How to Turn off Water to Toilet

Why would you need to turn off the water to your toilet?

How to Turn off Water to Toilet

There are countless reasons. But one of the most common reasons is because you wanted to renovate your bathroom and there is a need to remove the toilet seat entirely. The other reason is something you wouldn’t want to think about. There’s an emergency plumbing situation ensuing inside the house, a leaky toilet perhaps, and you need to turn off the system’s water supply in order to prevent an overflowing toilet. That would certainly be a nightmare.

Regardless of the reason, we are here to show you how you can easily turn off water supply that leads to your toilet. That way you don’t have to panic while waiting for the plumber to come by. In fact, we believe that every homeowner should know how to turn off the water to their toilet to prevent any instance of water damage from occurring. This could save you a lot of hassles in the future.

Below are the different ways how to turn off that water supply leading to a toilet. However, some of the methods below may not be applicable to your home. Find out first what kind of toilet you own and follow the instructions specific to it. Read through the instructions we laid out here and use them as a guide on your next home improvement or plumbing project. You can thank us later!


3 Easy Ways on How to Turn off Water to Toilet

There are at least three ways to turn off water supply towards your toilet. Most of these methods are very easy to follow. For some, you won’t even need special handyman skills. If you know how to use the common tools around the house like a wrench and a pair of pliers, then you’re all good. All that’s required of you is some basic plumbing knowledge and nothing else. So, if you’re ready, then let’s get started.

1. Shut off Valve Technique

Whether you are using hot water or cold water for your toilet, the shut off valve’s main function is to turn off the water that flows into it. Also referred to as the stop valve, this is the first thing that you should look for if you want to turn off water supply going to the toilet and to the toilet alone. Turning off these shut off valves will not affect the flow of water to other bathroom fixtures. Note that for this step, you don’t need to do a lot of plumbing.

Materials Needed

  • Adjustable wrench (only if needed)
  • Penetrating oil spray (only if needed)


  • Look for the water shutoff valve assembly and water valve stem of your toilet.
  • You will likely find it on the lower left side of the bathroom wall, very near the bottom of the toilet.  
  • Turn the shutoff valve fully in a clockwise position.
  • Do note that there are different types of main water shutoff valves. Try to find out how the one installed in your bathroom is switched.
  • If your toilet uses a push-and-pull valve, you’ll need to grip the valve handle tightly and then try to pull it towards you.
  • In case the shutoff valve is stuck or difficult to turn, use an adjustable wrench to make it easier.
  • If what you have is a push-and-pull toilet valve and it won’t turn, spray some penetrating oil to it. Such oil is more popularly referred to as the WD-40.
  • Let the oil sit for 15 minutes. Then try to turn it again.
  • In case none of these steps work, proceed to the next method below.

2. Main Shut Off Valve Technique

Main Shut Off Valve Technique

If it is not possible to turn the toilet shutoff valve for some reason, don’t worry. There is something else that you can do about it. However, you must know that this method will turn off not just that water supply going to your toilet. It will shut off water supply toward the rest of the house as well. It means your hot water heater may be affected if you’re using one, so be prepared to have some cold water instead of hot water in the shower for a while.

Also, make sure that all the others know about what you are about to fix in the bathroom. Otherwise, the people inside the house may start to panic and report the condition of your home’s plumbing to the service provider and you don’t want that hassle!

Materials Needed

  • Adjustable wrench (only if needed)
  • Penetrating spray oil (only if needed)


  • Find out where the water meter is installed in your home. The main shutoff valve is generally found near it.
  • The main shutoff valve may look different for each home, but it commonly looks like a wheel that you can turn.
  • Turn the main valve clockwise to close off the main water supply going into the entire house.
  • In some homes, the main water shutoff valve may look like a lever. If that is the case with you, move it in a 90-degree angle. It should be in a perpendicular direction in relation to that water pipe it is attached to.
  • If for some reason you fail to find any wheel or level near the water meter, you may need to look for the service line or city water line instead. You may have to go outside and into the street leading to your home to get to it.
  • It would also help to check your home’s plumbing plan or blueprint to find out where exactly the water meter is.
  • If the main shutoff valve is still not there, then it may be installed inside a utility room or crawlspace. Sometimes, it is inside the basement or laundry room. It may also be installed near a water pressure tank.
  • The shutoff valve may fail to turn, especially if it is old and attached to a copper pipe. If so, apply some penetrating oil to it.
  • Leave the oil for 15 minutes then try turning the shutoff valve again.
  • Repeat the process until the valve moves easily with your hands.

3. Toilet Float Technique

This method may not work for some, as some toilets no longer have a float installed inside the tank. If your bathroom is newly remodeled and the plumbing fixture used is new, then high are the chances that you won’t find any toilet float anymore. If that is the case, you may skip this step. If you are unsure, you can always consult with some of your most trusted plumbing experts.

Materials Needed

  • A piece of wood


  • Lift the toilet tank lid. Place it in a safe spot, preferably in one corner of the bathroom.  
  • Look for the ball float, ball valve, float cup, or float cylinder.
  • Note that the toilet float will have a line connecting it to the fill valve and overflow tube.
  • Flush the water into the toilet bowl and observe how that toilet float works.
  • Notice that when toilet floats are near the tank’s topmost part, water no longer flows into it. 
  • Flush the water again to clear your toilet tank but this time, keep the ball float in the topmost position. The goal is to keep the tank from filling with water.
  • Use the piece of wood to keep it in place.
  • Try to flush the water again.
  • Observe if there’s water still flowing continuously in the tank now that the ball float is suspended.
  • If there’s still water flow, try adjusting that toilet float to match the spot where the water level used to be.
  • Redo the step until you get the float to the perfect position.

Additional : Toilet Water Supply Line Technique

Toilet Water Supply Line Technique

This method is not recommended unless you are seriously out of options. Removing the water supply pipe to your toilet is not easy, not to mention very messy. If you are willing to try this method, be sure that you are also prepared for any plumbing eventualities, like toilet water overflowing into your bathroom.

Materials Needed

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Plastic Bag
  • Duct tape
  • Bucket


  • Locate the water supply line that connects the toilet shutoff valve towards the toilet tank. That’s the line or water pipe that you are going to disconnect.
  • Flush the toilet completely. Make sure that there’s no more water inside the tank.
  • Try to loosen the line from beneath the tank with your hands so as not to damage the coupling. If it is too difficult to do it by hand, then try to use a wrench.
  • Note that as you take the water supply off, there will be water flowing from both directions so be ready.
  • Place the bucket nearby to catch the cold water from the tank. Let the water drain out from the tank.
  • Quickly cover the other end of the water pipe with the plastic bag to prevent water from leaking out.  
  • Then wrap duct tape around it, paying special attention to the water shut off valve if it seems to leak.

These are the methods that you need to know to shut off water that flows into your toilet. Armed with this knowledge, there’s no need to panic when any bathroom plumbing emergency happens. You’ll be confident as a pro, knowing how to shut off the water flowing to the toilet rather easily. Surely, you’ll have everything under control.

Learning about these methods could help you make quick actions while waiting for the toilet plumbing service to arrive. By doing any of these, you’ll prevent further damages to your bathroom fixtures, thereby saving a lot of money on plumbing repair work. It does pay to have a lot of home improvement tips and tricks up your sleeves.

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