I just want to double check I am not going to unscrew something and get a surprise. I want to find the water shut off for my bath, which a plumber turned off today while I was out of the house (the tap wouldn't stop and my partner called them). The water is off to the bath tap only, so there is a shutoff somewhere but I can't see it anywhere.

There are no exposed pipes in our bathroom, and there are no shutoffs elsewhere (apart from the master one), however there is a white panel in th bathroom which you can open, which exposes another grey pipe that has a screw top. I suspect if I unscrew this I will see the shutoffs for things in the bathroom, but just want to be sure I'm not going to unscrew it and unleash a bigger problem.

pipe with lid on

Edit took it off and its just more pipe


  • 1
    Looks like access to drain, for cleaning sewage. No water pressure should be, just may be gases.
    – user263983
    Nov 3, 2021 at 19:55
  • Now that it's been removed, it looks like there is plug that comes out. It's likely to be a sewer cleanout, but I haven't seen one like that before.
    – JPhi1618
    Nov 3, 2021 at 19:55
  • Typically shower/tub valves have integral stops which are accessed by removing the face plate and operated by the use of a screw driver. Can you take a photo of the shower/tub valve?
    – pdd
    Nov 3, 2021 at 22:11

2 Answers 2


In North America (edit says you're in the UK but I'll leave this answer in case it helps someone else) for "recent construction" (last 50-70 years or so) shut-offs for bathtubs and showers are typically either underneath the tub skirt or in the wall of the shower, or a central shut-off for each device in a home run system like Pex. In all of these options there is typically a hinged panel that gives access to the shut-off valves unless it's in a utility space, but the panel is sometimes decorated like a cabinet so it doesn't draw attention.

If you can't find anything that looks like this (the panel shown in the picture was a good guess, but the large pipe you found looks like a vent or cleanout rather than a shut-off valve) you may need to contact someone with experience finding shutoffs. The plumber who was there may be the best person to tell you where he found it and shut it off, but if you have a relative or friend with some DIY plumbing experience they may be able to show you places to look and help find it.


If that can be unscrewed by hand then it's very unlikely to be catastrophic/fatal.

What is the material? Metal, plastic, something else? Seems big enough to be a gas vent pipe or dryer vent.

The shutoff for your tap is probably under your sink; if not then in the basement.

  • its plastic, and there is an identical panel in the other bathroom (we don't have a basement)
    – BenJammin
    Nov 3, 2021 at 19:50
  • @BenJammin Does it loosen by hand?
    – MonkeyZeus
    Nov 3, 2021 at 19:50
  • yeah, I took it off but its just more pipe
    – BenJammin
    Nov 3, 2021 at 19:52
  • 1
    @BenJammin I would call the plumber and just ask to be honest.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Nov 3, 2021 at 19:56
  • 1
    Learning is great! How will you be able to discern the tipping point between learning and having the plumber charge you 1.5x for creating more work for him?
    – MonkeyZeus
    Nov 3, 2021 at 20:14

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