Radiators Valves Stop Cocks and other plumbing jobs

posted Feb 7, 2011, 1:13 PM by Jim Sear
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 
After you've read this post - go and do it!
I get called to so many homes on small plumbing jobs. A dripping overflow, a tap washer worn out, a toilet cistern not flushing. As I've said before, basic plumbing is simple. BUT.... it's made a whole lot more difficult when the stop cocks are siezed. Thankfully, most people don't have to suffer household plumbing emergencies too often. But when something springs a leak it needs to be dealt with straight away
What I want to do is ask you to do one simple thing twice a year. It will save you a lot of heartache, and it may save you money in the early replacement costs of the valves.
Stopcocks seize up if left untouched for too long, so turn it off and on again every six months. If it's stiff or doesn't turn off (clockwise), a pair of pliers may help, but don't force it too hard - stopcocks can shear off and cause a real flood. When you've found your stopcock - label it in case of emergencies. Next time you have someone in to do some plumbing, ask which other valves will isolate hot or cold water, and label them too.
If you can't find a stopcock inside the house, then there should be one outside the house, it's better to find it before an emergency arises!  Now you've read this - go and find them NOW while it's fresh in your mind - otherwise you'll have to do it in an emegency.