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Old 12-11-2012, 10:56 PM   #1
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Leaky shut off valve? [pic]


Hey all! First time homeowner here. I just noticed this in the garage and was hoping to get some guidance on the problem.

Preliminary googling around suggested tightening the screw in the center of the handle an eighth of a turn or so -- which I did, but it's still leaking. Valve'll be closed in the meantime unless water is specifically needed, I guess.

The house is relatively new (<2 years old) and I'm in the Houston area, if that changes anything.

Leaky shut off valve? [pic]-2012-12-11_21-25-42_110.jpg


Last edited by philsov; 12-12-2012 at 08:37 AM. Reason: topical clarity
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:08 PM   #2
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Leaky shut off valve? [pic]


Really hard to see what it even is in that picture.
It is a PVC ball valve?
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...6B2E05623148B1

If so I've never seen on that can be adjusted. The screw just holds the handle on.
I'd concider opening up the wall and changing it to a brass ball valve or a Shark Bite ball valve.
To make replacement easer I'd use PVC or CPVC (what ever that pipe is) repair couplings. A repair coupling has no hub in the center of the coupling so it can be slipped over the pipe.

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Old 12-11-2012, 11:22 PM   #3
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Leaky shut off valve? [pic]


sorry for the 1st pic.

Yeah, it looks like a PVC ball valve.

Leaky shut off valve? [pic]-2012-12-11_23-13-35_724.jpg

Is there a quicker option that doesn't involve opening up the wall? Turning off the water from the road, unscrewing this (I... can unscrew it, right?), and replacing with similar will make a short-term solution?
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:31 PM   #4
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Leaky shut off valve? [pic]


That's a pex shutoff, not PVC.
Remove the screw and the handle, there may be a packing nut under the handle. Never had one leak so not 100% sure.
Only need to slighty tighten it.
The valve is not screwed on, those two crimp rings hold everything in place.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:42 PM   #5
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Leaky shut off valve? [pic]


Thanks so much for the help so far, Joe.

Turn off water before doing any of this, or will it not matter?
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:45 PM   #6
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Leaky shut off valve? [pic]


No need to shut it off.
Are you 100% sure it's leaking at the stem and not someplace behind the wall?
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:56 PM   #7
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Leaky shut off valve? [pic]


95%? The other side of the wall is some brick and the front, outside walkway to the house. There's a drain pattern similar to the first pic on this side too, gingerly watering the flowerbed.

It's at least this pipe. In the location of 2nd picture it's dry.

Edit: Need to sleep. Thanks for help so far. I'll post later with updates and/or further information.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:00 AM   #8
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Leaky shut off valve? [pic]


Should be able to just use a piece of toilet paper and run it around the valve.
No stain no leak.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:02 AM   #9
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Leaky shut off valve? [pic]


Need to go back and add your location to your profile.
ANy chance someone left the gargen hose hook up and the sill cock froze?
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:27 AM   #10
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Leaky shut off valve? [pic]


OK. Valve is fine. Leak is still obviously present.

And... very likely regarding garden hose. We just had our first freeze last night, though I fail to see how that can cause a failure at this location.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:36 AM   #11
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Leaky shut off valve? [pic]


If there's a "freeze proof" sill cock outside and the hose is left on the pipe is unable to drain so there's water left inside it that can freeze the pipe and split it.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:44 AM   #12
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Leaky shut off valve? [pic]


Wonderful.

Given this is probably the case, next step is to locate where this split is?
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:57 AM   #13
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Leaky shut off valve? [pic]


O.K., so you now know that the leak is not at the valve--right? The leak is inside the wall. What we don't know is if there is a branch on the PEX leading up to the valve. IMO--you will have to remove the sheetrock below the valve box to examine the piping within the wall. Don't be surprised to find that the PEX was stubbed in before the concrete was poured and now has a pin-hole leak just as it exits the concrete. Seen this too many times. OR-there could be a branch line coming from the PEX feed line that runs to an outside sill-cock.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:51 PM   #14
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Leaky shut off valve? [pic]


Ill bet somebody ran a screw through the water line installing the drywall if the valve is not definitely leaking.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:07 PM   #15
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Leaky shut off valve? [pic]


I threw in the towel and called a pro.

Removing the sheetrock from below the box showed that the water was coming UP from below. The potential for the pinhole leak was certainly present, but not the case. The flowerbed I mentioned earlier had become saturated from about 6 inches to 3 feet so it was pure water pressure/capillary action causing the water to come up from below. Given the size of the leak and damage thus far, the broken pipe occurred prior to the freezing, but the whole "unplug your hose" thing is very good knowledge for one such as myself.

Turns out there was a buried PEX connection that bent/broke said feed into the main line, probably due to a kinked angle that supposedly got fixed. That this even existed in the first place caused the plumber to have a few laughs at the expense of the builder.

Thanks everyone.


Last edited by philsov; 12-13-2012 at 01:14 PM.
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