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Old 09-05-2007, 04:26 PM   #1
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Shut-off valve leaking


The shut-off valve to my toilet is leaking at the handle. It didn't start until I had to shut off the water to fix the toilet but now it leaks whether the water is on or off. How do I fix this?

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Old 09-05-2007, 04:45 PM   #2
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Shut-off valve leaking


shut your main water off, or the closest shutoff valve behind the leaking one, and replace it??? those are usually compression fittings, take it off and go upto the hardware store and they'll get you a replacement...

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Old 09-05-2007, 05:17 PM   #3
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Shut-off valve leaking


You need to change the valve. It is either sweat onto a copper pipe or threaded onto a brass, galvanized, or chrome pipe.
Shut off the water, drain down at the lowest point (usually a sink or washing machine in the basement) be sure to open up some faucets to get as much water as you can out. If it's sweated on open it up so the water drains down and unsweat it. If it's threaded hold back on the pipe and unthread it.
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Old 09-05-2007, 06:49 PM   #4
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Shut-off valve leaking


You could try tightening the nut first, or putting in new packing material.

The valves are pretty cheap, an replacing them is good advice.
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Old 09-05-2007, 06:52 PM   #5
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Shut-off valve leaking


Quote:
Originally Posted by tribe_fan View Post
You could try tightening the nut first, or putting in new packing material.

The valves are pretty cheap, an replacing them is good advice.
You could try tightening the packing nut a little bit. Don't overdue it or you'll make matters worse, it should be snug, it shouldn't be tight. As far as replacing the packing that's more trouble then it's worth and really just a bandaid.
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:21 PM   #6
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Shut-off valve leaking


Thanks for all the suggestions. One question - what is 'sweated on'? Do you mean soldered? What concerns me is that the valve is so low it is almost on the floor which I think may make it harder to remove/repair/replace. This is a rental unit (I'm the tenant) and we are moving in a week or two so I am not looking to spend a lot of time or money on this project. I want a quick and easy fix. Then it will become the landlady's problem.
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Old 09-06-2007, 05:37 AM   #7
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Shut-off valve leaking


Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyo77 View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions. One question - what is 'sweated on'? Do you mean soldered? What concerns me is that the valve is so low it is almost on the floor which I think may make it harder to remove/repair/replace. This is a rental unit (I'm the tenant) and we are moving in a week or two so I am not looking to spend a lot of time or money on this project. I want a quick and easy fix. Then it will become the landlady's problem.
Yes, sweat is the same as soldered.
If it's not your place the plumbing shouldn't be your problem. Tell the landlord to get a plumber in there. I've never made my tenants pay for any plumbing repairs even when it's because they did something stupid (kitty litter in the drain, ripping a brass nipple and speedy valve out of the wall).
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Old 09-06-2007, 08:08 AM   #8
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Shut-off valve leaking


Thanks for the info Marlin. I usually do the repairs myself since I live in Ohio and the landlady lives in Florida. Unless it is something beyond my capabilities, like when my garage door broke, it is easier on both of us if I do the repair myself. Since we are moving shortly, and not on good terms (she gave us 30 day notice with no advance warning - right after school started, no less), I'd prefer not to deal with her any more than I need to. I'll check the stuff mentioned and see what happens. Thanks!
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Old 09-06-2007, 02:57 PM   #9
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Shut-off valve leaking


Keyo77,

You are very smart, you know about Odo-Ban.

I admire your desire to sticking to your deal to "fix the things you can" even under the sour situation.

But, please be wise: (Learn from others mistakes) If you are lucky, you will spend $ 4.00 on a new valve, $.99 on teflon tape, and one hour depending on driving time to pick up the right valve. Everything will go back together and no leaks.

Dealing with older plumbing can be full of adventure.

Have you dealt with copper pipe before? Really tricky, you will need a torch etc. I assume the pipe close to the floor & the wall.

If galvanized pipe,it might be old and brittle. The nipple could break at the floor line when you attempt to remove the valve, then you get to chisel to the next fitting and try again. Back to the store for more parts, and don't forget to get what you need to fix the floor.

Might I second another proper course:
Advise the landlord of the problem / You keep a towel to catch the minor drip for now. You will turn the water off to your unit when you leave and leave a note on the counter so whoever comes in will be aware of the problem. This is fair to you and the landlord.
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Old 09-06-2007, 06:04 PM   #10
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Shut-off valve leaking


I would snug the packing nut slightly as mentioned and put a bucket under it for a day or so and watch it.

They only get turned on/off every ten years so the packing tends to dry out but may swell back with the water and reseal.

They rarely leak much. If that doesnt fix it, try replacing the packing first, if that doesnt work, new valve time.

Its what I call escalating destruction.. Try the easy stuff first.
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Old 09-10-2007, 05:58 PM   #11
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Shut-off valve leaking


Thanks for the compliments Bob. Actually, I am quite familiar with copper piping and own my own blowtorch. Had to learn when a pipe burst in the basement of our old house. That being said, the condo I live in now is only 6 years old and so the plumbing is rather new. I tightened the screw on the handle and left it with a dry washcloth around the valve to see if it was still leaking. So far so good so I'm calling it a day. IF it leaks again before we move, I'll tell the landlady.

BTW I was overjoyed when I found Odo-ban, in a smaller bottle no less, at Home Depot! Used to be you could only get it at Sam's Club or online.

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