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Author: tpault Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 128369  
Subject: Re: Water Shutoff Valves Wont Budge Date: 10/12/2012 4:45 PM
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Metrobabe,

Remember, righty tighty, lefty loosey?

I try to add things that aren't already covered by by golly there are a lot of replies but I'll give it my best shot.

For instance, those valves come in either steel, or plastic handles AND steel or plastic valve stems. The stems break easily!

Always shut the main water off before trying.

Believe it or not, the pressure inside is contributing to the stuck-ness. Water pressure alone wouldn't be enough to stop it from turning on a healthy valve, but when you combine age, corrosion, etc, with pressure, and it may not turn.

So shut off the main water supply and relieve the pressure from that pipe by opening a faucet. Also, try lightly tapping on the top of the handle right on the screw that holds it on.

PB Blast penetrates better than anything I've ever seen.

The nut below the handle holds the stem in. It may be possible that before you, someone may have tightened the snot out of that nut if it was leaking past the stem there. Tightening this nut too tight can make the valve impossible to turn. This is also the place where a plumber would take the valve apart if replacing just the stem, so it is a good place to concentrate on. Loosen the nut as a favor to yourself, before trying again.

Those handles are quite possibly one of the least ergonomic handles, like, ever. I'd try using plyers like channel locks, on the handle but also backing up the whole valve so you aren't breaking or bending the piping. I usually always need to use channel locks on those slippery, tiny, football shaped handles that you can only get about 2 or 3 fingers on.

Note of interest... these valves withstand very little torque through their body. Where this often comes into play is when people tighten the nuts on either side of the valve, without holding the valve tight

Paul T.
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