If you need to turn off water to an area quickly, the last thing you'll want deal with is a valve that won't budge. Watch as we show you how to fix a stuck water shut-off valve so you can stop the flow of water and start your cleanup and repairs. Once your stuck water shut-off valve is fixed, be sure to test several times throughout the year to maintain mobility. After all, you never know when you'll need to use it. For more ways to keep your bathroom in tip-top condition, visit our Bathroom Tips and Maintenance page.
Have you ever tried to turn off the water to a sink or toilet, only to find that the shut-off valve seems stuck in place? This happens when the rubber seat inside the valve dries out or becomes coated with lime and minerals. It's a good idea to exercise these valves a couple times a year by moving the faucet handle back and forth so it will move freely and easily in any emergency that requires that the water be turned off. But if the valve won't budge, be careful. Forcing it counterclockwise could break the valve if it's already open all the way. Use a pair of Channellock pliers to slowly move the valve in the clockwise direction at least a half-turn. Then carefully move it back in the counter-clockwise direction. Remember, lefty-loosey and righty-tighty. Repeat the process moving it a bit more each time until the valve seat loosens and turns with less effort. If the valve's chrome handle starts to spin freely, use a screwdriver to tighten the setscrew to hold it in place, then try moving the valve handle again. [Roto-Rooter jingle]