Stuck Water Shutoff Valve?

3 Replies

Need advice on super stuck water shutoff valves in a much older house.  Multiple stuck valves throughout the house and at the main shutoff within the house. We were able to shut it off from outside the house near the street for some quick repairs, but this isn't the best situation. 

Didn't want to force it for fear of breaking the valves. Is there something/a substance we can apply to help loosen the valves?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


This is pretty different than what you're asking, but... depending on the house it isn't that expense to put in all new waterlines.  If they're old galvanized pipes they're probably all rusted out anyways and it's nice to have a whole new pex system. I just had one done in a little rambler for about $3k. If you're the homeowner it seems like a DIY project.

You could try some penetrating oil on the valves and see if it gets in there far enough to do any good.

@Mac L.

If they are the old school gate type valves (they turn multiple items to open and close) they should be replaced with ball valves. (1/4 turn from full on to full off)

You can probably get away with just doing the main house one (I almost always do these even if working) the rest are up to you. Find a Plumber you can pay a set fee for replacing “x” number of gate valves. 

Have you tried spraying something on it (like WD40, but not necessarily WD40)?  If not, spray it on, wait a while for it to soak in, apply more and repeat.  This is assuming rust is the problem.

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