I've been trying to figure out how to shut off this water supply line. Doesn't matter which way I turn it it does absolutely nothing. It still fills up and acts in exactly the same way.
It is a quarter turn valve by the way. It is in this position or it goes a quarter turn clockwise but it does the same thing nothing is different.

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  • 6
    If it's a quarter-turn ball valve then you give it a quarter turn so that the lever is perpendicular to the line. If that's not working then it's possibly broken.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 18:34
  • Unfortunately, this system won't shrink large images for you, and most phone cameras are now higher resolution than it likes.. (Grumble.) Use a PC application to reduce it and try again. In the phone, you may or may not have cropping tools which could accomplish the same thing.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 19:05
  • These types of values will stick if not exercised at least once a year - I normally go through my house and execrices each of them (two per sink 1 per toilet) about every ½ year. just closing and reopening them a couple of times is sufficient. when it looks like that and doesn't work its time to change it.
    – JoSSte
    Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 11:27
  • 3
    Does the handle stop when you turn it, or does it just keep rotating? It should stop at 0º (inline) and 90º (perpendicular) to the pipe.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 13:06
  • @JoSSte I've never had a quarter turn give the slightest bit of trouble even when left alone for many years. Multi-turn--if I need to deal with a multi-turn the first step is to replace it with a quarter turn. Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 2:36

2 Answers 2


That valve looks pretty old. In any case if the handle turns 90deg. and the result is the water is not shut off the valve is defective and needs to be replaced.

That type of valve has a ball with a hole in it. The ball is rotated so the hole is either inline with the pipes or 90 deg. to the pipes allowing the water to flow or to be stopped.

The ball is attached to the handle with a rod. Often the ball and rod are one piece. Over time the rod becomes weakened with corrosion and the ball becomes stuck with mineral deposits. When the handle is turned the torque breaks the rod and the ball does not move. The result is you believe you turned the valve off, but you have not moved the ball to block the water...so it still flows. The only option is to replace the valve.

  • Thank you so much for the information! Definitely seems to be the case, that it is not working anymore. We've only been here for a year so I honestly don't know how old it is but will be replacing it nonetheless thank you again
    – Sherri
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 20:14
  • +1 If I had a dollar for every old valve that didn't completely seal off water!
    – J D
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 21:40

Often those handles are made with really cheap soft metal / alloy. They corrode and break so will "turn" while not turning the shaft.

I have removed the handle and turned the shaft with an adjustable spanner in the past. but it also depends what is seized.

  • Adjustable spanner....or vice grips. Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 16:07

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