Stuck main water valve


Old 04-30-08, 09:19 PM
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Stuck main water valve

Hello all, new user here looking for some advice! My main water valve is stuck and won't turn to shut off water to the house. About 2 yrs ago I tried to turn it, didn't know about loosening the nut on the back, cracked a pipe at the thread, asked a buddy to help and the whole pipe cracked, of course at night waiting for the water co to shut off at the street. The next weekend I was able to turn the valve easily to do the needed work. Now it's stuck again and I don't want to repeat that nightmare!

Here are pics of the valve:

This time I loosened the nut, tapped the back (as much as possible with 2" clearance to the wall), tried a short pipe on the valve handle. I have a curb key but it's not the same size.

Any advice appreciated! Thanks! Malcolm
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Old 04-30-08, 11:19 PM
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That looks like a water meter with a union on it, just underneath. Since you have some time to plan ahead, replace the valve. You'll be much better off with a valve that will work should you suddenly need one. It looks pretty straight-forward.

And if you do replace it, use a ball valve that's full-port (a valve that is the same size as the pipe all the way through).
Old 05-01-08, 12:13 AM
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That is a tapered plug valve, sometimes called a name that the automatic censor on this board will not allow to be used.

Although there are probably millions of them installed in my opinion it is a lousy valve for use on water service.

You might try this to get it moving. With the nut on the bottom (back) loosened at least one full turn (do NOT do this without the nut in place) try rapping smartly, but not whaling away, on the handle trying to close the valve. Some only move ninety degrees (they have mechanical stops either under the handle or on the bottom) so be sure to determine the proper direction to turn the handle.

Plan on doing what Steve Gro suggests and replacing that valve with a ball valve in the near future. A ball valve has a stainless steel ball that rotates and seats between two Teflon blocks and so is self lubricating. Do not be penny-wise and pound-foolish in buying the ball valve. Buy a high quality valve such as an Apollo or Watts.

Brackets from the wall that securely hold the piping at the valve are also a good idea to reduce the stress on the piping when opening and closing the valve.
Old 05-01-08, 07:35 AM
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Wow thanks for the speedy replies! It was nice to logon this morning and see answers! I was hoping for some plumber's magic secret, that I needed to use a johnson wrench or something

Oh well, another fun task added to a kitchen remodel! That cold water pipe seems to be the only one without another shutoff before it.

Thanks! Malcolm
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