Main water supply for building in condo unit

Is it ok for the main water shutoff for an entire condominium building to be in one of the condo units (e.g., not in a common area). This is in Chicago if that matters in an old building that was rehabbed about 18 years ago

Thanks so much for any help.

Good question. I look forward to the answer, and since you haven’t received an answer on a 1:25 p.m. post, and people like to troll me so much, I post this here and am willing to bet you’ll have answered soon, real soon.

I have seen this in Canada, it appears to be fairly common, where I saw it, it was done from new. Even though it was located in the basement of a unit, it was considered ‘common’, as in belonging to the condo association.

I would say not!
In case of an emergency it would not be readily assessable.

I agree with Roy.

your neighbor could turn the water off to your home if they didn’t like you, and if they were on vacation and you needed to turn your water off, it wouldn’t be possible.

Yeah, that’s what I thought, but I can’t find any building code rule that it violates, but it just seems like it should, for the reasons you give.

Nothing to get excited about, most condos don’t provide access to any service shut offs, they are locked but maintenance people have the key. Townhomes usually have water main shut off, but there will likely be one for the building as well somewhere. There are multiple shut offs in apartment buildings, most apartment units do not have a water main, but floors might, the building does for sure, and there will be also be ones out on the street for the utility. A tenant with a shut off in their unit will be (should be) instructed by the condo association that even though it is in their unit it is not theirs play with. Like getting the emergency exit door seat on the airplane, just because you are sitting there doesn’t necessarily mean you get to use it.

If I’m sitting there and the plane’s going down, the h ell with the rules…I’m using it!! :cool:

P.S. I don’t fly, never have, never will.

It is common to have the main for the entire building in one unit. In saying that, each unit should have it’s own shut off as well. If it is not there I would call it out.

very common in my area, although there’s typically a shut off for each unit to, but only one main for the building in one unit, at the meter most times.

this is only an 8 unit building, so we have no maintence or management people, just us as a self-managed condo association. So it seems odd to have it in a unit. especially when there are no shutoffs to units or anything else less than the buliding (other than individual items) as I have been told. So anything involving water cutoff peole have to come into my unit to turn it off.

There is usually a way to shut off the water at the meter located on the sidewalk/walkway or buried somewhere nearby. It works just the same just not as easy for the average person to find and use.

You can also easily have the shutoff relocated, just need to call a plumber.

Don’t worry about darn codes and write what you see.

The main water cutoff for your unit is located in unit ?..
Recommend contacting the management as to how you should gain access to the cutoff during an emergency.

Don’t over think these kind of things.

There should also be one per unit… therefore typically no need to get to main, which I have often seen with lock on it.


In my area, the main can be in an occupied apartment. Most landlords will have a master key for all doors. I have never seen a main in an unlocked room in a large apartment building because of kids like to play pranks.