STOPCOCK SEIZED:

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by RONCHAM, 20 Mar 2021.

  1. RONCHAM

    RONCHAM

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    I have a stopcock inside a kitchen cupboard which isolates an outside tap. A couple of weeks ago the stopcock worked fine. More recently it would only do about a quarter turn from off to on. Now it is off and refuses to turn more than a fraction. I don't understand how this problem has developed so quickly?

    I’m thinking I could perhaps loosen the nut to the stuffing which may help? But I’m a little reluctant in case a further problem develops ie a leak that I cannot stop. I will appreciate any advice on how this problem has arisen so fast and the best way to deal with it. Initially I’ve given it a squirt of WD-40 which hasn’t helped so far.

    Regards.
     
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  3. Nige F

    Nige F

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    Loosen the stuffing nut - if you can isolate either where the main comes into the house, or in the pavement outside- just in case;)
     
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  4. CBW

    CBW

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    Definitely a stopcock?
     
    Last edited: 20 Mar 2021
  5. RONCHAM

    RONCHAM

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    Thanks for that speedy reply - so loosening the stuffing nut (if possible) may help. I appreciate replacing the stopcock would solve the problem too - but believe me, that's far easier said than done. The location is very confined and awkward, and the nuts either side of the stopcock are part within brickwork and part behind another pipe. In the longer term I'd like MDPE fitted on the lead pipe outside to a new internal mains stopcock, and copper pipework thereafter within the house.

    Regards.
     
  6. RONCHAM

    RONCHAM

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    Yes, definitely a stopcock - (what else might it be??). I understand stopcocks sometimes seize if left fully on or off for a lengthy period but this was fine a few weeks ago. And it's a very basic mechanism - screw on, screw off.
     
  7. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    Would there be room to drill right through the stem in order to get a tommy bar type tool through?
    Although I guess that being stiff enough to snap a handle off may scupper that use?

    Or just get a new stopcock fitted in an alternative location?

    I always leave my stopcock a little closed. That way you can move the lever either way if it sticks
     
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  8. dilalio

    dilalio

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    Send a photo and I'll tell you how hard it'll be to fix it.
     
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  9. RONCHAM

    RONCHAM

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    Thanks for that but I don't think so. And the only alternative location wouldn't be convenient - worst of all it would require major kitchen dismantling!

    I always (try to) leave stopcocks a little closed when open and vice versa if you follow.

    I'd thought this stopcock was closed but after double-checking I did actually find it was open (possibly fully?) - presumably irrelevant as it won't budge in either direction. The nut to the stuffing box is also very awkward to turn even with a short spanner as there are various obstructions. Plus I can't contort my body as much as I once could!

    Regards.
     
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  11. dilalio

    dilalio

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    Get a plumber to do it.
    We have methods and custom tools.
     
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  12. RONCHAM

    RONCHAM

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    I'll try and post a photo later. I'm (obviously) not a plumber but I think the answer is bl**dy hard! No disrespect but I think sometimes even a plumber doesn't know exactly how much welly to use but can at least fix any disasters. My main stopcock seized once and a (old school) plumber fixed it. The inlet side was a lead joint which makes most plumbers wary and he loosened/ tightened the stopcock a little at a time until free. It it had been me I would've taken the precaution of isolating at the pavement or at least having the key to hand (he didn't!). But then it wasn't his kitchen!

    Regards.
     
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  13. dilalio

    dilalio

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    I'd be looking at applying some heat and replacing the whole mechanism, within the brass body. Having off'd it externally.
    I'd pretty much guarantee all the seasoned plumbers on here have done one's equal if not worse than yours ;)
     
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  14. HERTS P&D

    HERTS P&D

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    I've been to many properties where I have been told the stopcock was faulty and would never move. I have always been able to get the stopcock working or replaced. ;)

    Andy
     
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  15. CBW

    CBW

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    I’ve seen Gatevalves used before now, not many mind.
     
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  16. dilalio

    dilalio

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    s-l1600.jpg
     
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  17. dilalio

    dilalio

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    I've never tried using my wellies!
    Just my tools, which are an extension of my body (y)

    Edit: I've tightened waste compressions with my hand and then watched others have to use grips to undo them... and I'm not built like a brick $hit house :)
     
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