Painted over tap is stuck


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Hello all,

I have a cold water tap to a toilet cistern which was totally painted over by the previous owners.

I need to shut the tap to fix the valve in the cistern, however, the tap is stuck in the open position.

I have applied a generous helping of paint remover to the tap and then scraped off the paint with a scraper. I then put some WD40 to what I believe is the top of the thread. However, I can still see rests of paint in the small gap where the central metal "pole" enters the tap - the bit that you turn.

Of course the tap is still stuck. I have tried with an adjustable spanner but it doesn't move.

I don't want to pull too hard for fear of breaking the tap - and there is no other tap to close the water supply should something go wrong.

What's your opinion? Should I just repeat the procedure - paint remover, WD40 - until I'm successful? Or is it hopeless from the start? Is there a magic trick?

All answers welcome.
 
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Are you sure that the tap is not already off ? and the washer is still passing water. :)
It is not uncommon.
Under the tap handle and down the shaft there should be a small nut (the stuffing box gland nut) Try to slacken this nut whilst holding the tap handle still. Often this is what is stuck and is the only place paint could have any effect.
If you can undo this nut a couple of turns try turning the tap again, if it is still stuck you know this is not your problem.

A careful application of heat often helps.

There is always a danger of shearing off the handle but they can usually be moved.
If you get it to move, unscrew the gland nut completely and slide it up to the handle dig out any packing from below the nut with a small hooked tool,slap in a bit of silicone grease and a few wraps of PTFE tape and replace the gland nut (not to tightly)
When a tap is turned on it should always be turned back off half a turn.
Pete
 
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Are you sure that the tap is not already off ? and the washer is still passing water. :)
It is not uncommon.
Under the tap handle and down the shaft there should be a small nut (the stuffing box gland nut) Try to slacken this nut whilst holding the tap handle still. Often this is what is stuck and is the only place paint could have any effect.
If you can undo this nut a couple of turns try turning the tap again, if it is still stuck you know this is not your problem.

A careful application of heat often helps.

There is always a danger of shearing off the handle but they can usually be moved.
If you get it to move, unscrew the gland nut completely and slide it up to the handle dig out any packing from below the nut with a small hooked tool,slap in a bit of silicone grease and a few wraps of PTFE tape and replace the gland nut (not to tightly)
When a tap is turned on it should always be turned back off half a turn.
Pete
Thanks Pete, that is quite a lot of good tips to go after. I already thought noone had any ideas at all :)

I'll try them and will get back to you.
 
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Hi petej

Just tried the gland nut and indeed, it moves a little.

However, I'm not sure if I should turn clockwise or anti-clockwise, seen from the top of the stopcock (yes, just looking over my old post, I called it a tap, but it is more appropriately called a stopcock, I guess).

There is resistance in either direction after about 1/8 turn and I'm afraid to damage something. The handle is not moving while I turn the gland nut.

As to whether the stopcock is already off and the washer is passing water, in this flat everything is possible, I guess, but somehow I don't believe that is the problem.

PS: Thanks for your other more general tip, as well, of turning an open tap back half a turn. I went through all the other stop cocks in my flat and made sure that is the case :)
 
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Hi mariposa
Looking down onto the tap handle the gland nut will loosen by turning it anticlockwise.
It is quite common for it to turn just a little bit to start with but if you work it back and forwards it should turn more. Don't turn too much clockwise or the nut will just stop when it tightens up in the thread once this nut is loose there is little to stop the tap turning unless it is right at one end of it's travel.
Good luck
Pete
 

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