Housing Real Estate

What to Do if Your Water Has Been Turned Off

Water is the source of all life. There’s a reason why NASA scientists got all excited when they found evidence of water on Mars— where there’s water, there’s life. Where there isn’t water, well, there’s hardship. You likely have running water in your home, which is something that we tend to take for granted these days. Your plumbing runs, your water comes out of the faucet—hot or cold, depending on the whim of the moment—and when your water bill arrives, you pay it. No big deal.

The thing is, though, that it is a big deal. If, for some reason, your water was to get shut off, you would be in a sticky situation. Literally, since the shower won’t be running. This can happen for plenty of reasons, by the way. Maybe the city needs to do some work on some underground pipes in your neighborhood. Or maybe you put off some household maintenance inspections or repairs that you shouldn’t delay, like checking your underground plumbing for invasive tree roots. Whatever has led you to finding yourself in a dry household, here’s what to do when the day comes.

Get some bottled water delivered right away.


You and your family need to drink, and if water isn’t coming out of your faucets, you’ll need to find another source. Mars is probably too far to go for water, so you can start by heading over to the nearby market for some emergency bottles. That is if your water gets shut off with no warning.

If you do know that your water is going to be shut off, or if the work on your pipes takes longer than a few hours, you need a water delivery service. Market water will be way more expensive, and probably lower quality, than the best bottled water Canada has to offer. If you’re already spending a ton on reworking all of your pipes, be smart about getting excellent spring water delivered to your doorstep. You may find that it’s so refreshing and delicious, you end up buying a water dispenser to use even after your water is running again.

Think about any other home renovations you should take care of.

If you’re already calling a plumber, maybe you should think about other things that need fixing before it gets to be too late. Take a walk around your property, and think about tips for home renovations that may be in your best interest. Maybe your back porch looks a little saggy and, upon closer inspection, is home to a colony of termites. Maybe your gutters need clearing before they begin to cause rainwater to leak into your home’s structure. Or maybe it’s something as simple as a new coat of paint on your siding. Whatever it is, this is a great moment to take stock of your home and explore options for bettering it.

Find another place to shower. And maybe sleep.


Plumbing jobs can be major projects, depending on the severity of the situation. If your plumbing team is going to be around for a while, you’ll want a backup plan for showering and, perhaps, sleeping. After all, you don’t want to wake up in the middle of a construction site for a week. You can shower at the gym for one or two days but not endlessly.

If you know that you’re looking at a week or two of plumbing projects around the house, it may be time to reach out to friends and relatives about crashing at their place. If you have a family, it may be good to factor a hotel stay into the cost of the renovation as well.

Living without water is impossible, but making do while your water is shut off can be done with little trouble. Just make sure to have bottled water on hand and find a place to rest your head, and let the plumbers fix the other problems for you.