Home Gear Restricted Water and the Secret Weapon to Access It

Restricted Water and the Secret Weapon to Access It

Water is a high priority in most emergency situations; for something as simple as thirst, to decontamination, personal hygiene, or refilling a vehicle’s radiator.

There are times that you need access to it, and it’s right there, but you can’t access it. You’ll find restricted water many places and it just takes one simple, inexpensive tool to change all that. What is that tool? A 4-way sillcock key.

Restricted Water

You’ll find restricted water in many places. Next time you are out, start looking on the exterior walls of businesses, Malls, large buildings, and even rest stops and you’ll quickly notice the secure restricted water spigots.




All it takes is one inexpensive tool to make that restricted water accessible to you all.

What is that tool?

The tool I am talking about is called a 4-Way Sillcock Key.silcock key restricted water and the secret weapon to access it geek-prepper

I first saw this tool, when it was being used, at a closed rest stop. A gentleman used it to enable the outdoor spigot, so they could get some water to clean up a sick baby. I was amazed!

Get one of these for emergencies! Water is a very high priority in most emergency situations. Every Automotive EDC kit, survival kit and bug out bag should have one of these. Don’t be the prepper that needs water, and it’s right there, but you can’t access it! Don’t pass this one up.

The 4 in 1 Key

A 4-Way Sillcock Key is the most standard used to open most tamper-resistant hose bibs (with permission, of course…wink) and grant you access to all that restricted water! The cross-sectional female parts has 4 standard dimensions: ¼, 9/32, 5/16 & 11/32 inches. The four keys ensure that you can open any lock on any spigot. These are the standard dimensions followed all over the world.

The keys are made from durable corrosion-resistant steel that is durable and works on locks that are not compatible with more commonplace tools such as wrenches or pliers. The overall dimension is around 4 inches, and can easily be kept in your emergency kit, or survival bag

This is the universal Sillcock key with the four standard keys. These are carried by engineers, technicians, and maintenance staff. The four standard sizes are the same as given above. This works for the majority of locks and we recommend this.

This was the first Sillcock I ever saw and used. This can be made of alloys with a non-corrosive layer. If you have an option of buying, get a light on in the range of 1.5 ounces. It’s easy to carry around in the pocket.

I have compiled a list of types of additional sillcock keys available in the market:


Honeywell J40-005 Four Way Key

Arm Length 1.5 to 2 inch

This key is for valve, faucet and sillcock sizes:

  • 1/4 inch
  • 9/32 inch
  • 5/16 inch
  • 11/32 inch
Made from Plated Steel95.3 Grams


Cobra Products PST154 4-Way Sillcock Key

Arm Length 2 InchesCobra Product’s 4-way sillcock key:

  • 1/4 inch
  • 9/32 inch
  • 5/16 inch
  • 11/32 inch
Made of Solid Steel113 grams

5 in 1 Key

Another multi-functional sillcock key, the 5 in 1 includes an extra male along with the 3 standard female keys, stepped male keys and a plastic adapter. This can be used for electric panel control, security locks, the bin containers on the road, etc. It is also used by Air conditioners maintenance guys and the lift servicemen

The stepped male key has 4 square sizes from 6 to 9. The plastic adapter goes inside the female at the center of the crossbars and allows comfortable use of ¼ inches bits.

The cross key and adapter are joined together by a strong metal chain. Like the four-way, the key is made from different alloys with a non-corrosive layer that increases the durability. It weighs around 2 ounces.



Arm Length 1 to 1.2 inch4 different keys, can open the toolbox doors, electric doors, especially suitable for the doors and windows of public placesMade of Zinc Alloy Material68 grams


10 in 1 Key

If 5 weren’t enough, they sillcock keys are now available with 10 tools. It gives you the power to unlock almost every non-customised lock. It can work with almost all control panels and restricted water supply.

Of course, it contains the standard tools. I have tried finding a lock where it doesn’t work. No success so far, which makes the product successful.

