How would you replace this stop tap?

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by FredrickTheLizard44, May 1, 2022.

  1. FredrickTheLizard44

    FredrickTheLizard44 New Member

    Hi All,

    I have a slightly leaking stop tap. However, I can't seem to see how this stop tap would come off the pipes. There doesn't seem to be any nuts on the points highlighted in red.

    Would the full thing just need to be cut out and replaced? It's from a house built in 1963. I can't find anything online either.

    Attached Files:

  2. Mr right first time

    Mr right first time Active Member

    Yeah your going to need to chop that valve out.

    Once it’s cut out, you need to properly clean the pipe work. You can but this little gadget to help.
  3. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Screwfix Select

    Have you tried tightening the gland to stop it leaking?
    Cliff Rees likes this.
  4. Hausfix

    Hausfix Well-Known Member

    It looks like the fitting may be steel, with the pipework also being steel. Pipes would have been cut with a thread on the end then wound into the tap fitting. If it’s leaking from the stem, there is a nut where the leak is coming from, and sometimes you can tighten this nut and it will compress a rubber gland enough to stop the weep. Being an old tap this rubber may have degraded to the point where it won’t seal anymore. The next repair effort would involve turning the tap to its fully off position, then undo this gland nut and slide it back until it’s loose, then pack the space underneath with loads of ptfe tape and wind the gland nut back on until it’s tight again and see if that stops the weep.
  5. Hausfix

    Hausfix Well-Known Member

    If you need to replace the tap, however, switch off water in the road first, then just remove the tap head and leave the tee shaped tap body in place. This will be the large nut that’s probably painted over that will need unscrewing, chip off the paint and get a good fitting wrench or spanner on the nut once clear of paint. It will be very tight, but once undone the whole inner assembly will come out. Pop down to your local plumbers merchant with the old one and use it to match a new one. Simply screw the new tap head in place with ptfe and will be as good as new.
  6. FredrickTheLizard44

    FredrickTheLizard44 New Member

    The tap is seized unfortunately.
  7. FredrickTheLizard44

    FredrickTheLizard44 New Member

    I imagine I can just use my main internal stoptap before changing this, rather than the outside one? As the main internal one does shut off the water supply to my house.
  8. Hausfix

    Hausfix Well-Known Member

    Sure, I made the assumption that this leaking tap was your mains internal stopcock, with this in mind, you need to work out where this leaking tap is connected to before dismantling. If it’s connected to the cold water tank in the loft or the hot water tank, shutting of the mains supply won’t stop water gushing from this tap if you open it up. Be aware of this. If you can work out what the pipe is connected to, let us know and we can give better advice.
  9. FredrickTheLizard44

    FredrickTheLizard44 New Member

    Oh. I can see why you thought that. We have an outside toilet and this is the stoptap purely for that so it controls the toilet and the sink inside there. The stoptap is linked to the cold water mains.

    One good thing about older houses is it's quite easy to trace pipes, thankfully, as they aren't buried in walls like modern houses.

    The stoptap underneath my kitchen sink controls the full house. I tried this last month, as I like to know where things are in case of "WHAT IF" scenarios.
  10. Hausfix

    Hausfix Well-Known Member

    If you’re totally sure this is a mains water feed, then my advice about unscrewing the tap head and taking it to a plumbers merchants to find an exact match is probably still you’re best option.
  11. FredrickTheLizard44

    FredrickTheLizard44 New Member

    I'm going to contact my plumber tomorrow and get him booked in for the end of the month. It isn't bad, it just weeps, so around it feels wet and there's no damage to the walls or floor.

    New home owner here so my DIY skills don't stretch far from a hammer and a drill, will see what the plumber says, he'll know what the best course of action is.

    I wouldn't have known about it until the other day, when I was in there, I've been using it to store stuff in and I noticed the previous owners had wrapped some red tape around the pipe. At first I didn't think much to it and for some reason assumed it was there to tell us that red = hot water pipe. After investigating, it's there to stop the weep. Lazy previous owners, clearly. It's been like that for well over 5 months, so I'm sure it'll be okay for the next 4 weeks.
  12. Hausfix

    Hausfix Well-Known Member

    Yeah, it’ll be fine for another few weeks. When the plumber is there, ask him to check the condition of all the other stop valves to make sure they are all functioning ok. Never know when you may need to rely on them to be working ok and not jammed open!
  13. FredrickTheLizard44

    FredrickTheLizard44 New Member

    Thank you for your help!

    This is the only one that isn't working. Like I say, the main internal one is fine.

    I tried the external one by hand and I couldn't turn it. It's one of those where I think I may need a stoptap key, as it's buried down in the ground. I have long arms and laid down to reach it but of course my lower body strength might not have been enough to turn it, as it's deep.

    Quick question, is it normal to not be able to turn them by hand? It's the same classic brass tap ones. I am going to buy a stoptap key this week, just in case. But I don't want to mess around with it right now, as my internal one does the exact same job.

    The external one is the responsibility of my water company, I asked them last week who's responsible for it.
  14. Hausfix

    Hausfix Well-Known Member

    It is the responsibility of the water company to replace it if it has failed, but yeah, if you can only just reach it you probably can’t exert enough force to turn it if it’s not been turned for a while. A stopcock key will more that likely be able to get it going if it’s a little stiff.
  15. FredrickTheLizard44

    FredrickTheLizard44 New Member

    I would like to know if it works or not but I have heard stories where people have turn them and struggled to get them back on.

    Do you reckon if I contacted the water company and said I'd like them to service it i.e. check to make sure it's working, they'd come and do that? I feel like if I do it and it does go wrong then it's on me.
  16. Hausfix

    Hausfix Well-Known Member

    You could play it safe by just turning it a quarter turn, if it starts moving, turn it back again and there’s a 90% chance it’s fully functional without having to go any further.
  17. FredrickTheLizard44

    FredrickTheLizard44 New Member

    This is a good idea. Thank you.
  18. Hausfix

    Hausfix Well-Known Member

    Even if you did turn it off fully and it failed, you wouldn’t be held liable for its replacement btw. It’s there to serve a purpose and if it doesn’t, it’s up to the water company to remedy that fault.
  19. FredrickTheLizard44

    FredrickTheLizard44 New Member

    That is very true. I find it odd that I'm with Yorkshire Water, they confirmed they're responsible for it but on their website under the "Who's responsible for what", they explain it / show diagrams that anything away from the public roads and public footpaths isn't their responsibility but when I contacted them directly, spoke to my plumber before and looked online it all says they're responsible.

    So I really don't understand the information on their website. Besides, what plumber would dig up a footpath to sort an external stoptap? Probably non.
  20. Hausfix

    Hausfix Well-Known Member

    I’ve always been under the impression that any pipework that is directly after the stopcock / water meter is the responsibility of the homeowner. Anything before that is the water company unless there is some act of negligence, such as a digger going through a water main in the road.. that’ll lead to a very large bill.

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