When attempting to close a valve to change the property-wide water filter, the valve closed but the plastic handle broke off. I tried to open it again with a wrench but the bit of plastic it was mounted to broke off too.

I'd cut the pipes and replace it myself, but I don't know how to relieve the water pressure without this valve. As far as I can tell, it's the only way.

1 2 3

We currently have no water because of this mistake :(

How do I open the valve, or is there any other way to relieve the pressure (preferably without flooding the pump-house)?

  • 2
    Can you close the valve on the inlet side on the filter? Then you would open a valve downstream to relieve the pressure. Then you might be able to open the stuck valve on the outlet (marked with red arrow). Jul 19, 2020 at 20:31
  • 2
    If both valves are currently closed and so the filter is pressurized but cut off from the tank, you might be able to relieve pressure by unscrewing the filter housing a bit. Jul 19, 2020 at 20:40
  • Just tuck a 5-gallon bucket up under the filter housing (have someone hold it for you) while you unscrew the filter. You, the wall, and the floor may end up a bit damp, but you won't be flooded. Once done, cut, replace, open.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 19, 2020 at 20:56
  • @JimStewart: Unfortunately we tried unscrewing the filter but the unscrew-tool broke. Presumably because of the pressure. Jul 19, 2020 at 21:39

1 Answer 1


Ok, you can do one of two things or both. Drill a 3/16" hole into the black valve stem and screw a 1/4" x 1" lag screw into it. When the screw tightens up against the valve stem turn the screw another quarter of a turn and the valve ball could/should open. The valve stops are on the handle and valve housing and since the handle is broken off, the valve ball can be opened by turning it clockwise with the lag bolt. Once pressure is released, you can replace the valve.

Now if that's too much work, just drill a hole in the valve housing where the PVC enters the top of the valve and catch the stream in a bucket. Remember to close the valve feeding the filter and use a cordless drill when drilling into pressurized water pipes. Once pressure's released, replace the valve.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.