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Cold water shut off under kitchen sink seized?

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  • Sep 16th, 2011 6:03 am
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 16, 2005
68 posts
1 upvote

Cold water shut off under kitchen sink seized?

I'm wanting to replace my kitchen faucet, however I'm having some trouble shutting off the water below the sink. THe hot water one can be shut off without a problem, but the cold water one seems to be seized up (or it's just really tight). Now there is a little screw in the middle of the handle which I haven't tried loosening. Could that be the issue? Should I just try to loosen the screw? I didn't have to do that for the hot water so I thought that would be a little strange. I'm wondering if it's just been in that position for a long time (my building is about 15 years old and it's probably never been shut off before).

OR... should I take a set of pliers and try to loosen off the valve that way? I don't want to break anything though. If I attempt with pliers and it actually did break off am I going to have a major leak or will it just be stuck in the "open" position until I get a plumber in to fix it? My knowledge of plumbing is minimum at best, but I think I can handle the faucet replacement provided I can shut off the cold valve. Trying to avoid an exessive plumber call.

Advice?
8 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 22, 2007
6110 posts
1093 upvotes
Mississauga
I'm not sure which brand of shut off valve you have but removing the probably philips screw in the center of the handle will only remove the handle.

First off I would shut off the main water supply and drain the faucet of all water, then I would unscrew the top assembly via a wrench. Inside will be a cartridge with a rubber seal at the bottom, (most likely installed with a flat head screw) which will most likely have to be unscrewed. Depending on the condition of the seal and or cartridge either replace them or sweat/solder on a new shut off valve. You maybe able to unseize the shut off valve but if it's that hard to turn then the writing is on the wall so to speak.

Good luck.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 16, 2005
68 posts
1 upvote
I live in a condo and don't have an individual unit main water shutoff. If i want to shut it off, I need to contact the strata and arrange for a full building shut off which I'd like to avoid. I'll try the packing nut turn and WD40 trick
Sr. Member
Mar 6, 2007
950 posts
62 upvotes
lifeguard23 wrote: I live in a condo and don't have an individual unit main water shutoff. If i want to shut it off, I need to contact the strata and arrange for a full building shut off which I'd like to avoid. I'll try the packing nut turn and WD40 trick

THe more and more of these limitations that I read, the happier I get that I didn't get a condo townhome...

Good luck with changing it!
Deal Addict
Dec 10, 2008
1710 posts
639 upvotes
Kitchener
lifeguard23 wrote: I live in a condo and don't have an individual unit main water shutoff. If i want to shut it off, I need to contact the strata and arrange for a full building shut off which I'd like to avoid. I'll try the packing nut turn and WD40 trick
are you sure? plumbing code states that each unit should have a dedicated shutoff... for just such an instance...

sometimes they are buried in a wall, and you use a brass key thingie... to shut it off...
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 22, 2007
6110 posts
1093 upvotes
Mississauga
I would find it difficult to believe that the main would have to be shut off if there is a problem with only one unit. There should be a code in effect for such problems.

You should verify this since you may run into a problem should water start spraying out when you do eventually get it to turn.
Deal Addict
Dec 9, 2003
4923 posts
763 upvotes
Calgary
Maymybonneliveforever wrote: I would find it difficult to believe that the main would have to be shut off if there is a problem with only one unit. There should be a code in effect for such problems.

You should verify this since you may run into a problem should water start spraying out when you do eventually get it to turn.

+1 even though I suggested trying the packing nut

But just to be clear , if the valve is in the fully open position, it should be "back seated" such that there would be no spraying even if you totally loosened the packing nut. But you would have to be very daring to trust me on this (and ymmv)
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 4, 2007
1990 posts
293 upvotes
Vancouver
Hi,

Do you have your own hot water tank or is the hot water supplied from 1 location in the complex? If you have your own water tank, the water tank supply shut off might also be the main water shut off for your apartment. Or there might be a main water shut off tap for your apartment near the water tank.

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