Fixing a Leaky Valve

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Today is a pin of a different nature.  Not only is it being written by Papa, but it is not actually from Pinterest… does this still count?

Okay, here’s the scenario: you just came off of the longest winter in history (rivaling the one that killed off the dinosaurs) and the much-welcomed spring means that it’s time to open up your outside spigot so you can water your flowerbeds, your garden, etc.

Note: in case you didn’t know, it is important to shut off the water to the outside so that your pipes don’t freeze and burst!

In order to shut the water off, there should be a valve inside your home that you close.  Over time this valve can begin to lose its sealing power and wen this happens, you develop a leak from the stem (where the handle goes into the pipe).  You can see this in these pictures — the shiny drops above the handle.  See them?

DSC_0408   DSC_0407

If this happens, you need to call a plumber immediately!  Or do you???

If you have an adjustable wrench (or the right sized open wrench) you can do this repair yourself for FREE!!!  To see it in action, check it out on this site.

The nut at the top of the stem is called the packing nut and it has a gasket inside that can get dirty with water minerals.  Tightening this nut will compress that gasket a little more and recreate a water tight seal.


Remember, you need to tighten the nut clockwise if the valve is on top, counter-clockwise if upside down (like this picture).  Tighten the nut until the leak stops.

What I did was put a dry tissue around the packing nut after the job was done, and after a few minutes, I checked to ensure that the tissue was still dry.  Not dry? Tighten some more.

This will work for any faucet that has a shutoff valve, so if you want to replace a toilet, or put a new faucet in your kitchen, you may experience an occasional drip.  Follow these steps and save yourself a few bucks!

67 pins to go!


2 thoughts on “Fixing a Leaky Valve

    ionedar said:
    June 19, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Does it still count? I think it should count double! Step aside, Bob Villa!

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