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How to find and use your Stop Tap

If you have a burst pipe within your home you will need to know where your Stop Tap is to stop water ruining your home. This page tells you the common place we find Stop Taps and how to use them

Using your stop tap

What is a Stop Tap?

A stop Tap, sometimes called a Stop Cock, is a small tap located on a water pipe. There are two types of Stop Tap, internal and external. They are easy to use and turn the water on and off. It is really important to know where your stop tap is as you may need to turn off the water in an emergency, such as having a leaking water pipe. This can cause a lot of damage and so turning it off quickly can help reduce the damage before a qualified plumber arrives.

To find your Stop Tap please watch our short video to explain the common places they are found. Some builders are a bit quirky and have put them in odd places, so if you can't find your stop tap in one of the common places you may need a plumber to help you find it or you can call Sherlock.

Internal stop tap

The internal stop tap is used to turn the water supply on and off to your property. In most properties the stop tap is located inside, close to where the water pipe enters the building. The location can vary but they can usually be found:

  • Under a kitchen sink
  • Kitchen cupboard
  • In a connecting garage or utility room
  • Bathroom
  • Cellar
  • Cloakroom
  • Under the stairs

The owner or landlord of the property is responsible for all repairs and maintenance of all internal stop taps, and we recommend that every property should have one and that you don’t rely on the external stop tap for emergencies.

External stop tap

An external stop tap controls the main water supply to your property which is our responsibility.  External stop taps can be used for turning off the water during a water leak or if you are unable to find or operate your internal stop.

An external stop stop is usually located at the following and you may need a stop tap key to open it:

  • Footpath
  • Verge
  • Just inside your property boundary under a plastic or metal cover
  • In your meter chamber

If you water supply is shared with other properties please remember to be a good neighbour and let them know if you are going to turn off the supply.

If you can’t find your external stop tap, give us a call on 0345 702 3797 and we can help you locate it. Some properties don’t have external stop taps at all, if this is the case a qualified plumber will be able to carry out any necessary repair work by clamping or freezing your pipes.

You can find industry approved plumbers here https://www.watersafe.org.uk/

If your external stop tap is broken and you don’t have any water or the stop tap is leaking give us a call on 0345 702 3797 and we will send out an Inspector as soon as possible to help you.

If your external stop tap is broken and your water supply is unaffected, give us a call on 0345 702 3797 and we will send out an Inspector within 10 working days and make sure your stop tap is fully working within 6 months.

Did you know that if you decide to get a water meter installed at your property, we will also install a stop tap? See if you could save money by switching to a water meter using our calculator here https://www.bristolwater.co.uk/water-meter-calculator/

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Problems with your internal stop tap?

We recommend contacting a locally approved plumber at WaterSafe for queries concerning your internal stop tap.

Problems with your external stop tap?

If you are unable to carry out this yourself and you don’t have anyone to help you, please contact us.