Would You Know Where To Shut Off Water Or Gas In An Emergency? - Misc. NZ
Would You Know Where To Shut Off Water Or Gas In An Emergency?

Would You Know Where To Shut Off Water Or Gas In An Emergency?

Words by Advanced Plumbing

In the case of a Civil Defence emergency obviously the number one priority is ensuring you and your family are safe.  If the safest thing to do is to vacate your home immediately then your gas and water mains really are secondary to your own personal safety.

But if it is safe to do so, you can save a lot of further damage to your property if you are aware of the location of your gas and water mains and know how to turn them off.

We have put together some guidance on how to do this as well as some other tips around what do do if you have a plumbing, drainage or gas concern in an emergency.

It is important that in the event of an emergency you know how to turn off gas or water so ensure you do familarise yourself with where these are located on your property.


  • Shutting off your gas –   This is extremely important if you can smell gas!.  If you have a metred natural gas supply, ensure you turn your meter valve handle to horizontal.  This may require a spanner so we suggest you keep one handy.
    If you have LPG bottled gas, turn off the valve on the top of the cylinder/bottle.
  • If you do suspect a gas leak its important to avoid turning electrical appliances or switches on or off if they are in the same area as the leak.
  • If there are flames or sparks or you noticing a hissing sound, please get out immediately and call emergency services on 111.


  • If your water supply is connected to the council main you can shut off the water at the isolating valve (also known as Toby) which is most usually located on your property boundary at ground level and sits under a metal or plastic lid.  To shut off the water, simply lift the lid and turn the handle to off.  It is most likely that “off” is in a clockwise direction.
  • If you have a water leak, go to the base of your hot water cylinder and turn the isolating valve to off.  Alternatively, this valve may be located under the cylinder.  It is important to also turn off the heating element which for an electric water heater is a switch and for gas – an isolating valve.
  • If you are unsure as to the location of your Toby, make a call to your local council and they will be able to advise the location.

If you have damage due to a plumbing, drainage or gas emergency please give us a call on 0508 22 88 99, Advanced Plumbing are certified Master Plumbers, drainlayers and gasfitters.

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