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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Stuck Bottom Valve Caps in the General forums; Hello, I'm new to the trumpet, had it for 2 weeks, and love practicing. Its a Getzen 900 Classic. I'm ...
  1. #1
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    Feb 2009

    Unhappy Stuck Bottom Valve Caps


    I'm new to the trumpet, had it for 2 weeks, and love practicing. Its a Getzen 900 Classic. I'm getting familiar with the trumpet, checking how the valves and tuning slides work. I try to keep the horn clean and shiny. Everthing checks out (bought it used) but I cant seem to unscrew all three of the bottom valves. Do they even come off? I tried to unscrew them by hand and I am NOT going to use any tools to see if they do. I not too familiar trumpets, but is it standard to have removable bottom valve caps? They do have holes for water leakage, but it seems they would come off for better maintenance.

    I recieved the horn in near mint condition. The previous owner was a pro horn player in the Pheonix area and kept in good condition. It just needed some polishing and slide grease. Took it to a tech and said it was fine.

    So, do I need to force them open some how or are they fixed?

    Ruben S.

  2. #2
    New Friend TrumpetJ's Avatar
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    Dec 2008

    Re: Stuck Bottom Valve Caps

    I had stuck bottom caps on my Allegro. I sent it to the shop for chem clean and general repair. Seeing as how your horn is in great condition, I would take it to the shop to see if they could just loosen up the caps. It may even be one of those while you wait kind of things.

  3. #3
    Utimate User tedh1951's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    The Wide Brown Land

    Re: Stuck Bottom Valve Caps

    DO NOT FORCE anything on your Getzen - the 900 Classic is a beautiful horn and the bottom caps unscrew, usually quite easily. I would love to see some photos if you've a mind.

    The valve housing caps use a very fine right hand thread - undo them in the same direction that you would turn ON a tap (faucet) i.e. counter-clockwise - be gentle, if in ANY doubt, take the trumpet to your tech. When you reinstall the lower caps use a very small amount of vaselene on the theads (wipe a tiny bit on with a Q tip (cotton bud) and let the screwing motion carry it around the thread) - this will stop it seizing again. Be vary careful when "starting the thread" it is easy to cross thread them - then they'll really seize.

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  4. #4
    Utimate User Dale Proctor's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Heart of Dixie

    Re: Stuck Bottom Valve Caps

    If you have one of those rubber jar-opening things (the flat textured sheet), try it. I've been able to get many stuck caps loose with one of those just using hand pressure.
    Olde Towne Brass

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  5. #5
    Mezzo Piano User Brass crusader's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Buffalo, NY/ Hartford, CT

    Re: Stuck Bottom Valve Caps

    I agree with Dale. Or, use a piece of old bike inner-tube, and wrap it snugly around the cap, this should give you some traction/hold on it. Perhaps a small dab of WD-40 in each cap would help, as well.
    AFM Local 400

  6. #6
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    Jan 2009

    Re: Stuck Bottom Valve Caps

    I got mine off on a cheaper horn by spraying wd-40 in the joint between the valve cap and casing, let it set 30 minutes, tap the caps with a small dead blow hammer( used by woodworkers) then use the rubber jar remover. Make sure to wipe off any wd-40 residue from the lacquer finish.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2009

    Re: Stuck Bottom Valve Caps

    Thanks guys for all the help, I pamper all my instruments and NEVER apply any unecessary force or leverage for any situation. I'll try the WD-40 and hand twist counter-clockwise. It just seems to me with a quality instrument in the hands of a pro there wouldn't be this problem.

  8. #8
    Forte User
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    Aug 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.

    Re: Stuck Bottom Valve Caps

    If you still have a problem with removal of those bottom caps after trying the above methods, take the horn to your local musical instrument tech. Be sure NOT to watch him while he is removing those caps. Whatever slide grease you have used on the slides will do quite nicely on the upper and lower valve cap threads to keep the threads from seizing again.

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  9. #9
    Piano User oldlips48's Avatar
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    Mar 2007

    Re: Stuck Bottom Valve Caps

    Quote Originally Posted by SeniorSax View Post
    It just seems to me with a quality instrument in the hands of a pro there wouldn't be this problem.
    I can see the pro getting a new horn, but not wanting to sell the Getzen until he was sure he wanted to keep the new one. So the Getzen stayed in the case a while and got a little dried out. Add just a touch of corrosion on the threads and now you have bottom caps you can't get off with just your fingers.

    My horns seem to stay in the best condition if I play on them everyday, even if it's only for a few minutes. They stay moist, lubricated and working well.

    Agreed. A touch of WD-40 and a piece of inner tube or rag for extra leverage should do the trick.

    Good job on wrangling the 900! Have fun with it.

    I gotta get me one of those cool slogans.....

  10. #10
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    Jan 2009
    Clarksburg, WV

    Re: Stuck Bottom Valve Caps

    Yes, I'm pretty sure they are suppose to come off unless this is some new design I'm not familiar with. Here's what works for me when threads are frozen and won't crack loose. Go to the grocery store and get a small can of Marvel Mystery Oil and a pair of cheap rubber gloves used for washing dishes. Put a couple of drops where the two pieces go together and let it set for a couple of hours. Put on the gloves and see if you can crack the threads loose. If that don't work, take it to an instrument repair shop. They'll probably loosen it for free.
    PS. Don't do like I did when I was a kid and use a pair of pliars to do the job.

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