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bwall 05-29-2007 03:01 PM

ball valve leaking
I put in a new water heater last night. I used a ball valve to shut off the cold water line to the water heater. The ball valve is leaking from the below the handle in the middle of the valve (not at the sodered ends. Is there a way to stop the leaking from the point at where the handle enters the valve. I tried the nut on top of the handle, that seems to slow the leak possibly. It does not stop it. Do i need to tighten the nut under the handle itself. That is where the leak is coming from. the problem is i dont have a wrench skinny enough to get in between the underneath of the handle and and the top part of the valve to tighten that nut. Any ideas. I would rather try something other and replacing the valve with a new one. Do either of the nuts on (one above the handle on top or the one below the handle above the valve) have the ability to stop a leak in that area?


handy man88 05-29-2007 03:20 PM

You might have to replace the entire valve, if you cannot replace the seal where the handle is.

Tmb9862 05-29-2007 03:58 PM

The nut on top of the handle does nothing but hold the handle on. Go ahead and remove that nut and the handle. Then tighten the nut underneath (packing nut). You don't have to kill it, just snug it a bit. If that doesn't stop the leak it's easiest to just replace the valve. I have to tighten that nut on almost every ball valve I install. Some little guy in China I'm sure thinks it's hilarious to make extra work for the Americans.

bwall 05-29-2007 04:09 PM

Thanks for the replies! The last one was pretty humorous!

jdoherty 05-31-2007 03:47 PM

did you solder the ball valve
did you open the valve when you soldered it?
did you put too much solder on the joint that it ran into the ball opening and csause the ball not to fit correctly?

bwall 05-31-2007 06:11 PM

Hey everyone Thanks!

Tightening the nut down after removing the upper nut and handle fixed the issue!

Sheetzfamily 06-09-2009 10:20 PM

Thank you!
Thank you! My husband and I were just about finished pulling out our hair as to why the two valves he installed with our water softner were leaking "at the handle" and perfectly fine at the soldered connections! We had never encountered this before! He tightened the handle nut and obviously that didn't work. When searching the interned--it introduced us to this site and your posts. Thank you--we successfully tightened the packing nut! ...I agree with the "little man in China syndrome"!! :laughing:

VALVE 06-29-2009 01:17 AM

"little man in China syndrome"!! :laughing:

Thurman 06-29-2009 07:11 PM

Sorry, but don't knock only those little China people on this one. We used to buy Apollo brand ball valves by the cases where I worked. Each box had "Made in U.S.A." imprinted on them and I'd dare say that 30% of these ball valves leaked at the packing nut/stem when installed. OR-maybe I was reading it wong :eek:, maybe the box was "Made in the U.S.A." Thanks, David

AllanJ 06-30-2009 08:37 PM

Only (?) in the U.S.A. must we use lead free solder, that has a higher melting point and it is easier to damage valves or other components being assembled.

Really, I would be tempted to use electronic solder (60% tin, 40% lead) that has a lower melting point than even old fashioned plumbing solder (for those joints) and see if I could get away with it.

Bill in NJ 12-31-2012 07:25 PM

Thanks for the help here. I had the same issue with a slight drip coming from the Ball Valve. Removed the handle and tightened the packing nut and the drip is now history.

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