Do you know where your stopcock is?

Do you know what to do in the event of a burst water pipe or leak in the home? As a householder, it is important to know where your stopcock, or stop tap, is located, how easy it is to get to and whether it actually works.

Every second counts when it comes to plumbing emergencies such as a burst pipe or water leak and being able to turn the mains water supply off quickly will limit the amount of water damage your home is likely to suffer.

Often householders don’t know where their stopcock is located, or it’s at the back of a cupboard behind piles of cleaning products, dust cloths and shoe polish. If you do know where it is, do you know whether it still works? Brass stop tap valves are prone to seizing up and stiffness but you don’t want to find this out at the point of emergency.

What is a stopcock?

The stopcock, also known as stop tap, is a valve used to turn the cold water system in your home on and off. Turning it in a clockwise direction will shut off the supply and turning it back anti-clockwise will switch it on again. You’ll need this in emergency situations if there is a leak or burst pipe in your home, or when it comes to plumbing in a new washing machine, dishwasher, or bathrooms.

Where is my stopcock?

Stopcocks are usually in the kitchen, in the cupboard under the sink. However, in some homes they are trickier to find and can be hiding in hallways or other cupboards.

The Surestop solution

At Holsey Heating and Plumbing, we recommend all homeowners get a Surestop fitted in their home. It lets you turn off your mains water supply at the flick of a switch which can be situated in an easy-to-find and easy-to-reach spot in your house.

The benefits of Surestop:

  • Remote water switches and stopcocks can be placed above worktops or inside kitchen cupboards for easy access – great for anyone who has difficulty bending into low-level cupboards 
  • Shuts water off in an instant flick of the switch 
  • Operates solely on water pressure, no batteries or electricity required 
  • Available to fit typical 15mm or 22mm household pipework 
  • The Surestop is specified by over 250 different local authorities and housing associations

How does the Surestop work?

The Surestop stopcock is approved by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) as a switch alternative to the brass stopcock. It runs purely on the water pressure in your home and doesn’t need electricity or batteries.

The valve on your plumbing pipework is connected to the remote switch by twin-bore flexible tubing. This takes a very small bleed of water from the mains flow up to the switch on the wall and back into the main stream within your pipework. When the remote switch is flicked from on to off, the flow back to the valve is stopped, pushing the flow back on itself and creating higher pressure on the diaphragm top within that main flow, closing the valve completely.

The remote switch can be located up to six metres away from the switch.

Our engineers at Holsey Plumbing and Heating can source and install the Surestop in your home to give peace of mind for you and your family members. In most cases installation is quick and easy.

All of our specialist plumbers are registered with City and Guilds and service domestic and commercial buildings across the Midlands. We offer a professional service with a written 12-month guarantee on all our workmanship for your peace of mind.