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Old 08-24-2008, 05:19 PM   #1
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broke handle off my water main


i was tightening down my water main to do some plumbing work and the handle broke off.

what are my options here? Is there anything I can do, or do i just call a plumber and let them deal with it?

Yes I know I am an idiot.... we can discuss that another time.

Dan
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Old 08-24-2008, 05:26 PM   #2
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broke handle off my water main


Bad luck there! If need be, you could try a pair of Vice-Grips to turn it off (might try some penetrating oil on the stem to loosen it up a bit first). My concern would be what if you snap off more of the stem, what then? Since you will want a functioning on/off valve in the future without using vice-grips, you'll have to have it replaced. I'd call in a pro to have it done right as you'll have to shut the water off outside the house to replace it and it looks like galvanized piping, which is never fun to work with for the average person.

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Old 08-24-2008, 05:49 PM   #3
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broke handle off my water main


well the water is off, which is kind of good and bad. it lets me do the plumbing project i was working on, but it looks like i am not going to have any water for a day or so.

i'm gonna give the plumber a call now and see when he is available.

dan
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Old 08-24-2008, 06:28 PM   #4
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broke handle off my water main


thats a brass gate and the stem is brass?pop the piece out of the handle and file down the stem flat drill a hole into the stem and retap and screw the handle on...... or shut the street off and change the gate and guts with new handle and stem.plumber might take a suggestion and braze the handle back on the shaft...next time use a vise grip or channel locks on the shaft just under the handle to jerk it tight or reopen it.if you shut the street down where they read your meter(you can shut it there) without calling the world in to block the street off take the guts and the handle to a welder or local handyman shop and they will braze it back on...good luck
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:20 AM   #5
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broke handle off my water main


just buy a cheep pair of pliers and wire it to hang close to the valve, use it when you need it.
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:49 AM   #6
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broke handle off my water main


take the brand name stamped on the valve and its size and keep it in your wallet.then when you go to those yard sales,flea markets and see a table of plumbing/hardware and there it will be
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:58 AM   #7
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broke handle off my water main


If you use the vise grips first try not to grab at the end of the remaining stem. I would go in at least 1/4" or so. If you have any hope of salvaging it by tapping it out you don't want the brass out of round. You may find the old handle had a square or splined socket where the stem is seated.
Don't toss the handle out ...
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Old 01-31-2009, 07:06 AM   #8
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broke handle off my water main


did it work? Is the water completely off? If so I would add in a ball valve and a spigot above the broken valve and then use vice grips to open up the old one one last time.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:39 AM   #9
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broke handle off my water main


The handle probably broke off because the way the stem was made square put stresses on the metal. That spot crystallized and became brittle over the decades and therefore broke off there when you put just a little force twisting the valve shut.

Your plumber might simply file the end of the remaining stem square and put the handle back on but you have no way of knowing how much longer the old valve will last. You'll have to ask him specifically to put on a new shut off valve and you open the old valve for one last time. From your pictures, the stem itself looks OK but the condition of the linkages inside the valve is unknown.

Gate valves should always be either fully open or fully closed. Even so, wear and corrosion could result in an incomplete shutoff in the closed position after this many years, thus the desire to add another, newer, shutoff above it.
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:26 AM   #10
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broke handle off my water main


I hope he got it fixed since it happened 5 months ago!
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Old 01-31-2009, 10:17 PM   #11
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broke handle off my water main


Hopefully he is still subscribed to the thread and will give us an update. It is always nice to know the outcome.

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