tap can save you so much stress and panic if/when you have an internal burst. Why not do it now?


Remember, we’re on hand if you need us.