You need to turn off the hot water valve to your kitchen faucet. But where are the shut-off valves controlling the water supply to your tap? Generally, you’ll find two shut-off valves in the cabinet underneath your kitchen sink – one for the hot water, the other for the cold water. However, this isn’t always true. So, where else could they be? Let’s find out.
Why Would I Need To Turn Off The Water Under A Sink?
There are a variety of scenarios that require the water supply to be off. For example, maybe you recently bought a new sink. To install the new sink, you need to remove the old faucet, lift out the old sink, install the new sink, and reinstall the faucet.
Since you’ll be removing the faucet, you’ll need to turn the water off. Otherwise, you’ll create a giant mess once you disconnect the water supply lines from the tap. So, it’s best to turn off the water supply unless you want to create a slip ‘n’ slide in your kitchen.
Or, maybe there’s a leak underneath your kitchen sink, and you can’t figure out where it’s coming from. So, you begin to troubleshoot the problem by taking apart the faucet to replace the old cartridge or disassembling the plumbing setup. Generally, it’s best to have the water off in these scenarios. Although you might not necessarily need to disconnect supply lines, it’s best to turn off the water to avoid unexpected surprises.
Where Are The Shut-Off Valves For A Kitchen Sink?
The shut-off valves for your kitchen faucet are usually hidden in the cabinet underneath your sink. Once you open the cabinet doors, locate the supply lines extending from the tap. Trace each supply line to where it connects with the wall.
There should be a small valve at the wall where the supply line is connected. These are your shut-off valves. While there are quite a few different variations of shut-off valves you might find in your base cabinet, they usually look similar.
Most of the time, the valve is made of metal (although some may consist of hard, durable plastic). On the top or front of the valve, there’s an outlet port that connects to the end of your supply lines. On the top or front of the valve (opposite the connection point for the supply lines), you’ll find a football-shaped handle that opens and closes the valve.
Which Valve Is Hot Water Under The Sink?
For the most part, the valve on the left side under your sink supplies hot water to your faucet. As you probably guessed, the valve on the right supplies cold water. This is standard across the board, although there might be some scenarios where they’re backward (this is uncommon).
If you’re unsure which valve belongs to each temperature, you can complete a quick test by turning off each valve. Turn the valve on the left off, then check the faucet to see if hot water still comes out. It’s easy to tell with a two-handle tap, but if you have a one-handle faucet, simply tilt the lever to the left.
If the water doesn’t flow or stops flowing (for single-handle faucets) when you turn the hot water handle on, that valve belongs to the hot water. You can conduct this same test with the valve on the right, but considering there are usually only two valves, it’s unnecessary. If you decide to turn off the cold valve to test the hot water, be careful not to burn yourself when testing the temperature.
Why Are There Three Valves Under The Sink?
If you find three valves under your kitchen sink, there’s a good chance the extra one belongs to your dishwasher. Although this isn’t standard, some homes feature an additional supply line specifically for the dishwasher. You’ll still find hot and cold shut-off valves under the sink, but there might be an extra for your dishwasher.
Alternatively, the third valve could belong to an on-site electric water heater stored under your sink. When this is the case, the extra valve aids in the process of heating water at the source and redirecting it back to the faucet.
How Do I Turn Off The Hot Water Under The Kitchen Sink?
Turning off the water supply is simple. Once you find the valves, locate the handle (it should be on the front or top of the valve). Usually, this handle is a football-shaped knob, but it can also be a round handle or a lever.
If your shut-off valve has a knob, simply turn it clockwise to turn off the water to that faucet. Or, if you have a lever handle, turn it at a right angle to the pipe. The handle should be parallel to the pipe when it’s open but perpendicular to the pipe when it’s closed.
If you only need to turn off the hot water valve, turn it off by turning clockwise or rotating the lever. However, if you’re disassembling the faucet or doing any other task where the water must be completely off, repeat the process for the cold shut-off valve.
When you’re ready to turn the water back on, turn the handle counterclockwise or rotate the lever back to its parallel starting position.
What If There Isn’t A Hot Water Valve Under My Kitchen Sink?
Oh no! You looked beneath your kitchen sink, but no shut-off valves were in sight! So, what should you do? There’s no need to panic – this isn’t uncommon. While most kitchen sinks (or sinks in general) have their own designated shut-off valves, this isn’t true across the board.
If you can’t find the shut-off valves for your kitchen sink and the pipes disappear into the wall, you’ll have to do some sleuthing. You can often find shut-off valves in your basement or crawlspace. Determine the area where the pipes from your kitchen enter the basement or crawlspace, and look around that spot for the valves.
No luck? No worries! If you can’t find any shut-off valves, you can always use the main shut-off valve. While it’ll cut the water supply to your entire home (no showers, no washing, etc., until you turn it back on), it’ll do the trick.
You’ll find your main shut-off valve where the main water line enters your home. For example, if you have a water meter on the exterior of your home, you’ll find the valve next to the meter outside or inside (directly behind where the meter is outside).
However, in freezing climates, you’ll usually find the meter and shut-off valve inside to avoid temperature damage and freeze issues. So, look for them in utility spaces throughout your home, like a maintenance room, basement, or garage.
Some main water shut-off valves require a meter key to turn them off. Alternatively, you can use a crescent wrench and a screwdriver to turn the valve clockwise and off.