Plumbing Question

How do i deal with a jammed mains water stoptap?

The stoptap on my mains water appears to be jammed solid and I can't turn my water off. I've tried wd40 and easing oil on the spindle to loosen it, but it's still solid. Would a heat gun on the tap assembly help? It's the type of tap which looks like a bathroom tap as opposed to a gate valve, there's no screw in the top to undo it. I don't want to snap the spindle by using grips, or rupture a pipe by twisting too hard - is there anything else i could try before having to hire a pipe freeezer and cutting it out? All advice welcomed.

EDIT: Thanks for all answers so far - as far as I can tell my house has no external stoptap (how would I recognise it within the garden/yard? Not sure what it would look like) and doesn't have a water meter. The house is an approx 115yr old end-terrace, with what loks like the adjacent street's main stoptap next to it. I'd prefer not to turn off the water for either my whole street or the adjacent one! Is there a way I can check which house/s this external tap serves? My local water company claimed they couldn't.

Thanks again.

3 Answers

Best Answer

wd 40 is not a good idea on plumbing equipment , because it may effect rubber ,fibre ,or plastic parts, you should not have to freeze the pipe to change the stop tap, there should be another stop tap outside your building. A good tip for anyone is a find your stop taps ,internal and external ,and make sure they work I would imagine your external stop tap to serve between 2 to 6 properties ,as you walk along the pavement in your street you will see them,the old ones are a metal flap about 150mm square usually with a hole in to allow you to lift it .I suspect yours might also be jammed shut and full of soil,ask your immeadiate neighbours or call your water provider to help you find it.

Answered 1st Dec 2011

sovereign plumbing and heating

Member since 23 Nov 2011


Leave the current 1 alone...

Turn the water off in the street.

I would then fit a new stopcock up from the present stopcock.

Job done turn water back on in street at your meter


Concept building services

Answered 1st Dec 2011

Concept building services

Member since 1 Jan 2008

Graham plumbing merchant offer a product called CRACK IT which is a wd40 type of lubricant but with a freezing element to it to crack all the scale etc before making it possilbe to un jam the tap. It has worked for me on several occassions when nothing else has. Otherwise its water off externally or freeze it as u had imagined. Good luck

Answered 1st Dec 2011

Build It 24/7

Member since 1 Dec 2011

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