How To Turn Off Water To Toilet (With Or Without The Shut Off Valve)?

Using the dedicated shutoff valve for the toilet, it’s easy to do that for any person with a decent DIY capacity. If it is not available (very unlikely), you can still turn off the water supply to the toilet by shutting off the main shutoff valve.

For any sort of toilet repairs or replacing any parts, you may have to shut off the water supply. Sometimes, a through toilet cleaning requires that. So, it’s important you know how to turn off water to toilet yourself.

And you are in the right place to learn all about this. After reading this in-depth guide, you will also learn what to do when the toilet water valve won’t turn off.

How To Turn Off Water To Toilet With Shut Off  Valve?

how to turn off water to toilet

Just like any other plumbing fixtures, your dual-flush toilet has its own dedicated shutoff valve on its water supply line unless it is a too OLD model. If your toilet is overflowing or you need to do any repair, you need to turn off the water supply.

Besides, I always turn off the water to the toilet before vacation which you should do as well. The easiest way to do that is to turn off the shutoff valve. Follow the step by step process if your toilet has a valve for that:

  • Step 01: Locate The Shut Off Valve

The first step is to locate the toilet shut off valve. You will find it behind the toilet either on the wall or on the floor. It is very small and installed onto the water pipe.

This the water supply through which the toilet tank gets water filled with. It has either a lever handle or it is football-shaped.

  • Step 02: Turn & Shut Off The Valve

After you have successfully located the valve, it’s time to turn it off. If the handle is football-shaped, turn it clockwise until it stops. It’s normal that the handle may take several rotations.

The same goes for the lever handle as well. Keep it turning clockwise until the water pipe is perpendicular to the handle.

The above 2 steps should get the job done.

Expert Tips
Expert Tips If you find the valve stuck (which may happen since you don’t use it too often), you may not be able to make any turn. You will find it impossible to make any turn if there is any corrosion or rusting in the valve. To solve the problem, spray WD-40 or any penetration oil on the valve and wait for 20 minutes before you try to make any turn. Hopefully, the oil will solve the problem. If such oil can’t make it lose, you should replace it entirely.

But it may not be as easy as I just described above.  If it can’t get the job done, follow the second method described below.

No one uses the toilet shut off valve often, so you may not be able to close it completely. If you close the valve but the toilet is still getting water, you will have to shut off the main valve of the house.

But keep in mind that, you should replace such a problematic shutoff valve. Because pretty soon you will face the water leakage problems.

And the right time to replace such parts is when you shut off the main valve to the house.

Disconnect Water Supply Line From Toilet Tank

Before you turn off the main shut off valve of the house, there is another method to try to stop water flowing into the toilet. This method will make your house messy, but the rest of the house will still be functioning.

If the toilet shut off valve is leaking, you really should try this. This is what you should do…

The main task here is to disconnect the water supply line from the tank and plug it with duct tape and plastic bag. Yes, it will make a mess but it works when there is not dedicated shut off valve for the toilet or you can’t close it.

You will find it connected underneath the tank. Do not use any wrench to avoid damaging the coupling. Cover the pipe with the plastic bag as soon as it is disconnected. Use the duct tape to cover it round.

After that, remove the stock water from the tank. Now, your toilet is ready to be repaired without completely shutting off the water supply to the house.

Turning Off Water To Toilet With No Valve

main water shut off valve

If you have the toilet shut off valve leaking problem or closing it does not stop the water, you must shut off the whole water supply. Just keep in mind that, it will stop water supply to the entire house.

Just like the first method described above, you need to first locate the shutoff valve of the main water. Depending on whether you have a basement/crawlspace or not, it may be located in the garage or in the basement.

  • Step 01: Find The Valve

If you have a basement (which you should if you live in a colder climate), you will find it indoor near the wall that is very close to the street. There will be a pipe coming through the wall.

It may be coming up through the ground too. It’s usually a 1-inch large pipe.

Any valve that you see on the pipe is probably the main shut off valve. Look for a meter on the pipe that you can use to shut off that valve.

