How to easily make a 3/8 inch square stop cock key

Joined
13 Jul 2011
Messages
67
Reaction score
3
Location
London
Country
United Kingdom
Hi all,

This isn’t a question so much as advice for anyone google searching for 3/8 inch stop cock key problems.

In 15 years as a builder I’ve not come across a 3/8 inch square end on a mains stop cock before. They are always 1/2inch, 5/8inch or have a handle.

I started working on a 1970s Barrett home and soon realised it was a 3/8inch (10mm) square spindle end on the mains stop cock and pretty deep down and very narrow (2 inch) tube with one of those small, Thames Water, pear shaped pavement covers. So no chance of getting an arm down.

My stop cock key was 1/2inch and greater. There are 3/8 inch stop cock keys advertised in ScrewF and ToolS. I bought both but both were useless as they are tapered inside to take differing sizes rather than square. This meant that as they are only gripping the very top of the spindle they rounded it off and wouldn’t get a good grip.

Next I tried my 3/8inch socket set which would have worked except that I couldn’t get anywhere near close enough. I worked out that I would need 5 200mm extension pieces at £12 each to reach it.

So the solution which ended up working the best was to use my 1/2inch square stop cock key and stick a ‘1/2inch male to 3/8inch female’ socket converter piece (available as a set of 3 from ToolS for peanuts) into it. I then wrapped a load of electrical tape over and around it so that it couldn’t fall out and used a sharp Stanley to cut the tape from the square 3/8 inch opening.

This might sound logical but it took me a day to work out and there is nothing on the Internet other than quite a few people complaining that the ‘3/8 inch stop cock keys’ are useless as they are tapered, which is true.

Anyway hope this shows up on google searches and helps a few tradies save some time and money and for homeowners with a 3/8 inch square stop cock I would buy the above bits and keep it under the stairs for those emergencies.

All the best
Steve
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
31 Mar 2020
Messages
943
Reaction score
189
Country
United Kingdom
3/8 socket adaptor, length of steel pipe to suit, couple of tack welds and a T handle, job done.
 

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.


Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

 
Sponsored Links
Top