YOUR MAINS WATER STOPCOCK – HOW THEY WORK – FIXING LEAKS – Plumbing Tips

Posted by in Plumber Talk, on June 8, 2017


How your mains water stopcock or valve works. How to fix leaks or undo if they are seized. We also cover how to replace the washer and re-seat the valve.

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This video covers the world of mains water stopcocks or valves. We tell you where to find them, how to turn them off, what to do if they don’t seal, if they leak and how to fix any problems. I hope this helps! PP!

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Hold tight and welcome to today’s plumberparts.co.uk video. Today we’re gonna be having a quick look at this world. The world of stop cocks. It’s not gonna be a very long video. But we’ve been requested by someone who said earlier on that their stop cock, when they turned it off, basically wouldn’t turn off the water. So it’s very very similar to a tap washer change. But also what we’re gonna do is look at, sometimes the leak that you get on a stop cock, the gland leak you get. And also the importance of actually working these every so often. So I hope this video is gonna give you a little bit more insight into how stop cocks work, what you should do to them periodically to make sure that they still work and if they do fail, how easy they are to fix. But before we begin, if you haven’t subscribed, please click on the subscribe button that you can see flashing up in the corner now and let’s get on with the video. See you in a sec. So without further adieu, let’s go into the world of the stop cock. Hold tight.
Now the first thing you want to have a look at is that these have an arrow on them to denote which way the water must come through. So your mains water coming from the road or wherever it is, will go into this hole here and come out at that hole there. So always take not of that arrow. Secondly if we have a look inside here, we’ll just pop it down in the vice so you can get a really really good look. You can see what happens when I twist this knob inside and out. So you should be able to see here as I twist this inside and out, can you see that just inside here you can see that jumper up and down.
So what we’re gonna do is gonna open this up in a sec and you’ll be able to see exactly how this creates a water tight seal and shuts off your water. All the things you said, All the things you said, running through my head, running through my head, running through my head. So when you work on one of these to see what you need to do, there really really easy. Make sure for a start that it’s undone but not fully. So we just undone like so. And the you can get a nice adjustable on here. Often obviously you’re not gonna have one of these in a vice, you’d have a pair of grips holding the body. This bit can be really really tight. And it’s the first part of any of the problems that you might have in a minute. So we’re just gonna give that a good old pull.
So first thing we’ve got our fibre washer here. Now what this does, this sits on this collar here and creates a water tight seal when you tighten this thread up on to there. Now that’s the first place that some of these can actually leak. The thing you want to do is, often is you’ll find that the fibre washer’s even fallen apart and you might need to get a replacement. Often what people will do though, is they’ll wrap a load of PTFE around here and then pop that back in. The problem about that is it doesn’t quite lock the fitting like a fibre washer would. So if it’s actually being worked inside and out, this bit can actually come untwisted and actually come out of the valve and create even more of a problem. A lot of the time also people can put rubber washers on there and bits of PTFE. But I’d always recommend trying to replace this fibre washer. This bit here is super important. This is a rubber washer.
Now when one of you guys messaged us in and said to us, my stop cock, when I turn it off, water seep keeps coming out. The first problem that you’re gonna probably find is that this rubber washer has basically fallen apart completely and isn’t very happy anymore and is basically letting water through. And it isn’t creating a water tight seal on to the metal bit that you saw a minute ago. But if we look at it from above, it looks a little bit like this. So if you look closely you’ll see that our rubber washer presses down on this little flat of metal here and if that’s got any nicks in it as well, then you need to use a tap re-seating tool to grind out that brass and make that nice and flat again. We did a video about how to reseat taps about five years ago when I was probably about two stone heavier. And yeah had more hair. So I’ll leave a link to that in the description below and you’ll be able to see how that works there.

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