View Full Version : Help - water shut off chipped and grooves damaged

05-13-2007, 04:47 PM

This started as a simple DIY job of fixing a dripping Delta shower head (either replacing the seats/springs or replacing the whole cartridge).

What has happened now is that in the process of turning off the water supply, which was recessed about 1 inch behind the shower stall tiles on either side of the cartridge/sleeve/lever, I've found that the slot where the screwdriver fits into the shut off BEGAN TO CHIP!!!.

Anyways, so I proceeded gingerly, and I was able to shut it off, replace the springs for the Delta, and i was hoping to turn it back on to test it.

But now as I try to open up the water again, the shut off began chipping even more. So I stopped immediately and switched to needle-nose pliers; then a pair of flat pliers, and finally needle-nose vice-grips.

It's gotten to the point now that the grooves are starting to show damage, and I don't want to attempt any further "screwing" or "plying" for fear of causing irreversible damage that would require me to replace the whole water shut off part...which would be horrible because I'm guessing that would require blowing out the tile to gain access to that part!!!!

Can anybody suggest how to handle this problem?? Is the vice grip and a bit more patience and elbow grease the way to go??

I wish there was just a tool that looked like a screwdrivers, but with a head that fit nicely over the grooves of the shut off. But now I'm afraid even such a tool, if it exists, won't help because of the damage to the grooves.

05-13-2007, 06:12 PM
It's probably crudded up on the inside as well. I'd shoot it with PB Blaster and let it sit awhile. Then go at it gingerly with some type of plier.
If you can get the water turned back on with that valve, then I would make a mental note to never ever touch it again. :D

05-13-2007, 08:01 PM
Thanks - is PB Blaster available in Canada?
What exactly does it do - does it work like a WD-40?

05-13-2007, 08:09 PM
WD-40 isn't really designed as a lubricant - it's name stands for "water displacement, trial 40". It works great at that, and okay for temporary lubrication. PB blaster is a penetrating lubricant. Have no idea if it is available in Canada.

05-13-2007, 08:21 PM
If you have auto repair shops, then you have PB Blaster or something equivalent. Go to an auto parts store. It's generally used to "crack" rusted nuts and bolts on vehicles.

05-14-2007, 08:17 AM
The auto guys like PB Blaster and Kroil, I think Kroil is available at NAPA if you have those in Canada, which I don't think you do, but it should be carried at a auto parts store.



05-16-2007, 08:52 PM
Perhaps, look into re locating a water shut off valve in a more accessable location if possible...