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Discuss What type of valve is this and how do I turn it off? in the Plumbing Forum | Plumbing Advice area at PlumbersForums.net

Strebor

Messages
4
Hello - I have a washing machine that is connected to a gravity-fed cold-water pipe off the heating system (no idea why!) - I guess it made sense at the time.

The connection has started to leak and I need to replace/seal the compression fit tap.

Because it's gravity fed from the tank I cannot just turn off the mains water sadly.

I think that the answer may be to turn off the nearest main cold water pipe that seems to be feeding this leaking tap in the nearby airing cupboard with the hot water tank.

Thing is I don't know the best tool to do it - I'm worried putting a spanner on this may round the edged off!

Does anyone know what this valve is and the best way I can turn it off?


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steadyon

Esteemed
Messages
1,017
1. It looks a bit like a lock shield stopcock.
2. Just below the square where the handle should be there may be a knurled ring. If you can tighten that with a pair of pliers you may stop the leak if its coming from the round the spindle. Pliers on, with handles to the right, push down on the handles.
3. If its leaking from either of the securing nuts, try tightening them a bit. Not too hard or you could make it worse. Use an adjustable spanner.
4. I'm afraid your description makes little sense. If its off the heating system it won't be cold water.
5. If its fed from the the cold water storage cistern, you won't be able to turn the water off without closing your property's main stopcock and draining the cold water storage cistern. There are alternatives (freezing / bunging) but they require specialist equipment and / or knowledge.
 

Strebor

Messages
4
Hi sorry the valve is not leaking it's further down where the 15mm copper pipe joins the compression fit washing machine tap that's leaking - I need to fix that -was just trying to work out how I could cut off the water and that valve in the picture is what appears to be on the main pipe that feeds the water - I was just not sure how I could turn that valve off it seems a bit weird to me that it doesn't have a handle! I guess I could use one of those drainoff valve keys which may fit but looks like I need a bit more leverage than those will give me.

Maybe one of these?

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Thanks for the tip on the freezing! I think I will try one of those aerosol freeze kits if I can't turn off the water.
 

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Ric2013

Plumber
Messages
3,483
Don't waste your time and money freezing. And if the isolator is stiff, leave well alone otherwise you may be creating more work for yourself (unless you want to service the isolator yourself, in which case that's another matter).

Buy this Radiator Valve Change Kit - https://www.toolstation.com/radiator-valve-change-kit/p31768 or similar, or borrow a friend with a thumb to plug the outlet from the storage cistern (you can use root vegetables to plug the pipe, but there's a risk of them snapping off in the pipe...), change your washing machine tap and then you can remove the plug. As Steadyon says, it may be simpler to just drain the storage tank down before doing the work.
 

Strebor

Messages
4
In the end I did use a spray freeze kit.

I also purchased an olive puller.

I removed the olive and swapped it over to a new tap - you can see here where I sanded down paint to maximise the chance of the freeze kit working - it did... but it wasn't a nice experience - felt like I was diffusing a bomb... and in fact I only just made it.

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Ric2013

Plumber
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3,483
You're a brave man. I do have an electric pipe freezer, but this is something you can leave hooked up all day long and you aren't working against a clock. In normal circumstances I could almost certainly have done what you did in the time you had... but that isn't to say I'd want to! (Even though, being a plumber, I've got plenty of backup plans to hand when I carry out such a task.)

Well done!

How long did the freezing kit give you before it started to thaw, out of interest?
 

Strebor

Messages
4
You're a brave man. I do have an electric pipe freezer, but this is something you can leave hooked up all day long and you aren't working against a clock. In normal circumstances I could almost certainly have done what you did in the time you had... but that isn't to say I'd want to! (Even though, being a plumber, I've got plenty of backup plans to hand when I carry out such a task.)

Well done!

How long did the freezing kit give you before it started to thaw, out of interest?

Thanks. It had got about 15-20 minutes into the 30-35 minutes that they claim on the tin when someone had a shower that used a pump and the back-pressure from that blew the ice lock! Luckily I had just got the tap on so it was minimal damage. Another lesson learnt 🥴
 

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