How to Open Stuck Plumbing Shut-Offs

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Opening stuck plumbing shut-offs is something that you have to do very carefully to avoid any long term damage. Open stuck plumbing shut-offs with help from a foreman for Lighty Contractors in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Plumbing Repair
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Video Transcript

Good day, everyone, I'm Joshua Clement with Lighty Contractors, and today I'm going to talk to you about how to open a stuck shut-off valve. Now, for this job we'll be using a rag. You don't want to use any specific tools like a pipe wrench or anything like that, because a lot of times, people will torque that too hard and actually break their water lines. So here we have a gate valve. A lot of times what causes these to stick is a calcium, lime and rust buildup inside on the bushings. So, you want to make sure that when you're trying to open it, you grab the base of it. That way you're not just twisting and snap those water lines. I like to use the rag, that way I don't hurt my hand trying to get on there and put a little bit of torque on there. So, you'll grab it with the rag covering the handle, and you'll move it as far as you can one way, and then work it back and kind of over-tighten it the other way, and then work it back the other way, and you kind of just want to rock it back an forth, helping to break up all that stuff that's built up on the inside. Once you just get it a little bit, a lot of that stuff will start to wash through, and you'll start getting some water through there. So you just rock it back and forth, make sure you bring it all the way closed, then open it as much as you can, then all the way closed. Just rock it back and forth. Then eventually, it will go ahead and break loose to where you can open it up. Now a lot of times when it's froze shut like this you'll have a problem actually getting it shut all the way to shut the water off. So the way that you fix that is go ahead, shut it off, and then open it a hair, and then shut it, and then open it a hair, and shut it. What you're doing is you're tightening that bushing inside, and actually compressing it more against the inside of your shut-off valve. I'm Joshua Clement with Lighty Contractors, I hope this video has been a help to you. Thank you all for watching and good luck with this project.

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