How To Find Your Stopcock

How To Find Your Stopcock

If you need to stop the water coming into your property then you will need to know how to find your stopcock.

If you are having a plumbing emergency right now then the best place to look is at the summary box at the bottom which details the main points

This could be because you are wanting to complete some DIY plumbing work, or because you are having a flood and need to stop the flow.

If you do need to stop the flow in an emergency and you are in the Wakefield area, call Wakefield Trusted Traders on (01924) XXXXXX

Everybody should familiarise themselves with this process in case you ever have a leak or other plumbing emergency. If you don’t know how to find your stopcock, then literally hundreds of litres of water could escape in the time it takes to find it.

How To Find Your Stopcock

How To Find The Stopcock in Your Home

Upto: 30 minutes

Check For Stopcock Under Kitchen Sink

How To Find Your Stopcock - Stoptap - Wakefield Trusted Traders

In a large majority of homes, the stopcock is located under the kitchen sink. It should be noted that the stopcock is always where the water supply enters the property.

The first place to check is the cupboard under the kitchen sink. Make sure to remove everything from the cupboard and look right at the back as the stopcock itself can sometimes be behind the unit, however a small access hole has been cut.

If you have an access hole then either shine a torch down the hole or else reach in and check that it is not behind the unit

Built In Garage? Check For Stopcock Here

If you cannot locate the stopcock within the kitchen, and your property has a built in garage, it could be there.

This is encountered quite often on newer town houses in the Wakefield area which have a garage as part of the property. The water enters the home within the garage and is then piped from here around the house.

If it is in the garage, it could be within boxing-in. This would be done to protect the pipes from any potential damage. If you do have boxing-in, look for signs of any access hatches or holes cut out which could give a clue to the location. Hopefully you are now on your way to learning how to find your stopcock

Again, as with looking in the kitchen, if there appears to be an access hole, this should be investigated with a torch at the very least or even better is to feel inside.

Downstairs Toilet? The Stopcock Might Be Here

If both the kitchen and the garage draw a blank, then you might look for the stopcock within a downstairs toilet, if you have one.

We have encountered this is a number of properties where it has been located within a cloakroom/WC on the ground floor of the property.

It could be under the basin, behind the toilet itself, or again contained within boxing in.

A torch is handy to check behind the toilet to be sure as the handle of the stopcock can sometimes be quite hard to spot, depending on how the stopcock is aligned.

Always check under any boxing in again, to see if there are any access hatches which may help when asking how to find your stopcock

Some 1930’s-1950’s houses which effectively had an outdoor toilet, however built at the side of the rear door to the property. These types of properties are common in some older areas of Wakefield and also Morley.

Be aware that the downstairs toilet may have been long removed and transformed into either a storage area or in some cases even a small utility type room. If your property has this sort of arrangement then it would be well worth checking to see if the stopcock is visible.

Live In A Flat – How To Find Your Stopcock?

If you live in a flat then there are a number of places that the incoming water supply could be, and hence this makes the job of locating the stopcock a bit more of a challenge. This may be difficult for you to know how to find your stopcock.

If you live in a flat where you have your own front door at ground level (IE: no more than 2 stories), then it’s worth looking by your door. There may be a cupboard or similar, again, potentially even some boxing in. Check these as the tap itself can often be hidden away in these places.

Larger ‘high-rise’ blocks of flats of 4+ stories will often have a utility cupboard/airing cupboard in the flat. This often has the hot water cylinder installed here.

These types of building can have the stopcock located in the airing cupboard.

As a last resort, if you are unable to locate the stopcock for your property WITHIN the flat, then there may also be an external stopcock which is located in a communal place (IE: so each flat can be isolated in the event of issues with the supply pipes within the building). This can often be the same cupboard/location as where your electric meter is located.

2 large developments in Wakefield share this common setup, these being ‘The Pinnacle’ on Ings Road & also ‘Chantry Waters’ on Doncaster Road.

How To Find Your Stopcock Near The Boiler?

Another way of finding your stopcock may be to find your boiler.

Although this isn’t usually the case if the boiler is on the 1st floor or above, however we have seen a number of occasions where the boiler is located very close to the main stopcock for your property.

This can be in any number of the locations already discussed, such as a built-in garage, a downstairs toilet or even an airing cupboard.

The trick here is more to follow the mass of pipes which exit the boiler and somewhere there could be the main stopcock.

Although it should be stated, this is not a foolproof method and in most occasions the boiler is fitted away from the stopcock. However if you have tried all the above locations and not found anything this technique is certainly worth a try.

Utility Rooms

There are a number of modern properties in the area, from memory a particular development in the area is the new estate at Middleton near the Asda.

This scheme has homes which have small utility cupboards/rooms.

The stopcock for these properties is often located away from the sink, garage, toilet or anything and enters the property in the utility room.

If you are struggling with how to find your stopcock then it is worth a look in any form of utility room that your property may have.

As with any other room/location, it might not be immediately obvious where it is. Check behind any cupboards or units which may be fitted.

Outside The Property

If you really cannot work out how to find your stopcock within the property then you may need to look outside.

