How to reanimate a ball valve if it is stuck

At some point you needed to shut off the water supply in the apartment or house, but all your attempts to turn the long-unused shut-off valve failed. The reason for this phenomenon is commonplace - the use of low-quality plumbing fixtures. Typically, problems arise with Chinese-made ball valves. A metal ball with a passage channel in it simply sticks to the polymer sleeve and cannot fulfill its functions.

Do not rush to call the plumbing and change the valve, there is an opportunity to restore it with minimal cost. Our task is to carefully swing the ball in the crane and make it rotate at right angles to overlap the passage section. The main advantage of this method: a complete lack of material costs is necessary, only a little time and patience.

Used tools

To perform the unlocking of the ball valve, no spare parts and accessories are required. From the bench tool, we need only a set of high-quality small keys. In the absence of such, you can use the universal gas (adjustable) wrench.

Recovery of shutoff valve

To eliminate the defect of a jammed water tap, it is necessary to provide free access to it and good lighting. The latter is extremely important because often the shutoff valves are located in closed cabinets. Works on restoration of valve mobility are carried out in the following order:

1. Unscrew the self-locking nut or unscrew the screw holding the butterfly-type rotary handle. This is done using the open-end wrench or combination spanner on “8” or “10” depending on the specific model.

2. Remove the handle. It is extremely rare to simply pull it off and therefore swing it, alternately clicking on one or the other edge. Do not try to knock on it - you just break off the flags.

3. We select an open-end wrench or adjust the gas to the size of the stem and try to turn it.

In this case, we alternately change directions: first, clockwise, then counterclockwise. The range of motion should be small - with considerable effort there is a risk of breaking the edges or breaking the stock.

4. When at least a small move appears, we slightly increase the range of movements. When performing work, it is advisable to hold the key head on the rod with one hand and turn it with the other.

5. After the stroke of the rod becomes freer and the applied effort is reduced, you can put on the handle, fix it with a nut (screw) and continue swinging until the water supply is completely shut off.

The process of restoring the shutoff valve normally takes from 10 to 15 minutes. At the same time, financial costs are zero - there is a significant savings in the family budget, and you will have a reputation as a jack of all trades.


Troubleshooting a jammed ball valve is a simple procedure, but requires caution and accuracy. The greatest danger in this case is to finally break the valve or damage your hands if the key comes off when turning the crane. In addition, there is a risk of “breakdown” of the faces on the stock, therefore it is recommended to use a high-quality open-end wrench instead of an adjustable wrench. When installing the handle, it is advisable to lubricate the stem and threads of the fastener with graphite or any other grease. This will simplify the removal of the “butterfly” next time.

It is possible to avoid sticking to a ball valve if it is periodically closed at least once every two to three weeks and opened several times. It is even better to use high-quality fittings when installing the water supply, then the described problem will not be.