What is a stop tap?
Your stop taps (or stopcocks) are used to turn your water supply on and off. Your property will have two: an internal stop tap and an external stop tap.
Your internal stop tap controls the water supply inside your property and your external stop tap controls the water supply from the water main.
If you experience a burst or leak on a pipe inside your property, you should turn off your internal stop tap to cut the flow of water and prevent damage to your property.
However, if you experience a burst or leak on your private supply pipe or there is a problem with your internal stop tap, you should turn off your external stop tap.
Find out how to locate a leak.
Finding your internal stop tap
In most homes, the internal stop tap can be found underneath the sink, but you may also find it in the following places:
- under the stairs
- airing cupboard
- kitchen cupboard
- utility room.
To turn off your water supply turn the tap clockwise. It may take a couple of minutes for your water supply to turn off completely. To turn it back on, simply turn the tap anti-clockwise.
Internal stop taps aren’t used very often so you should check yours is working regularly to ensure you’re prepared for an emergency.
If your internal stop tap isn’t working, contact a WaterSafe approved plumber.
Finding your external stop tap
Your external stop tap can be found in any of the following places:
- meter chamber
- under a plastic or metal cover.
You may need a stop tap key to access it, depending on where it is located.
One external stop tap can sometimes control the water supply of several properties (this usually applies to older terraced properties), so always let your neighbours know before turning off their supply to make sure they’re aware.
If you can’t find your external stop tap or if it isn’t working correctly, please contact us.