How to Open a Closed Water Valve

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Water valves control the flow of water to a particular appliance or fixture.

Open a closed water valve to restart water flow to the appliance or fixture controlled by that valve. Closing a specific water valve within the home shuts off the flow of water to a particular fixture of the home without the necessity of turning the water off to the entire house. This is necessary when the appliance or fixture in question is malfunctioning. But when the problem is fixed, it is necessary to turn the water back on by opening the closed water valve.


Step 1

Locate the handle on the closed water valve by examining the exposed length of plumbing pipe connected to the appliance or fixture to which the water is turned off.

Step 2

Grasp the handle and turn clockwise, or to the right, slowly. Stop if moderate torque, or pressure, does not start the handle turning and call a plumber as the valve handle may need replacing.

Step 3

Turn the valve handle all the way clockwise, or to the right, until it won't turn any more to completely open the water valve.


Step 4

Test whether the water valve is open and functioning properly by turning on the water at the fixture the valve controls. As soon as it is determined that the water is flowing normally, shut off the fixture or appliance.


If the handle attached to the water valve is corroded and won't turn with a minimal amount of torque or pressure, don't force it. If the handle breaks off the resulting flood of water may not be stoppable without the emergency intervention of a plumber, which means a great loss of water and a huge emergency plumbing bill. Call a plumber and schedule a time during normal working hours for the plumber to come and replace the valve handle.



Jennifer Williams

An attorney for more than 18 years, Jennifer Williams has served the Florida Judiciary as supervising attorney for research and drafting, and as appointed special master. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Jacksonville University, law degree from NSU's Shepard-Broad Law Center and certificates in environmental law and Native American rights from Tulsa University Law.