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kentifur 11-02-2011 12:31 AM

Main Water Shutoff Valve Inside leaking
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About two months ago I purchased a 1962ish 1 story house on a concrete slab. The water and gas lines come up through the floor behind the hot water heater and boiler. When I bought the house, I could tell that water had leaked at some point in this laundry room, but no water was leaking. See the link below for pictures of the main water shut-off valve inside the house. As you can see, a radiator clamp is holding on some sort of rubber strip that has been wound multiple times. The second clamp is just hanging loose. I cant tell if it was at some point on top of the first clamp or what? Yesterday it began leaking a drop of water ever 3-5 seconds. Obviously this needs to be fixed. Is this something I can address myself? I feel pretty handy, but the space is tight, and it leaves little room for error.

I do have a water shutoff valve at the street under a 1 foot diameter rounder cover. A few days ago I doused the valve with WD-40 to prep it in case something like this started to happen.

What sort of supplies would I need for the job?
How much would I expect to pay a plumber to come and fix it right?

THANK YOU for your help! I read these forums every day at lunch.

See Pics Here Pictures by kentifur - Photobucket
<div style="width:480px;text-align:right;"><embed width="480" height="360" src="" flashvars="rssFeed=http%3A%2F%2Ffeed1119.photobuck" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" /><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" style="border:none;" /></a><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

oh'mike 11-02-2011 03:02 AM

The city will need to shut the water off for you if you do this yourself---

The old valve needs to be removed and a new one installed.

That might be a dicey job for a first timer--the pipe is so close to the floor that cutting might be extremely difficult. sweating off the old valve would be the best option--but draining that line will be a challenge.

Removing the water heater and reinstalling it might be required.

I think a plumber should be called---The cost could vary a lot---from a one hour service call to two or three hours---depends on if the heater must be moved.---Mike----

danpik 11-02-2011 07:20 AM

The way that wrap looks it might just be a loose packing nut.

kentifur 11-02-2011 10:56 AM

Thanks danpik and oh'mike.

I am afraid to remove the wrap from the valve because I am not sure if it will start spurting, or just continue to drip. Also, it might be so corroded at this point that tightening the packing nut might make it worse.

I tightened the packing nut on an outside faucet, but it wasn't in that bad of shape.

Do you know any good plumbers in the St. Louis 63146 area code?

biggles 11-02-2011 01:31 PM

you should be able to reach into the water meter cover outside and shut the city coming in.first off:yes:might just want to take that valve apart pull the gate check the stem.set the valve half way between open and closed..if you go to break the hat off back it up with another wrench and a quick jerk will break it loose.that the cheap fix...but that HWH will have to be pulled clean up the floor area,and if a plumber gets it have him pipe the shut off out with elbows so it is just past the HWH and accessible along that wall...with a ball valve instead of a gate.....if you can soft solder:huh: let us know:wink:

NitroNate 11-02-2011 02:11 PM

given the location/space/etc., cutting it out and/or unsoldering the joint could get dicey. the valve looks to be tied in very close to a T and very close to the floor, a tough space to work around.

i would try to rebuild the valve first. replace everything that is removable, i.e. the stem, packing nut, washer, etc. here's a good how-to with pictures:

COLDIRON 11-03-2011 07:16 AM

That's some pretty scary plumbing if your a diyer and haven't done much plumbing in the past.

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