In a HOA, unless the same homebuilder constructed all the homes, the main water shutoff could be in various locations throughout the home. Even if the same builder constructed all the homes, water shutoff locations might still vary from home to home. The HOA membership being aware of shutoff valves and their importance is in everyone’s best interests. This is especially true in multifamily homeowner associations or condominium associations with master hazard insurance policies that can be negatively affected by water damage claims.
The water shutoff valve can be located in various places around a home: basements, crawlspaces, garages, utility rooms, beneath kitchen sinks, or coat closets. If the shutoff whereabouts is unknown, the first place to look is the water heater. The area around the water heater is many times the location of the main water shutoff. Or, at the very least, the water heater has an auxiliary shutoff that can accomplish the same result. The line that supplies the water heater typically comes directly from the main waterline. Plumbers will place a shutoff right before the line feeds into the water heater. See illustration for specifics.
Along with the homeowner association membership being made aware of the importance of the water shutoffs, members who rent their homes should make certain that their tenants are aware as well. Proactive landlords commonly label and paint water shutoffs red. Landlords placing labels on cabinets denoting the water shutoff is within, is a good practice as well. An emergency is not the right situation in which to be locating a home’s main water shutoff. WDMC