Stopcock: when was the last time you checked yours?

It is important that you know where the stopcock is and that you check it is working by regularly turning it on.

What am I looking for?

The average stopcock looks like a tap.

In modern homes, it can usually be found under the kitchen sink. In older houses it can be found in a front or back hall or in a larder unit beside the sink unit.

How do I check my stopcock?

Run the cold water tap in your kitchen and turn the stopcock in a clockwise direction to check if the cold water turns off. Don’t forget to turn it back on again! If the stopcock is old or hard to use, you should seek a plumbers advice, as it may be better to fit an easy to use water shut off device.

You should also consider turning it off if you go on holiday, but seek a plumbers advice first.

Damage from burst water pipes is a one of the biggest reasons for home insurance claims. Knowing the location of your stopcock can help reduce the damage to your property and possessions in the event of a leak.