How to Loosen a Stuck Water Valve

Loosening tight stuck water valves and water shut off valves needs patience. Always follow up with regular plumbing maintenance to avoid getting stuck valves again. Give each plumbing valve a good twist twice a year to try and keep them free. This is usually sufficient to ensure that valve deposits loosen and fall off before a build-up occurs.

Before you start, please do shut off the water supply. If the mains valve inside your property is the problem, then you might need to turn off the external stop tap. Your local water authority usually control the supply tap on your road or driveway. It is important to seek permission from your local water authority to turn this tap off as there is always a possibility that a valve might crack or a pipe might break.

Once the supply is off, use a wire brush dipped in white vinegar to rub away residue around the valve. Carefully tapping the pipe can help to remove residue between the screw threads.

Use purpose designed plumbing safe penetrating oil next. Apply oil where it can reach all moveable parts. Allow the oil to work for at least fifteen minutes. Then try twisting the valve to see if it will turn. You might need to apply the oil several times, and the whole process could take 24hrs.

If the oil method doesn’t work, then you can try heat. As metal expands when heated, the expansion can crack the deposits causing the valve trouble. Heat can also melt residues enough to start the valve moving.

If oil and heat don’t work, then it’s time to either pick up a wrench or pick up a phone for further assistance. Our local plumbers and engineers cover the whole of London from North London, Central London to the South East.

If you need help from a local plumber in Chelsea, Balham, Romford, Watford, Isington or across London, simply contact Plumb London today. You can call us, email us, chat online or fill in our contact form.