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MT Stringer 07-20-2013 09:00 PM

Question about valve repair
 
I sure hate to ask a dumb question but here goes anyway.

Is it possible to repair a packing leak on a water supply valve to the ice maker?

After making the repairs to our home after Hurricane Ike, I discovered the leak when I put the frige back in place and hooked up the supply line to the refrigerator. When I opened the supply valve in the wall, water gushed out around the valve stem. I quickly shut it off and that is the way it has been since 2009.

I don't know if the valve can be removed, or if it would have to be de soldered and a new one put in it's place.

The house was built in 1983 if that helps.

I guess my last resort would be to call a plumber. I would rather fix it if I can.

Your thoughts appreciated.
Thanks
Mike

gregzoll 07-20-2013 09:06 PM

Just replace the valve. Shark Bite fittings are great things, if you cannot find a Compression fitting valve.

MTN REMODEL LLC 07-20-2013 09:15 PM

Tighten the packing nut.... or what do you have???

TheEplumber 07-20-2013 09:21 PM

MT Stringer- it depends on the valve. There are some with repairable packing.
Have you tried to tighten the packing nut slightly with an adjustable wrench?
Some times the nut will catch on the stem and loosen slightly- causing a leak.

Other valves can't be fixed and need replacement.
Depending on the valve location, this can be easy or difficult.
Can you cut the pipe behind the valve and install a 5/8"x1/4" compression stop?
Or as Greg mentioned- a "sharkbite" push fit valve?
Either one will require about 1"-1.5" of exposed pipe to attach to

MT Stringer 07-20-2013 10:01 PM

Thanks for the quick replies. I need to pull the refrigerator out and take a closer look at the valve. If I remember right, the valve is in a well, sorta like the kind used for washing machine hoses. I might be wrong. Afterall it has been 4 years and I have slept many times since then.

I don't recall if I tried to tighten the packing or not. I'll try that first and If that doesn't work, I will take a pic so I can post it here.
Thanks
Mike

gregzoll 07-20-2013 11:29 PM

I would not try to tighten the packing, if it is one of the supply type faucets for sinks and toilets. Most do not have the ability. Just go get a 1/4 turn shutoff to replace the old one. If the existing is a compression type, you will need to use a cut off blade on a Dremel tool to cut the ring off.

Just go easy with the wheel, otherwise you are going to cut right into the piping where the compression ring is, and then you end up having to cut that section off, and if not enough stub sticking up, you end up with another issue of having to fix that.

TheEplumber 07-20-2013 11:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MT Stringer (Post 1218667)
Thanks for the quick replies. I need to pull the refrigerator out and take a closer look at the valve. If I remember right, the valve is in a well, sorta like the kind used for washing machine hoses. I might be wrong. Afterall it has been 4 years and I have slept many times since then.

I don't recall if I tried to tighten the packing or not. I'll try that first and If that doesn't work, I will take a pic so I can post it here.
Thanks
Mike

post a picture if you can't get the leak stopped.
There are alternatives to cutting the pipe- depending on the existing setup

MT Stringer 07-23-2013 06:00 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is a pic. I cracked the valve open and water sprayed out around the stem. So I opened it all the way and back seated it. The leak stopped.

Looks to me that the valve is soldered to the copper tubing. That sucks.

At least the ice maker is making ice. I plan to purge it for a few days.

This leak has been a problem in the past and I wasn't aware of it. I need to replace the drywall around the plastic well the valve is in. Probably a foot or so square which I can do easily.

Do you think it is plumber time?

Thanks for your advice.
Mike

gregzoll 07-23-2013 06:18 PM

You have enough sticking out for a compression or Shark Bite fitting. Use a hacksaw to cut off that old one, then use 80 grit Sandpaper to take off all that crud, to get a good seal.

djlandkpl 07-23-2013 06:32 PM

Another option is to take the valve stem to a hardware store and see if you can find one matches.

MT Stringer 07-24-2013 12:41 PM

Thanks for all of your replies and advice. I had never heard of Shark Bite fittings, but now I have. After watching several videos, that looks like it will be the way to go for me.

I need to do some drywall repair around that area, so I plan to combine it with replacing the valve. I will post some pictures of the before and after repair job.
Thanks again.
Mike

MT Stringer 08-04-2013 01:19 AM

And now for an update. Repairs are underway. I have some pics to post later.

This whole ordeal started when my wife decided we needed a new fridge. To fix the leaking valve, it needed to be replaced and some drywall was deteriorated. I cut some of the drywall away and we discovered ants! At least the remnants of ant activity. No live ones.

So, I cut some more of the drywall out so now I have an opening 23 1/2 wide x 18 high. This made it easy to remove the nails that had the plastic well held in place. I actually lowered it as much as possible, then cut the 1/2 inch copper pipe just above the old valve. I lucked out and got a clean, square cut. :-)

Boy, that sharkbite fitting (angle valve) is the cat's meow. I now have the new one in place, the plastic well secured in just the right spot, a new piece of drywall installed and muddied. We doctored the inside of the wall with some Home Defense before closing up the hole.

Tomorrow I will lightly sand the skim coat of mud and spray on the texture and paint the wall. I have a new piece of trim to paint and install also. A little caulk and that should complete the repair.

The new refrigerator will be delivered Tuesday. I have never had one of those fancy refrigerators so this should be a treat...it even has indoor plumbing with running water and crushed ice in the door! Am I behind the times or what! :laughing: This should be the last one I will have to buy, or I hope it will be the last one.

My son will be over next weekend to pick up the one we have now. It still works just fine...just no indoor plumbing! :-)

TheEplumber 08-04-2013 10:17 AM

That's a lot of work for a new fridge :)

MT Stringer 08-05-2013 12:26 AM

6 Attachment(s)
Repairs are complete. Bring on that new fridge!
Here are the pics, a couple of which aren't very good. Sorry about that.
With bad knees, I have trouble working in low places. My wife did a great job helping me. I handed her the Roto Zip and she had the drywall cut away in no time.

After cutting off the old valve, the new one was installed, new drywall patched up the hole and it was ready for paint. A couple of new pieces of trim and the repair is complete. It's not perfect, but the end result did turn out pretty nice.

Thanks once again to everyone that offered their advice and help.

gregzoll 08-05-2013 07:46 AM

Nice work. Nice seeing that the wife got involved. A lot of times, you cannot get the girlfriend or spouse involved, due to they do not want to get dirty, break a nail, or afraid that they may break something.


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