I have an interesting winter problem. The Orbit sprinkler controller, which has a brass screw-on fitting, has seized on its faucet (a zinc or nickel coated recessed stopcock — a winterized outdoor faucet if you will).

The two appear to have bonded chemically - I tried to remove with a wrench and I almost sheared the faucet off the wall. I tried seeping in some WD-40 for starters, but it does not seem to have done any good.

Any suggestions? Am I the only doofus with a sprinkler controller seized atop its faucet? It needs to come off for the winter, there can be no water beyond the stopcock's valve in the system, or the winter will freeze it.

  • Both answers have good points - you need to hold the faucet so you can apply force without stressing its connection further up the line. Heat is good. Penetrant (PB-Blaster, Kroil, etc.) can be helpful. I would not START with the assumption that you need to destroy the controller, but I would accept that, if focussed application of heat and torque don't get you there without destroying it.
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 28, 2020 at 0:22

3 Answers 3


Both times I have encountered hose faucets with devices seemingly fused onto the hose threads were when somebody (not me) assembled them without a hose washer.

Whether or not this is the case in your situation, you will definitely need to back up your attempts to disconnect the fitting with a substantial wrench on the faucet itself, to prevent twisting the supply pipe or breaking something. Depending on how important this is to you, you may even need to purchase a special wrench due to the recessed configuration of your faucet; maybe something like this:

enter image description here

In the end, you may need to use destructive methods to remove it, which hopefully would preserve the hose faucet but sacrifice the controller. You could use a small extending hacksaw to cut the attachment nut...


Destroy the sprinkler controller and hit it with a propane torch and real penetrating oil not "water displacement formula 40". Use PB Blaster or equivalent. Be careful not to overheat it you don't want to unsweat it from the faucet. The faucet rubber washer may not survive this.


Heat is the traditional way to expand a thing; larger circumference = less points of contact, so once expanded you could tap it a few times to loosen it up. Other answers cover that.

Less destructive is cold. Get some dry ice and hold a piece in a pliers to cool the faucet down. Assuming here the faucet is the male part. When it shrinks relative to the sprinkler controller you might be able to get things apart, and without damaging anything with heat.

I invented this for getting wedged coins out of disposals. If it does not work you are out the cost of dry ice.

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.