Every property has an external stopcock, one which can be isolated by the water board if needs be.

These can be in communal areas of flats, in the driveway/garden of homes and even out in the street or on the path.

They usually have a small cover which protects them from dirt and damage. Be aware, the stopcock itself may be anything upto 3ft below the actual ground level. In cases like these then you need a ‘stopcock key’ which can reach down onto the tap and help turn it.

It is not a good idea to try reaching down these holes and grabbing the stopcock.

However, conversely, if you turn the tap too hard with an outdoor stop tap key then you can shear the head of the tap clean off.

If you are having to look outside for the supply stopcock then you should really seek professional help. If you are the Wakefield area, then call Wakefield Trusted Traders on (01924) XXXXXX. We can help you work out how to find your stopcock

How To Find Your Stopcock In An Emergency!

If you are having a plumbing emergency, a flood, burst or leak of water then you need to know how to find your stopcock ASAP!

Look in the following places, ensuring that you have checked quickly, yet thoroughly. Look behind objects, into corners and especially into any access holes in boxing in.


  • Under Kitchen Sink
  • Built-In Garages
  • Downstairs Toilets
  • Airing Cupboards
  • Near The Boiler
  • Utility Rooms
  • Cupboards/Boxing-In near the door to the property

I hope this has been of some use to you with working out how to find your stopcock

How to find your stopcock - boxing in
How To Find Your Stopcock – Boxing In

How To Change A Socket

Quick How To Change A Socket

If you need to change a broken electrical plug socket, then we have a super quick how to change a socket guide which will help demystify the steps to changing a socket outlet

how to change a socket

How To Change An Electrical Socket Outlet

Total Time Taken 15 minutes

Turn Power Off To Sockets

When working DIY, it is much safer to turn the entire supply to the property off at the main switch. This is because unless you have specialist testing equipment which can be quite expensive, you should never assume that the power to any item is OFF, simply because the switch tells you.

At this point, locate your electrical fuse board or consumer unit. This is generally located close to the electric meter, possibly opposite it on an internal wall.

Locate the main switch & turn off. It should be pretty obvious when the power is off, all appliances will turn off and so will any lights.

** SAFETY: Note that even isolating the main switch cannot always be relied upon to turn the power off. You should always test any electrical cable is dead before attempting electrical work **

Unscrew Faceplate on Existing Socket

How To Change A Socket - Wakefield Trusted Traders

This is usually achieved best with a small thin ended flat head screwdriver.

Unscrew both securing screws at either side of the faceplate on the existing socket. Once these have been removed you can remove the socket outlet from the wall by gently easing the socket out.

TOP TIP: The securing screws can sometimes get very tight in the backbox and removal may be difficult. If the screw goes tight when removing, don’t be afraid to gently screw it back in and then out again rather than carrying on and breaking the lugs off the backbox

Disconnect Cables From Terminals

How To Change A Socket - UK Socket Swap How To

At this point, when the socket outlet is pulled forward, you should be able to access the cable terminations from within. This is an important step when considering how to change a socket

These, again, are usually best removed with a high-quality flat headed screwdriver. Be careful not to slip with the screwdriver and injure yourself if the screws are tight.

Be aware that it can be difficult to hold the socket steady and unscrew at the same time. Always ensure that the screwdriver is pointing away from your body and face in case you slip. These can be really sharp and easily injure your hands and worse if nearby.

Try not to unscrew the terminals too far as this may mean that you loose the terminal screws themselves.

When the cables are loose, gently remove them from the socket out and free the outlet itself.

Fit New Socket To Cables

Changing A Socket - A How To Guide

The next step in how to change a socket outlet is to fit the new socket to the existing cables in the wall.

This step is really important to get right, if you get any of the connections the wrong way round this can be very dangerous.

You should have Live, Neutral and ‘Earth’ wires.
Live wires should be Red or Brown
Neutral wires should be Black or Blue
& ‘Earth’ should be green and yellow (sometimes solid green on really old cables)

Screw Socket Faceplate Back to Wall

How To Change A Socket - A Full Guide To Changing A UK Socket

The new socket faceplate should come with a pair of new screws. Frustratingly, these can sometimes be too short to reach the lugs of the backbox. This is especially a problem where the plaster is particularly thick or tiles are fitted.

This particular issue is best resolved by re-using the original screws in the new socket. Obviously if they were long enough before, then chances are they will fit the new socket.

This is why it is best to be really careful and read the full how to change a socket guide before embarking on this and being rough with the old screws.

For best effect, make sure that both screws are parallel to each other to ensure they look symmetrical.

Hopefully this quick guide in how to change a socket should have helped you understand what is involved.

This is just a really quick run down of what is actually involved if an electrician were to complete this work (electricians would also complete a quick test on the socket to ensure it is connected properly – this requires costly testing equipment)

We understand this sort of thing is not for everyone, and if you have read the above how to change a socket guide, and are still not 100% sure that you are confident, please call Wakefield Trusted Trades, a local Wakefield Electrician you can trust to get the job done

If you’d like to see more DIY guides along the lines of how to change a socket then we have a whole list of DIY building and construction tips.