It comes with two cross sillcock keys and is made of light material, though that might differ slightly with the brand. The two keys are held together by a magnet and a wire. My only problem is that it is slightly heavier. But if you want complete access to panels, this should be in your pocket. It weighs around 5 ounces



Arm Length 1 to 2 inchPort Size Included:

  • A 6-7(7mm,12mm)
  • B 6-9(6mm,7mm,8mm,9mm)
  • C 9-10(9mm,14mm)
  • D 3-5(5mm,14mm)
  • A 7-8(7mm,12mm);
  • B 10-11(11mm,17mm)
  • C 8-9(9mm,15mm)
  • D 11-12(12mm,17mm)
Made of Stainless Steel Material141.8 grams




Arm length 1 to 2 inch
  • Capacity, square: 5 mm / 6 – 7 / 8 – 9 / 10 – 11 mm
  • Capacity, triangular: 7 – 8 / 9 – 10 / 11 – 12 mm
  • Capacity, two-way key bit: 5 mm
  • Capacity, half-moon: 8 mm
  • Step-like square: 6 – 9 mm
Made of Stainless Steel Material136.7 grams


11 in 1 Key

Along with the above 10, it also includes a male adapter. This can be used at every standard lock imaginable. It is a must for maintenance.

If you often find yourself at places and have to call someone to get the keys, it is better that you buy it. These multi-functional keys can be used for things like opening the doors and windows on a train, opening the windows in hotels and museums.

During an emergency, you might want a tool you know will tackle nearly all locks. They might not be used every day, but when needed, you will feel glad you had it.



Arm length 1 to 2 inch
  • Capacity, square: 5 / 6 – 7 / 8 – 9 / 10 – 11 mm
  • Capacity, triangular: 7 – 8 / 9 – 10 / 11 – 12 mm
  • Capacity, two-way key bit: 3-5 mm
  • Capacity, half-moon: 6 mm
  • Step-like square: 6 – 9 mm
Made of Stainless Steel Material144.6 grams




Arm length 1 to 2 inch
  • Capacity, square: 5 / 6 – 7 / 8 – 9 / 10 – 11 mm
  • Capacity, triangular: 7 – 8 / 9 – 10 / 11 – 12 mm
  • Capacity, two-way key bit: 3-5 mm
  • Capacity, half-moon: 6 mm
  • Step-like square: 6 – 9 mm
Made with Stainless Steel Material150.25 grams


Whether you are stranded somewhere near a restricted water supply, or you are trapped in an elevator, or a hotel room has caught fire, this simple Sillcock keys can get you out. We don’t want things to go wrong but sometimes it does. And if it should happen, it will feel good that you had a key you needed.

I feel everyone should have one. In the past, people had the Swiss Knife set to help them with unwanted situations. Sillcock keys are the urban equivalent of the Swiss knife. Even if it is used only once in entire life, it will still be worth. If a tool with such power costs less than $10 and can help me or people around me edge their way through potentially life-threatening emergencies, it’s a tool worth having.


  1. I have one of these at work. The largest end fits the square locks on some equipment cabinets and panels. I don’t use it on the job because I have a smaller, lighter one that I carry for that. You can bet that the Sillcock key will now be located in my GHB instead of my work tool box. I’ve had this for years and never knew what it was for. Thanks for a great article.

  2. If you go to most any hardware store(Home Depot, Menard’s, Lowes, and even most mom & pop hardware stores) for about $1 – $2 you can buy a round knob that is made to fit them outside faucets.

    It’s about 2 inches in diameter & about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick.

    it just slides on & slides off & is easy to store in any pocket of any BOB.

    • That only works for a single size, for the common garden hose spigot used for the garden hoses of homes. This tool works for other sizes as well that are common in commercial buildings. No, a single handle does not replace 4 sizes.

  3. John,

    What I have found in my previous experience is that a small set of standard sockets will work great on these sources of restricted water. I have a set that weighs no more than a half pound and takes up very little space.


  4. I once lived off the grid in the desert for a couple months with a few friends. We were miles from neighbors. To get water my friend would load his pickup with 55 gallon barrels. Go to the nearest fire plug at night, hook up his fire hose and fill the barrels with the help of a large pipe wrench. I know they also make fire plug spanner wrenches and reducers to go from a fire plug hose to a garden hose. The water he returned with was sometimes rusty or had a dead mouse in it. So ya definitely want to filter and boil it. Had another desert rat friend who would go to a bridge over the aqueduct at night, and use a 5 gallon bucket on a rope to fill barrels in the back of his truck. I’m pretty sure both methods are illegal but people surviving in the desert some times, look at jail as a vacation.

  5. Here’s another tool for accessing water, the Emergency Well Tube (www.emergencywelltube.com). Kind of a “key” for folks with wells when the power is out.

  6. Due to the number of homeless individuals in our area, who have sillcock keys….. most all the commercial buildings have changed to a double key lock system to prevent unauthorized users from accessing the water.
    This makes the sillcock keys totally useless.
    Is anyone else seeing this in their area?


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