Fix a jammed water stop valve

Water stop valves (also known as stopcock) are rarely used and when they are, it is most likely because of a plumbing emergency.

This lack of use means that it is more than likely that the water stop valve has seized in the open position.  So how do you fix it?


Firstly – DO NOT use brute force to fix it.  A tap is never designed for brute force and all you will do is make the situation worse.  Instead, turn the miracle that is WD40.  Give it a few gentle sprays of the lubricating oil and then leave it to do its magic for 5 to 10 minutes.  Try turning the handle in both directions to help loosen the tap and fix the seized part.

If this does not fix the problem then you can take it up to a new level.  Remove the gland nut using a spanner then add some more lubricating oil.  Then try tapping it gently to help break the seizure.  Then apply some leverage with a large spanner but be careful.  Too much and you can snap the spindle.  And that will require the entire tap to be replaced.

Do not worry if you are struggling, even with the very best in tools, a lot of plumbers struggle to free up a seized tap.  It is just one of those things.

If all of this sounds like it is beyond your abilities then call in the professionals.  We are JSL Plumbing, your local plumber in Glasgow who prides ourselves on our values and our professionalism.

Call us today for all jobs big and small.


Call us today for all your plumbing services in Glasgow: 0141 406 1658

  • Quick resolution of problem and good communication.
  • Very friendly throughout the process. Clear information given and very thorough. I will be using them again!
  • JSL Plumbing & Heating replaced a kitchen and a bathroom tap and fixed a toilet where the cistern was leaking into the bowl. He was personable and professional, and provided advice on which replacement taps we might want to get for the bathroom. He provided updates on his progress throughout, and the pricing was reasonable. We have used JSL before and would happily do so again. Have also recommended this company to others.
  • Job completed to our satisfaction. Bathroom and en-suite left tidy and work completed in the timescale agreed and charged as per the quote. Good quality fittings used. Would certainly use JSL Plumbing Services again in future.
  • Jim assessed the leak, which required repair and offered an honest appraisal. He was on time, polite and carried out the work as planned. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him and would use for a larger installation in the future.
  • Had a bent radiator pipe I needed replacing and as I'd already called them out thought I'd get some bath taps fitted. I'd been putting the job off as it was in a really awkward tight place and knew it wouldn't be pleasant. The plumber was happy to help and it didn't cost me as much as I expected for the time and fiddly nature of the job.
  • Very good service with work done quickly after contacting company.

JSL Plumbing in Glasgow

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