Use a water shut off key

Follow these instructions to use the water shut off key on water service pipes with a diameter that measures 50 mm (2 in) or smaller. For water service pipes larger than 50 mm (2 in), contact 3-1-1 to dispatch a City crew.

Water valve shut off usage

Newer water shut off valves are designed to turn only one quarter turn of a circle clockwise or counter clockwise.

  • To stop the water flow, turn the key clockwise to close the valve
  • To start the water flow, turn the key counter clockwise to open the valve

Older water shut off valves are designed to change the water flow rate as the valve turns. Turn older valves slowly, in increments.

  • To stop the water flow, turn the key clockwise to decrease the water flow rate until the flow stops completely
  • To start the water flow, turn the key counter clockwise to increase the water flow rate until the flow reaches the standard level for your property

Sometimes a water valve may be tight and will require extra effort to turn.

Water shut off valve position

These images show the position of the water shut off valve in the open and closed position. 

Open position Closed position
Valve lock is in line with
water supply pipe
Valve lock is 90º perpendicular to
water supply pipe

Water shut off valve in the open position - top view

Water shut off valve in the open position - side view

Water shut off valve in the closed position - top view

Water shut off valve in the closed position - side view

Report a broken water shut off valve

If the water shut off valve spins around continuously without changing the water flow rate, the valve may be broken.

Report broken water valves to 3-1-1. Under certain circumstances, a call out fee may be applicable for the type of service you are requesting. The client services representative will explain these charges to you.