Is there an extended arm tool that will help me turn this water knob?
January 16, 2016 3:44 PM   Subscribe

Moved to a new place and all the water appliances had a turned off water valve, so I opened them. Except the washing machine. The valve is in the back and I can't reach it.

The dryer is on top of the washer. They are both in a closet with no space on the sides for me to get to the valve. The only way I've been able to get access to the back is by climbing up on the dryer and reaching down the back- but my arms aren't long enough to reach the valve. My foot is, but I've been unable to turn it with my foot. I don't know anyone with long enough arms. Is there some kind of grabby reaching tool that is good enough to turn a (possibly stiff) valve?
posted by manderin to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
You need someone with LONG channel lock pliers. Or move the appliances out, but with the hoses connected, you can do this with a dolly.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:00 PM on January 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

What kind of valve? If this is a knob like the ones used on outside spigots a large set of slip-joint pliers should work, with sufficient patience.
posted by ssg at 4:00 PM on January 16, 2016

Seems like whoever left that place would have had an equally difficult time turning it off. Are you sure there isn't a valve somewhere else on the water line to the washer?
posted by BillMcMurdo at 4:01 PM on January 16, 2016

Also, dryers are relatively light. With a second person, you should be able to slide the dryer forward and to one side and hold it there while you reach around to open the valve.
posted by ssg at 4:01 PM on January 16, 2016

Or just slide the whole washer and dryer stack out.
posted by rodlymight at 4:06 PM on January 16, 2016

Get a length of pipe that will just fit over the handle of your wrench and use that as an extended handle.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:28 PM on January 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Okay, I'm a little confused by your question. Is the problem that the water is turned on everywhere but the washer, and you just want to turn on the water and leave it on to do wash? Do you want the water off whenever you aren't doing laundry? (Probably smart if you're worried about a burst hose.) Is your valve like this (with a lever) or the pair of garden hose bibs with round handles?

If you just have the lever valve, you could probably rig up some cord over and under the appliances, You know, pull one string before wash, pull the other when washing is done.

They make automatic valves the sense when the washer is turned on and open the water valve, then close the valve when the wash is done. Some even have a sensor that detects water on the floor and shut off water to prevent disaster.

I have a clockwork valve that works by me flipping a lever left which opens the valve, a clockwork spring closes the valves 2 hours later. There is no reason it couldn't be operated with a cord if it was buried behind the washer.
posted by Marky at 12:38 AM on January 17, 2016

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