Leaking Water valves
When you discover Leaking Water valves – don’t panic if you get a little leak when opening or closing a water shutoff valve under a sink or toilet or in your basement.
You can usually fix it in minutes with the turn of a wrench.
How to fix a shutoff valve leak:
- Tighten the packing nut
- Tighten the packing nut slightly with a wrench.
- Test the valve.
- If it still leaks, tighten a bit more and test again.
- It’s not uncommon for a brand new shut-off valve to leak around the handle area whenever you turn it on.
- Is probably occurring around the water valve stem.
- The water valve stem passes through a “packing” nut and washer, which provide a watertight seal.
- In the “old” days, fiber was packed tightly around the stem, hence the name.
- First try tightening the packing nut one-eighth to one-quarter turn with a wrench.
- On a new water valve, this almost always stops the leak.
- If it doesn’t, the packing washer is probably damaged and will need replacement.
- First shut off the water to the leaking water valve.
- Next remove the handle from the stem and then loosen and remove the packing nut
- Remove the old washer and slide on the new one.
- Reinstall the packing nut, tighten lightly with a wrench (don’t over tighten at this or any other point) and reattach the handle.
- Turn the water back on, open the repaired water valve and check for leaks.
- If it’s leaking, tighten the packing nut one-eighth of a turn at a time until the leak stops.
Required Tools for this Project:
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
- 4-in-1 screwdriver
- Adjustable wrench
Required Materials for this Project
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.
- Packing washer
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