Sillcock screw is stuck

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by GreenTeam, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. GreenTeam

    GreenTeam New Member

    Messages:
    11
    The sillcock in front of our house is stuck in the "on" position. The handle just spins. We have tried to tighten the screw in the middle of the handle, but it won't budge. We've soaked it in WD-40 several times, even spraying some behind the handle. I'm afraid we'll strip the screwdriver slot if we keep trying to turn the screw.

    We have a hose attached with a shutoff thing on the end of it.

    I'd appreciate any advice! (We've never fixed a sillcock before, but if the fix is simple we can probably handle it.)
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Replace the whole thing...don't bother trying to fix it....
  3. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,347
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    I 2nd that.
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    And I'll third it!
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,641
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    screw

    Drill the screw head off, remove the handle, turn it off with pliers, use the same pliers to remove the screw stub, buy a new handle and screw. Or replace the valve.
  6. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    I believe we have quorum gentlemen. All in favor of replacing the valve say Aye. AyeOpposed .zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Motion carried to replace the valve. Meeting ajourned :)
  7. Herk

    Herk Plumber

    Messages:
    547
    Location:
    S.E. Idaho
    Why did you think that tightening the screw in the middle of the handle would do anything?

    You might try to push the handle in while turning and see if it will catch threads and shut off.

    But the others are right - I certainly wouldn't mess with one of those - just replace it.
  8. GreenTeam

    GreenTeam New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Thank you!

    Thank you very much for your comments, everyone!

    Well, we thought it was just a problem of the screw needing to be tightened in order to engage the handle so we could turn it off. I talked to the guy at the hardware store and he thought maybe the problem isn't really about the screw not turning, but whatever the screw usually screws into (the valve?) is broken.

    For a while, after the handle "popped out" we could push it back in and it would catch and stay in for a while, but not anymore.

    So, it sounds like this fix might be easy enough for a DIY job? We just force (drill) the screw off, take the handle off, use a pliers to turn the nut to an "off" position, remove the screw stub, and then replace with a new handle and screw?

    If the valve is broken or bad, is that an easy fix too? We are not good with sodering or anything more advanced like that.

    Thank you!
  9. GreenTeam

    GreenTeam New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Oh, and just to clarify, when you guys say "replace it" you mean replace the handle and screw, or handle and screw and valve, right? And the valve is the 2 or 3-inch long thing behind the handle? In other words, we don't have to deal with any pipes inside the house, right?

    (Sorry, we are beginners, but we can learn, LOL!)
  10. GreenTeam

    GreenTeam New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Hmm . . . I think it is a frost-free valve, which would be inside the house. Does that affect the ability to simply replace the handle and screw?
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,013
    Location:
    New England
    the valves come in solder on and screw on...if yours is screw on, it's a matter of finding the same length replacement, and just replacing the whole valve. If it is soldered on, and you're not compentant to replace it, then you may want to enlist a friend or pay a plumber.

    You might need to completely rebuild the thing for it to work right, and even then, if the valve seat is worn or damaged, or the internal threaded components are stripped, it can't be fixed, and must be replaced.
  12. Mid Night Illusions

    Mid Night Illusions New Member

    Messages:
    9
  13. GreenTeam

    GreenTeam New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Thank you! I guess we'll hope it's the screw-in type. We can't find the corresponding pipes in the crawl space in that part of the house. Maybe they are behind a floor joist? Might be hard to get to.
  14. GreenTeam

    GreenTeam New Member

    Messages:
    11
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