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Old 03-17-2013, 05:14 PM   #1
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Fix leaky valve drain plug


My main valve's drain plug is leaking more and more. It started earlier this winter but it was maybe 1 drip every hour or so. Now it's dripping fast enough that I need to put a bucket and empty it every day. I am waiting till the snow is gone so I can get it changed. (need to turn off the water at the city's' valve which is in my backyard)

Is there anything I can do to stop or at least slow down the leak to get by for the next few months? I'm afraid it's going to get worse and fill the bucket in less than 12 hours, which would be an issue given I work 12 hour shifts.

The plug is also seized, and I don't want to force it as I'm afraid it might actually break completely, this valve is probably original to the house so it's really old.

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Old 03-17-2013, 05:17 PM   #2
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Fix leaky valve drain plug


Throw up picture if you can red squirrel, let's see what got their.

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Old 03-17-2013, 05:25 PM   #3
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Fix leaky valve drain plug


Here's a pic.

Edit: and a clearer one
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:36 PM   #4
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Just go to Ace Hardware and get a small flat gasket to fit inside the tap. You might as well just pull it and replace with a Ball valve, and eliminate that short stub also.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:29 PM   #5
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Fix leaky valve drain plug


So the bleeder is seized, correct? Grab yourself a 2 inch long piece of fuel line tubing that just slides over the bleeder. Put some soap on it and shove it over the bleeder, right up to the valve. Put a mini hose clamp on the inside. Cut the threads off a bolt that will fit into tubing, and put another hose clamp on the other end. Maybe that will hold till you can get the valve switched out. Good Luck
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:33 PM   #6
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Yeah plan is to remove it completely to put a ball valve. Just need to get by till the snow is gone so the outside valve can be accessible to turn it off outside. I tried to remove the plug with the valve turned off but it wont budge, I don't want to force it too much with pliers or anything, I'm scared it breaks off completely from forcing it.

I'll definitely want to get rid of that short stub too, not sure why anyone would have put a line so close to the start of the main. I'd probably want to replace that whole vertical run so it's one straight piece of pipe. If I do tap into it later I'd do hit higher up.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:34 PM   #7
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So the bleeder is seized, correct? Grab yourself a 2 inch long piece of fuel line tubing that just slides over the bleeder. Put some soap on it and shove it over the bleeder, right up to the valve. Put a mini hose clamp on the inside. Cut the threads off a bolt that will fit into tubing, and put another hose clamp on the other end. Maybe that will hold till you can get the valve switched out. Good Luck
I'll have to try this. Should I throw in some caulk for good measure? (that's what she said)
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:04 PM   #8
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Fix leaky valve drain plug


I would not bother with sealant. The water pressure will just push it out while it is wet. Measure the bleeder with a caliper if you can and get reinforced tubing like fuel line if you can. Dish soap should help it go on, and the hose clamp should hold for a while, I hope. Worth a try. Hard to believe brass is that frozen. You are pushing down on the wrench right? Lefty Loosey?

No insult intended, sometimes we get turned around. Those are usually caps not plugs, with just a rubber wafer in the bottom. Maybe the wafer was lost?
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:08 PM   #9
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So the bleeder is seized, correct? Grab yourself a 2 inch long piece of fuel line tubing that just slides over the bleeder. Put some soap on it and shove it over the bleeder, right up to the valve. Put a mini hose clamp on the inside. Cut the threads off a bolt that will fit into tubing, and put another hose clamp on the other end. Maybe that will hold till you can get the valve switched out. Good Luck
I would actually leave the threads on the bolt, and then clamp. But the other problem is, tubing dries out over time. Good for a short quick fix, but not good for the long term.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:08 PM   #10
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I just had another thought. Can you solder?
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:08 PM   #11
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Find a plumber with a Nitrogen freezer, then you do not have to worry about digging out the main shut-off.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:20 PM   #12
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I just had another thought. Can you solder?
I thought of soldering it, but my fear is if I get it too hot the solder that holds the valve in place may soften up and let go. That's a 3/4 pipe gushing water at ~100psi Not a chance I want to take. I thought my pressure was higher than that though but recently got a gauge to test.


Did not know about the nitrogen freezer though, so basically they just freeze up the line long enough so they can work on it? I'd be scared it causes it to burst before the valve or unfreezes too fast while in the middle of soldering, but guess if they know what they're doing it should be safe. I'll have to call up a plumber and see if they can do that. I'm sure it's common for people to need a valve change in winter, perhaps even more serious emergencies where it can't wait at all.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:23 PM   #13
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As long as they can get the cover off, and the valve is not frozen, or worst breaks due to not being worked for a long time, you may be able to get it done. If you are able to reach into the hole, you can usually turn the street shut-off, or go to Home Depot or local plumbing shop and get a street key.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:44 PM   #14
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Hmm that's another thing, if I'm allowed to touch that valve I can probably do the whole thing myself. I'll have to call the city. Still need to wait till summer though, but I'll try the rubber hose and hose clamp trick and see how that goes.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:53 PM   #15
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Summer, it will be warming up here within the next couple of weeks. Out in the country, we could turn the street key, but here in the city, the city owned utility would rather have you call a plumber, or call them, so that the home owner does not get gigged if they break the connection, since most of the meter bases have been there for over 60 years, and we all know how brittle Copper gets with age, when out in the weather or in the ground.

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