Just took a look through the archives, and although there's lots of
advice here on how to turn off the outside stopcock, none of it seems
to apply to mine.
The one I'm trying to turn off at the moment looks more like a
childproof container than a traditional tap or square section stopcock.
The main part is a strong white plastic shaped disk, maybe 10cm
across, with a black handle on the top which can fold down. On the top
of the white plastic is a very slim hexagonal metal bolt head, maybe
30mm across, and only a couple of mm high. Revealed by a cutout in the
side of the white plastic is a black plastic underbody, with lettering
"ON". It looks like the white plastic should turn an eighth or
sixteenth of a turn and reveal the word OFF.
Only one problem, it is adultproof. I can't turn it in any direction,
can't lift it, can't get the folding handle to contribute anything
useful, can't find any tools designed to help, and altough it's a good
conversation started for meeting neighbours, no-one passing along the
street seems to be able help either.
I would use the main internal stoptap rather than the outside one, but
the internal stoptap is the component I want to work on.
Any advice would be much appreciated at this point...
You don't indicate whether your water is hard or soft. It's hard here in
Last weekend I replaced two seized gate valves for the second time since
moving here in 1982, and hardwater corrosion is a real problem.
I too have a form of plastic external stoptap installed along with the
meter, and shortly after its installation I could turn it with ease.
Equally, back in 1982-85 the stopcock in my house was easily operable, but
Sorry I don't have an answer for your problem, but hard water really can be
Thanks for the reply. The water here is fairly soft, and the outside
stopcock was replaced by the water board probably only four or five
I can't move it even fractionally. I'm sure there's some technique or
some tool of which I'm unaware.
Can anyone tell me the technique or tool required ??
Someone must have some experience on these plastic stopcocks. The area
is Gloucestershire. I can't be the only person who has been fitted
with one of these. What's the secret to turning it off ? More force ?
A specific tool ? A catch or locking mechanism I didn't see ?
Just one reply from someone who's used one of these will mean I can get
on with the job !
We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the
drugs began to take hold. I remember "wetroom"
saying something like:
Is it the type that's recessed into a rounded rectangular chamber? If
so, just a 90deg twist to the left to turn off.
Who knows how old the original post was. I've never come across a plastic
one. Its not a good thing to have, I have enough trouble with a metal one.
Somebody needs to make a stopcock that after years of not moving can in fact
be moved without breaking off the stem, or fracturing the pipe or that needs
two adjustable spanners and half a ton of penetrating oil and limescale
remover to shift.
Thanks, I agree, and have asked the water board to come out and show me how it
works and where to find a key as none of the plumbers merchants have seen
anything like it. The original post is from 2006 but it's literally the only
reference online I've found after hours of searching for another stopcock like