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Seized stopcock

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Stargazer | 21:01 Sat 29th Oct 2011 | Property
19 Answers
I have not been able to turn off my stopcock for the past few years. It is not the main stopcock, but the one just inside the kitchen wall that operates the flow to an outside tap. I always wrap this tap up in winter but would prefer to turn the water off at the stocpcock in case of severe frost.
I have been spraying WD40 regularly where it should turn but nothing happens. I would like to free it myself without having to pay a plumber. Any tips would be appreciated. I always do a half turn clockwise after I have turned my main stopcock on so I would probably have done so on this one when I last turned it on. As the outside tap drips very slowly, I think I ought to get this sorted out before this winter.

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WD might contribute to the ceasing. try a dollop of grease - or olive oil or lar, whatever is t hand and doesn't contain WD40. Slother it on and try working it gentl in by turning th tap however little bit it will go.
Does red wine not help me type ackureately?
Is it a old-style tap with the little lugs, so you could clip pliers to it? We shifted a tap with two pairs of pliers on opposite lugs, to give us extra leverage.
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I expect it is an old one (50 plus years) but I am worried about using pliers or wrenches in case something snaps and I have to turn my water off at the main stopcock. I am amazed that WD40 is the wrong stuff to use. I will try something else but may have left it too late for that to be effective as the thing has been doused in the WD40.
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Mosaic it will not move even a fraction of a mm. I has well and truly seized up.Will vaseline do to try grease?
Yep, even baby oil or cooling oil. Try covering it on a poly bag and letting it soak overnight, put some sackcloth (or whatever) round so frost can't get in.
Starry ............ the first thing to do is loosen the gland, which is the 6-sided nut around the stem of the tap. It screws into the tap body and affects the tightness of the tap.
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Thanks for your help and Builder which way do I try and turn the gland. I am afraid of using too much force and breaking something?
The gland-nut loosens anti-clockwise.
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I have just done that (loosened the gland) but the tap still won't budge.
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I have already done so Redhelen.
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Buy a new stopcock that has the correct thread, buy some ptfe thread tape, turn off your main stopcock and replace the faulty stopcock with a new one. If you break the old one trying to free it you will have to turn off your water supply until you can get a replacement, which could be very inconvenient. They only cost a fiver or so.
If you ever get this working, or you replace it, then you need to ensure that you do not turn it fully open and leave it, especially if it is made of brass. Leaving these fully open is a sure way of getting them to seize. Once you have opened it you should turn it closed about a half-turn.
Right Starry. It's really stuck down then? Even if you wrench it free from its seat, it'll probably never shut off again.
You'll need to go out to the pavement and turn off the Water Company's valve. Might be an old-fashioned one like yours, or a newer quarter turn type (probably plastic).
If you're not confident enough to remove the whole stopcock complete with backnuts and olives .......... then leave them on the pipe......... wrap a few turns of PTFE tape around the olives, and just fit the new valve body part only.
The threads should be standard 1/2" BSP, just like the new ones.
Well maybe not ..
It's after the rising main stopcock .. which should be there to turn off somewhere.
Get a spare replacement .. and try freeing the head first with some pipe grips. Just a wriggle back and forwards first. It will be brass .. and seizes because of minute deposits in the shaft/guide space.
Ooops .............. should have read the original post again :o(
Many people find the rising main is seized too .. because they never check or exercise it.

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