Emergency! Do You Know Where To Turn Your Water Off?!

In the event of a burst pipe or leaking water tank, you will want to turn your water off immediately to minimise damage to your home.  If a plumber needs to work on your water pipes, they’ll likely need to turn the water off.  Do you know where your toby is?

Where can I find my toby?

If you live in a stand-alone house, there are some common places you can look for your toby.  It is usually near the front boundary of your house, often inline with a front hosetap.  Look in the garden, grass or footpath area by the boundary of your house.

In townhouses, the toby for each house is more likely indoors, such as in the garage or hot water cylinder cupboard.

Apartment buildings have a single toby that controls the water to all apartments, usually outside on the boundary.  Each apartment will also have its own toby, located somewhere inside the building, but not necessarily in the apartment.  They can be hard to find!  Try looking in your hot water cupboard and under the kitchen sink.  Your body corporate may have a plan of the building’s plumbing that could be helpful.

What am I looking for?

Most tobies are located in the ground, under a lid.  Older tobies often have a square metal lid.  Newer ones usually have black or blue oblong plastic lids.  They’ll often have “WCC” (Wellington City Council) on them.

In a townhouse or apartment building, they may be in the wall, within an access panel.

What if I Can’t Find my Toby?!

The Wellington City Council will both locate and repair tobies at no charge as it is their responsibility to provide water to each home.

How do I Know If My Toby is Working?

Check that the handle turns easily enough both clockwise (water off) and anticlockwise (water on).  To check that it’s working, turn it clockwise then turn on one of your taps and make sure it is indeed off (you would expect some water to come out initially as it drains water that was already sitting in the pipes).

So go and look for your toby now!
Craig & Julie