kitchen stopcock problems

I've just spent 2 hours getting the built-in diswasher out (buggerit) at
mum and dad's house (built 1960) to have a look at why the stopcock is
stuck. Well, the shaft was all crudded up, so I slackened off the gland
nut and got it all freed up.
However, when I came to turn the water off, it didn't. We nearly got
there, but when fully closed, the water still trickles through.
Anyway, the water main is lead and the stopcock is lead at one end
(sweated to the lead pipe) and copper compression at the other. I Can't
therefore change the stopcock without working on the lead pipe, which I
don't particulary want to do.
So, the current plan is to go to Wickes tomorrow and purchase the following:
1. New stopcock
2. Assorted washer kit
3. Tap reseating tool (Monument if poss)
4. Pipe freezing kit
5. Another pipe freezing kit
The plan then being to try and fix the existing stopcock one way or another.
1. The Monument tap reseater has taper (cone) and parallel versions. Any
idea which version I might need?
2. If I buy a new 15mm stopcock, what is the chance I can use the moving
parts from the new stopcock on the body of the old stopcock?
3. Alternatively, can I buy a "service kit" for a 1960 stopcock?
4. Do Wickes pipe freezing kits work on lead pipe?
5. Do you really get 40-45 mins of working time with the pipe freezing kit?
Ta, Rumble
Reply to
Can you not just install another stopcock a few inches downstream of the old one? Freeze the copper pipe or just work quickly & put up with the trickle.
Reply to
The Medway Handyman
Could do that, but it gets teed off all over the place just after the stopcock, and also runs upstairs with the hot water pipe, so I was trying to avoid reworking a load of stuff...
Reply to
In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
As long as the existing stopcock doesn't leak to the outside world, I wouldn't do any of the above - I'd fit a full-bore quarter turn lever valve *after* the stopcock, and leave the original cock fully open. If there's only a trickle when it's closed, you should be able to fit the new valve without too much of a flood. Anyway, isn't there an external stopcock which you can turn off while you're doing the work?
Reply to
Roger Mills
As I just said to Dave, the space where the existing stop cock is is small and messy, so I was trying to fix the existing stopcock as a first option.
We think that we remember a stop cock access cover on the pavement at the end of the drive, but it seems to have disappeared since crappy council contractors came and over-surfaced the pavement with gunk about ten years ago...
Reply to
================================== Council workmen often tape over stopcock covers and similar things before re-surfacing pavements. Do a bit of exploratory work on the pavement close to your garden wall and possibly save yourself a lot of work. A large magnet or portable metal detector might help. You might even be lucky and find a few gold sovereigns at the same time.
Reply to
You shouldn't need a reseating tool: that's for taps which get worn by a trickle of water leaking past a worn washer eroding away the seat because the tap's in the closed position. The stopcock's normally open so no erosion. It's probably just the washer that's knackered. Sometimes the head with the handle and jumper is interchangeable with one off a new stopcock, othertimes you have to disassemble and service.
Seriously, I'd locate the stopcock in the street and turn that off. If it's an old house in a prole area it'll probably be shared among up to half a dozen houses, so may be outside next-door+n's rather than theirs. Choose a time when other folks aren't likely to be upset by not having water for a while. And be prepared for occasional gushes of water from neighbours' pipework when they open a tap of flush a loo and the water trapped in their pipes gets let back down and out of your stopcock.
Reply to
John Stumbles
Often the stop cock is a gate valve:
Crud can build up in the seat where the moving bit goes into.
I'd try:
Fully open a direct fed tap, eg kitchen cold. Close the stopcock slowly then open and close a few times.
If there's crud in there the restricted flow through it /might/ just free it.
If no luck then it's time for Plan B...
cheers, Pete.
Reply to
Pete C
Whatever you do make sure you have a plan B & C ! Finding an outside stopcock would be a priority - try the utility company providing the water.
Reply to
In article ,
The alternative is to fit a new stopcock downstream of the original in the copper.
In all likelihood a new washer will sort it.
You'll be able to tell with it dismantled. ;-)
You might find a new one where the top part will fit the original body.
Can't you just turn it off at the street stopcock?
Reply to
Dave Plowman (News)
Please seriously consider what happens WHEN[1] you've buggered the stopcock so you can't reassemble it, you've run out of freezer spray and the pipe is starting to thaw.
I strongly suggest you find the upstream stopcock in the street.
In my years of plumbing I've never yet needed my freezer kit.
[1] Sod's Law
Reply to
John Stumbles
A friend had this problem a while back. We found out that the water company are obliged to disconnect the supply in the street for free. In this case they couldn't find their own stopcock so came back the following day and installed a new one, a nice little plastic job with a tap you can turn by hand. I certainly wouldn't give myself the stress of working with mains pressure when there's no need
Reply to
Stuart Noble
I have a similar problem and even worse the street stopcock was very stiff and down a deep spider-infested hole. But we recently had a water meter fitted, which is very accessible and easy to shut off so we use that instead of the rising main valve.
Reply to
On 13 Dec,
At some stage I'm going to do some work on my stopcock, as it is currently under the floor and inaccessable. There is a second one under the kitchen sink though.
The problem is, after I cleaned out the hole in the footpath (wet and dry vacs are *very* useful) I discovered the (only 30 years old) stopcock has a 3/8" square shank. The norm seems to be 1/2". Where can one get a 3/8" stopcock (preferably long) key?
Reply to
We found the stopcock in the street which worked perfectly (wasn't at the end of the drive and the council contractors _had_ masked it off - nice plastic access shaft and blue-plastic-topped tap - obviously been redone in the last few years).
So it turned out that not only was the washer persihed, but the shaft holding the washer had corroded through and the shaft and nut broke off when I tried to fully close the stopcock.
Went to the plumbers' merchant and bought a 15mm stopcock and a "7lb lead" coupler.
Took the plunge and sawed off the existing stopcock - gosh, isn't lead pipe thick-walled? The lead coupler worked fine and was certainly less daunting than I expected.
All went back together a dream apart from the fact that I decided not to re-use the existing main-bonding clamp, so I had to nip out and fetch a new one.
Anyway, thanks for all your help.
Reply to
In article ,
I use my 1/2" drive socket set with a couple of long extensions. Saves having to store a little used 'proper' key. I can't remember what size bi-hex socket fitted, but it was an AF type.
Reply to
Dave Plowman (News)
In article ,
No chance of using the old body with the new top part?
That's cheating. Far more fun to do a copper/lead wiped joint. ;-)
Hmm. These days the water main shouldn't be used to provide the earth - you can't guarantee it's not plastic a few feet away.
The bonding for the house services should be on the house side of the stopcock.
Reply to
Dave Plowman (News)
This was what Dad wanted to do. The guy in the plumbers' merchant dismissed the notion out of hand saying that they were by no means standard in this respect. Ho hum.
Again, Dad started going on about what they would have done in his day. I wasn't prepared to take responsibility tho'...
Main water not used to provide earth. I'm talking about main bonding conductor between mains earth terminal by CU and house side of stopcock.
Yes, that's what I'm referring to. Had to replace a short piece of tube on house side of original stopcock which had the earth bond on it.
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