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Stuck lower drain faucet

Aveeight Member Posts: 29
My steam boiler hasn't been drained in ... ever? We just moved in a few months ago so I am trying to get up to speed on the system and one thing I learned was draining out the muck was a good idea. So I tried this last week...and the lower drain faucet is totally stuck. Any good ideas how to un-stick it without having someone come and break it off and replace it with a new one? I can't imagine January is a good time for open-boiler surgery.

And even if I get it open now - what are the chances it will leak constantly when I try to shut it again?


  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    edited January 2011
    If it were a brand-new boiler, ...

     you could unscrew the valve and screw another one in.. You might want to wrap the threads with two or three turns of Teflon tape -- or tape and pipe dope. But if that were the case you would probably just open the valve and drain the boiler.

    I am just a homeowner, and I find doing minor plumbing pretty easy, inclucing soldering copper tubing up to 1/2 inch. My house is over 50 years old, and evan the easiest tasks can assume monumental proportions. As an example, my outdoor hose bib was dribbling slightly, so I decided to change the washer. I turned off the shutoff just inside only to find it leaked too, so I turned off the main shutoff to the house that, it turned out, also leaked. These were all globe valves. I took the hose bib apart, but when I touched a screw-driver to the screw that held the washer, the head fell off. I could not remove the rest with plyers becase the brass had turned to sponge. I called a plumber at that point and I have a new hose bib that shuts off inside the house, a new ball valve to shut off the hose bib, and a ball valve for the main valve to the house.

    I bet your drain valve is like my hose bib. Call a professional who should have all the needed tools and parts in his truck. It will save you headaches.
  • meplumber
    meplumber Member Posts: 678
    Time to call a pro for this one.

    Opening up a steam boiler and bringing it back up to temp is not a difficult task for most pros.  We all have ways to get those stubborn things out.  It is very easy to make a bad situation worse if you aren't on your game. 

    Call for some help on this one.
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