If you don’t have a crawlspace or basement, you will find the valve near the water heater or garage. If you are living in an area where there is normally hot weather, you may also find it outside of the exterior wall too.

Take professional help if you can’t locate the water meter and the main shut off valve.

  • Step 02: Close The Shut Off Valve

To shut the water supply off the house entirely, turn the lever clockwise to make it perpendicular to the pipe. If it’s a round handle, keep turning it clockwise until it stops. You can do it with your hand or with a meter wrench.

  • Step 03: Remove Water Pressure

When you close the main shut off valve, there will be still some pressure in the water system. To relieve that pressure, open the cold and hot water taps on the faucet that are available at the lowest level of your house.

And that’s all it takes to turn off the water supply to the entire house! If you can’t find the main shut off valve, you can always stop the water supply to the house at the meter level.

Follow the main water valve entering your home and you can find the main water meter valve on the street. Use your hand to turn it clockwise to make it perpendicular to the water pipe. And you are done!

Since there is no water supply in the house, there should not any water supply to the toilet as well. FYI: There won’t be any toilet in the shower or faucet as well.

How To Deal With ‘Stock Water’ In The Toilet Tank & Bowl?

But don’t forget, there is still some reserve water in the toilet tank. It’s always there as a stock to make the flush and so that you can use that water to make any emergency flush.

But if you need to do any work to your toilet, you need to drain that water first. Now, how do you get rid of that water from the toilet?

  1. Remove Water From The Toilet Tank

Apart from the above 2 methods, you can stop having any water into the toilet tank as well. This trick is helpful only when you don’t have to remove the toilet. May be you are trying to solve the overflowing issue?

If that is the case, this is how you should drain the water from the tank.

Let me remind you first that the water in the tank is clean and definitely it’s not like the water in the bowl. So, you can use a cup to scoop out the water.

Alternatively, you can use any hose pipe to siphon the water out. Yes, at the bottom of the tank, there will still be some water. Use any sponge to get rid of them!

  1. Remove Water From The Toilet Bowl

If you need to get rid of the water from the toilet bowl, there is still a solution for that.

Very first, put your rubber gloves on. You do not want any germ attack there. If possible, put on the mask too.

Now, get a 3 to 4 feet hose pipe and make a U-shape with it. Keep pouring water into the pipe until water flows from both ends.

Now that it’s filled with water, press both ends with your thumbs so that the water can’t go anywhere.

While keeping your thumps on both ends, put one end of the pipe inside the toilet bowl where it is full of water and the other side inside an empty bucket. Now, release both ends at once!

As soon as you release water from both ends, you will see the water is flowing from the toilet bowl to the bucket.

At first, it may take you 2 or 3 attempts but don’t give up! You will get there. Pretty soon the bowl will be empty. Use the sponge to remove any left-over water from the bowl.

If you can’t get a hang of it, try this second method:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I turn off the water supply to my toilet?

Locate the toilet shutoff valve that looks like a football located beneath the toilet tank. Turn that shutoff valve clockwise until it won’t turn anymore. Then flush the toilet. There should not be any more water supply to the toilet after that.

Is it OK to turn off water to toilet?

For any plumbing work or if you are going on a long vacation, it’s absolutely okay to turn off the water in the toilets.

Which way do you turn the knob to turn off water to the toilet?

You need to turn the toilet shutoff valve clockwise to turn off the water to the toilet.

Why is my toilet still running with the water off?

When there is too much water in the toilet tank, water will flow to the toilet bowl from the tank through the overflow tube. To solve this problem, you need to adjust the height of the float (lower it).

Do all toilets have a shut off valve?

Yes, all toilets come with shut-off valves and they are located in the water supply line of the toilets most of the time.

Summing Up

When you first think about it, it may seem daunting and you may think about hiring a professional plumber. But when you follow the right guide, you will no longer be wondering how to turn off water to the toilet.

Clyde Mitchell

I run a hardware store nearby Court Anaheim, CA. Over the last 7 years, I have been blogging about home improvement and yes, I own From me and this website, you can expect some useful tips on great ideas for a modern bathroom.

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