Is your PVC ball valve hard to turn? You’re not alone. Ball valves are notoriously known for getting hard to turn over time. The best you can do is exercise them often to try and prevent sticking.
Note: Do not try and force the valve too much or the handle will definitely break off. Although some ball valves are repairable, others aren’t.
When the ball valves are getting hard to turn, it is best to replace them with diverter valves.
How to Make a PVC ball Valve Turn Easier?
Boil them in a pot of water. However, you need to bring the water temperature to just where it begins to bubble which will just soften the plastic enough to let the housing around the ball to expand a bit and it moves much easier.
Yes, you need to take them from your plumbing to do it, or find a means to heat the valve without the plastic too much.
Use your two hands to apply equal pressure, lest you break the handle, and begin excercising the valve on a frequent basis.
Tap it a bit with hammer (BUY ON AMAZON). Next, place the pipe wrench around the valve handle to turn it. Use the wrench to turn the handle.
If the first 3 solutions don’t work for you, take the handle off and spray with some silicone lube. Now, put the handle back on and see if it helps, if not, you will need to replace it.
You’ll find a screw on top, if not try squirting the spray and twist the handle as you’re doing it, and work the lube down into the ball of the valve.
Most pool stores sell “Magic Lube (BUY ON AMAZON)” or “Jack’s Lube (BUY ON AMAZON)”. It’s aim is to make O rings seal well. It is supposedly safe for plastic, rubber, etc. I removed the fittings on our PVC ball valves and rubbed some on the ball part. Now, they can turn with ease.
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Alternative to PVC Ball Valves
Brass gate, or brass ball valves are better alternatives and are very easy to turn.
Depending on your piping size, I would also recommend Hayward, Pentair, Jandy, Compool type valve. They are simple to operate and can be rebuilt. I can gurantee they will turn when you need them to.