The toilet shut-off valve can be a lifesaver in case of emergency. It is likewise useful when inspecting, testing, and repairing your toilet. Our expert technicians are regularly surprised by how many homeowners they encounter in the field who are unaware of this vital plumbing fixture’s existence. This conspicuous fitting is surprisingly easy to overlook, yet vitally important. The need for emergency plumbing repair should be avoided at all costs. Being able to take action in case of emergency can be the difference between a minor plumbing mishap and major property damage.
Locate Your Toilet’s Shut-Off Valve
Your toilet’s shut-off valve is likely located to the bottom left of the unit. You’ll notice a pipe emanating from the bottom of the tank and connecting to the wall — that’s where you’ll find the shut-off valve. In some cases, the pipe can also be connected to the floor. The valve itself comes in all shapes and sizes, but more often than not, it’s in the shape of a football.
Turn Off Your Toilet’s Water Supply
To cut the water supply feeding your toilet, simply turn the shut-off valve clockwise. After a few rotations, the valve should tighten. Some require only a 1/4 turn (see examples below). You have now successfully isolated the tank. In order to test this, flush your toilet. If you were successful, the water in the tank should empty into the toilet bowl as normal, but not refill itself.
If rust has accumulated, a lubricant spray could make your task a bit easier. However, keep in mind that the toilet shut-off valve should generally not be difficult to turn. Using a tool such as a wrench for leverage could break the valve and cause your home to flood. If it feels like you’re forcing the rotation of the valve, it could be damaged and in need of replacement.