How to Shut Off Water at the Meter
For top Shut-off valves only
Customers should generally shut off their water with their home valves. If your home does not have a water shut-off valve, we highly recommend that you contact a plumber to install one. There are a couple of situations in which you still may need to shut off water at the meter:
- Home valve is broken, damaged or gets stuck.
- Rupture in service line pipe from meter box to home, e.g., during an earthquake.
Important: Meters with top shut-off (TSO) valves (shown in photo) are the only types of meters that customers can shut off themselves. Older meters require a special tool to shut off, and only SPU crews can operate these types. Customers should call SPU at 206-386-1800 if they do not have a TSO meter or if they need help in general to shut off water from the meter.
- Locate your water meter. Water meters are typically located:
- in iron boxes sunk in the ground;
- in the parking strip or sidewalk in front of or at the side of your house;
- and they are covered by a 1x2 ft. metal plate that says CWM (City Water Meter).
- Remove the water meter cover.
- Locate the shut-off valve that is attached to the water meter.
- Turn shut-off valve clockwise by hand or with a crescent wrench. Turn until the two valve holes line up to indicate the valve is closed. The meter dial stops spinning.