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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently had to close and open the angle valve of my toilet several times while fixing a blockage. I was careful not to overtighten when closing the valve (though I may have overtightened a bit on one occasion).

Ever since, it seems to have developed a leak, as it drips water once very few seconds. It leaks regardless of how opened or closed the valve is, though at present, the valve is open only a half turn (180°).

  • How can I quickly and cheaply fix the leak without changing the valve? I'm assuming this would involve some sort of special paste or filling.
  • As a general rule, how open should the valve be for general usage?
 

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Try tightening the packing nut. It won't work on many cheap valves, but worth a try. Otherwise, replace it with a 1/4 turn ball valve.
 

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The packing nut is under the handle of the valve. As Just Bill stated, this is probably where the leak is. Turn the nut 1/2 turn and see if this stops the leak. You may also need to tighten the nuts that connect the valve to the supply pipe and the one connecting the tube to the toilet. Just snug these a little bit and the leak should stop. I usually open these valves fully.
 

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Sorry to say

If the posts before me don't stop the leak you know what you got to do. This hurts Replace.

You will be happy you did.
 

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Yep...the packing nut is where I'd check first. If that isnt it then you're probably going to need to replace.

Open fully then back the handle back 1/4 turn.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I'm assuming I should close the valve fully before tightening the packing nut, for safety's sake? I ask because I don't want to be causing more wear and tear to the valve unless I have to.

Open fully then back the handle back 1/4 turn.
Is there any increased risk of damage to the valve over time if it's open too much or too little? Assume it's a cheap "builder's special" valve (which I have a feeling it is).
 

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You dont have to close the valve to tighten the packing nut. In fact, its easier to tighten if the valve is open as it gives you more room to put your wrench on the nut.

I always open fully then back it up a 1/4 turn. Its how an old plumber taught me. His reasoning is twofold. First the inner workings arent tight against each other in this position and you really havent impeded the flow much at all. Secondly, when you go to turn it off, if the valve is hard to turn clockwise (off) you can crack it counterclockwise (on) to get the handle moving.

All that being said, I'm a HUGE fan of the 1/4 ball style angle and straight stops. I know you're hoping to not have to replace and I dont blame you, but if you do have to give the 1/4 turns a look.
 

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+1 on the quarter-turn valve.

The advice on not fully opening an angle valve is good if the stem packing is cord. However, if the stem seal is a flat rubber washer, like mine, the valve needs to be fully open to seal around the stem. It seals, not by gripping the stem, but by being compressed between the nut and the back surface of the stem. There is some secondary sealing at the hole in the washer where it grips the stem, but it is not reliable over time.
 
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