Find A Fridge’s Water Shut-Off Valve: 6 Usual Spots

Are you struggling to find your fridge’s water shut-off valve?

You’re not alone! Thousands of people find themselves in a similar situation every day, and are left confused and annoyed by it.

Appliances are all about making our lives easier, so when you’re having a hard time finding a crucial component in yours, convenience goes out the window.

But don’t worry, you came to the right place for answers. Below, you’ll find a list with 6 of the usual places where you can find this part of your fridge.

When you can’t find your fridge’s shut-off valve, try looking behind the unit, near the main water supply, or near the water heater. If you still can’t find it, look in the interior compartment of the appliance, in your basement, or behind the wall as a last resort.

Read on to reveal the valve!

#1 Look Behind the Fridge

Let’s start off by covering one of the most common places manufactures like to install their products’ shut-off valve.

Having this component at the back of your fridge makes it very hard to notice, and even harder to check once you’ve installed the unit. And if you’ve ever tried to move your appliance alone or even with someone’s help, you know what I’m talking about.

A man moving a large fridge
Moving a fridge is challenging, but if you manage to do it, you might solve the mystery of the missing shut-off valve

Now, having the shut-off valve placed behind the fridge is neither a terrible idea nor a disastrous design flaw. Sometimes it is very convenient to locate the component there. However, this doesn’t mean it’s not also a challenge to control the free flow of water to the appliance.

Solution: To move your fridge out of the tight space it’s likely in, please follow these easy steps:

  1. Empty your fridge and disconnect it from the power supply.
  2. Carefully, grab the appliance from the bottom and lift it ever so slightly. Just enough to get the frontal legs off the ground.
  3. Once there’s enough space to fit a towel underneath the frontal legs, start sliding it under the unit.
  4. After the towel has reached the legs at the back, start pulling the remainder of it towards you.
  5. With enough force, the appliance should start moving little by little.
  6. Once it has come out enough to allow you to lift the hind legs and slide more of the towel under them, do so, and keep pulling.
  7. Continue this process until you’re comfortable with the fridge’s position.

Once you have a clear view of the back of the appliance, look carefully and try to spot the valve. Assuming it’s not there, you’ll have to keep looking.

#2 Check the Main Water Supply

Sometimes, fridges don’t have shut-off valves installed directly on their bodies. In certain models, there’s a free flow of water into the unit, which can only be controlled via an independent source near the main water supply in your home.

This means that you might be looking in the wrong place. To rule out or confirm this theory, locate your home’s main water supply and try to shut off all the valves you see. This will, of course, mean that you’ll have to do some experimenting, until you only shut off the valve that controls flow to your fridge.

Once you have located it, I recommend using permanent marker and tape to create a label you can stick on for future reference.

#3 Inspect the Water Heater

Another common place where you can find your fridge’s water shut-off valve is in the proximity of your water heater. Depending on the layout of your home, this might be more or less likely. If your heater is located near the kitchen, chances are your search is over, but if not, there are no guarantees.

A plumber working on a water heater
While not the most popular setup, there’s a good chance you can find your fridge’s shut-off valve in your boiler room

Placing an independent shut-off valve for your fridge within a close range of your kitchen is quite convenient, as it means you won’t have to go to the main water supply to stop the flow. So, if the person who installed your home’s piping thought of this, you’ll likely find the valve near the heater.

#4 Look Inside the Appliance’s Compartment

You might be thinking this one’s too obvious, and that you would have noticed the valve if it was inside the unit’s refrigeration compartment. But you wouldn’t believe how many people miss this and bend over backwards looking elsewhere.

The internal compartment of a fridge
The shut-off valve might be hiding beneath a shelf or one of your groceries

In order to check this, first you’ll have to clear the way to ensure unrestricted view of the compartment. You can do this by carefully removing your groceries and the fridge’s shelves and placing them somewhere cool.

Once the compartment is completely empty, check every nook and cranny. If you’re lucky, it will be there, and you won’t have taken out your entire week’s produce for nothing.

#5 Explore Your Basement

Yet another good place to find your fridge’s shut-off valve is in your basement.

If you have other appliances like radiant floor heaters installed in your home, you’ve probably noticed that contractors typically place circuit breakers, zone valves, and every other control terminal in basements. This is done both out of convenience, and simplicity, as it’s easier to have everything in one place.

Your fridge’s shut-off valve might not be the exception, so going downstairs and taking a look can’t hurt.

#6 Check Behind the Wall

Last, but not least, let’s try something a little more extreme as a last resort.

If none of the locations provided above helped you find your fridge’s water shut-off valve, it might be time to look behind the wall in its proximity. This is, of course, not the most convenient place to put the valve, but sometimes contractors and house builders have to think on their feet.

A plumber working on pipes behind a wall
Sometimes, construction is all about adapting and overcoming obstacles

Unless you’re extremely experienced in plumbing and construction, I’d recommend calling a plumber to help you check for this, as they’re very skilled at avoiding important pipes and other elements as they go through a wall.

I strongly recommend trying all the other solutions on this list first, as otherwise you might unnecessarily open a hole in your home for no good reason.


That about covers it.

With so many models out there, finding a fridge’s shut-off valve can be challenging and frustrating. Especially when you need to do repairs or maintenance and don’t want to flood your kitchen.

Luckily, as I hope this piece has helped you see, there are some common spots where manufacturers place these valves on their products. More often than not, you’ll either find your shut-off valve inside the unit’s compartment, or near your main water supply.

Thank you very much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If this article piqued your interest and answered your most burning questions, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a lot more content to keep learning from below.

On the site, you’ll find all sorts of solutions for common appliance issues, such as an oven that’s leaking grease, or an ice maker that’s overflowing.

I wish you the best of luck.

— Craig.