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Thread: Sillcock screw is stuck

  1. #1

    Default Sillcock screw is stuck

    The sillcock in front of our house is stuck in the "on" position. The handle just spins. We have tried to tighten the screw in the middle of the handle, but it won't budge. We've soaked it in WD-40 several times, even spraying some behind the handle. I'm afraid we'll strip the screwdriver slot if we keep trying to turn the screw.

    We have a hose attached with a shutoff thing on the end of it.

    I'd appreciate any advice! (We've never fixed a sillcock before, but if the fix is simple we can probably handle it.)

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Default

    Replace the whole thing...don't bother trying to fix it....

  3. #3
    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    I 2nd that.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    And I'll third it!

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default screw

    Drill the screw head off, remove the handle, turn it off with pliers, use the same pliers to remove the screw stub, buy a new handle and screw. Or replace the valve.

  6. #6
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    I believe we have quorum gentlemen. All in favor of replacing the valve say Aye. AyeOpposed .zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Motion carried to replace the valve. Meeting ajourned

  7. #7

    Default

    Why did you think that tightening the screw in the middle of the handle would do anything?

    You might try to push the handle in while turning and see if it will catch threads and shut off.

    But the others are right - I certainly wouldn't mess with one of those - just replace it.
    Steve's Plumbing Service

  8. #8

    Default Thank you!

    Thank you very much for your comments, everyone!

    Well, we thought it was just a problem of the screw needing to be tightened in order to engage the handle so we could turn it off. I talked to the guy at the hardware store and he thought maybe the problem isn't really about the screw not turning, but whatever the screw usually screws into (the valve?) is broken.

    For a while, after the handle "popped out" we could push it back in and it would catch and stay in for a while, but not anymore.

    So, it sounds like this fix might be easy enough for a DIY job? We just force (drill) the screw off, take the handle off, use a pliers to turn the nut to an "off" position, remove the screw stub, and then replace with a new handle and screw?

    If the valve is broken or bad, is that an easy fix too? We are not good with sodering or anything more advanced like that.

    Thank you!

  9. #9

    Default

    Oh, and just to clarify, when you guys say "replace it" you mean replace the handle and screw, or handle and screw and valve, right? And the valve is the 2 or 3-inch long thing behind the handle? In other words, we don't have to deal with any pipes inside the house, right?

    (Sorry, we are beginners, but we can learn, LOL!)

  10. #10

    Default

    Hmm . . . I think it is a frost-free valve, which would be inside the house. Does that affect the ability to simply replace the handle and screw?

  11. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Default

    the valves come in solder on and screw on...if yours is screw on, it's a matter of finding the same length replacement, and just replacing the whole valve. If it is soldered on, and you're not compentant to replace it, then you may want to enlist a friend or pay a plumber.

    You might need to completely rebuild the thing for it to work right, and even then, if the valve seat is worn or damaged, or the internal threaded components are stripped, it can't be fixed, and must be replaced.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  12. #12

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    the valves come in solder on and screw on...if yours is screw on, it's a matter of finding the same length replacement, and just replacing the whole valve. If it is soldered on, and you're not compentant to replace it, then you may want to enlist a friend or pay a plumber.

    You might need to completely rebuild the thing for it to work right, and even then, if the valve seat is worn or damaged, or the internal threaded components are stripped, it can't be fixed, and must be replaced.
    Thank you! I guess we'll hope it's the screw-in type. We can't find the corresponding pipes in the crawl space in that part of the house. Maybe they are behind a floor joist? Might be hard to get to.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mid Night Illusions View Post
    That is extremely helpful, thank you! We'll start taking ours apart and see what we can see. Hopefully the problem is just the small screw that holds the handle on.

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