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sz8 01-05-2007 09:56 AM

New ball valve leaking half open?

I just changed the water supply valve (for a water heater) with
a new ball valve.

I'd like to turn it half open to slow down the shower water flow.
But when I turn it half open and turn on the shower water for
a little while, valve leaks little amount of water from the stem.

It does not leak at either open or closed position. I am wondering
if the ball valve is bad or it is not supposed to work half open.



Christopher 01-05-2007 11:48 AM


I'd like to turn it half open to slow down the shower water flow.
This is generally not a good solution.

I suggest getting a water-saving shower head, and setting the water heater's bottom thermostat at 120 degrees and the top thermostat at 110 degrees.

As for the valve, there may be an adjustable packing nut on the stem (never make them very tight), otherwise you may be stuck with a less than perfect article.


sz8 01-05-2007 01:16 PM

Christopher, Thanks for the reply.

The shower head is part of the bath faucet set made by Moen. It has
matching style and color (partially gold plated). I am not sure if I can
found a water saving shower head with similar style. I don't like those
plastic big shower heads.

An idea where to find nice looking good-quality water saving shower head?

Thanks again.


Christopher 01-05-2007 01:36 PM


Many shower heads have a "flow restrictor" that sits in the top of the head by the threaded connection. This may have been left out of your unit. I would expect this to be a standard replacement part.

Check here first:

This Google search may help:


plumber jay 01-05-2007 03:44 PM

A ball valve is not suppose to be used as a flow restricting valve(it is a fast acting valve with limited control). A globe gate or needle valve is beter for this. Like chris said just tighten the packing nut abit and it should be good.

sz8 01-05-2007 10:46 PM

Thanks, Christopher and Jay,I bought a general aerator (rated 2 G/min) and took the plastic water restriction disc from it and put it in the shower head. The shower water flow now is good.I will now keep the ball valve at water heater fully open.Thanks again guys.SZ

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