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Old 11-16-2008, 05:47 PM   #1
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leaking valves - DIY help


I want to do some work in the upstairs bathroom.

I tried shutting off the valves in the basement. THe cold water leaks from all the faucets with the valve fully closed. Worse, both valves now drip copiously all over my basement floor, which is otherwise perfectly dry (the valves are now fully closed.)

So, could you guys please walk me through taking it apart and fixing it?

It's a basic twist handled valve. I believe it has a little washer or something inside it. I can definitely unscrew the thing, but not sure what to expect inside.

Thanks!

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Old 11-17-2008, 12:32 AM   #2
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leaking valves - DIY help


You should have a single main water supply line shutoff valve (before your water heater adn those two valves) as it comes into your basement.
It sounds like the valves that you're trying to close (assuming they're hot and cold lines) may be the kind that have rubber washers held on with little screws through the middle on the end of the valve stems, and the washers have deteriorated.
The valve stem has the handle on the outside opposite end, and should be held to the valve by a valve cap.
With the water turned off at your main shutoff valve or your meter shut off, unscrew the valve caps counter-clockwise, take the valve stems to any hardware store or big box, get new matching washers and washer screws (and either valve stem packing or o-rings if present on your valves) and replace them.
While you're at it with the water off, you should also install new shutoff valves on the toilet and vanity in that upstairs bath.
Good Luck!
Mike


Last edited by Mike Swearingen; 11-17-2008 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:52 AM   #3
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leaking valves - DIY help


thank you man!
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:59 AM   #4
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leaking valves - DIY help


I recently had this same problem. The cause was the calcium, and other hard water pieces had gotten into the valve assembly, keeping the rubber washer from completely closing. I could feel kind of a "crunch" when I tried to close them. I would also recommend to shut these valves off, then back on every couple of months or so. This way, they will not be stuck if there is ever an emergency, and they have to be turned off.

Bofus
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:32 PM   #5
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leaking valves - DIY help


thanks guys.
pulled it off today. hardest part was getting the dang things unscrewed off the pipes.

packing was all deterioriated. got nice new rubber washer, new graphite packing, and stem grease, and bing. nary a drop out of these suckers, and the valves turn smoothly. i was pretty proud of myself as this was my first attempt at basic plumbing.

i then removed the old toilet, corner sink, and bathtub.
now i can proceed on my project.

thanks again.
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