Forum Title: Leaky valve in basement. Easy DIY fix?
I have a valve in my basement that leaks when turned on. I'm not a plumber by any means so it is easy to fix? Would it be as simple as wrenching the piece off and replacing it? If so what exactly am I looking for? I tried tightening it but it didn't seem to budge.
Category: Plumber Post By: COLLEEN NEAL (Manchester, NH), 08/06/2017

Maybe an easy fix for someone who knows how. I know skilled general contractors that can do a lot of different types of repairs but often tell me that working with water lines is something they back away from. A lot can go wrong and water is the destroyer of mountains. easy is a relative term. If you can solder and you can turn the water off 100% to this valve than yes it can be easy. Replace it with a quality ball valve.

- WILLARD QUINN (Westerville, OH), 09/23/2017

Fixing it is quite easy. Firstly tighten the packing nut slightly with a wrench. Then test the valve. If it still leaks tighten the valve and then try again. It is actually quite common for brand new shut-off valves to leak whenever you try to turn it on. This probably occurs around the valve stem. The valve stem passes through a nut and washer which provides a water-tight seal. Try tightening the packing nut one-eighth to one-quarter turn with a wrench. If the leak still does not stop the packing washer is probably damaged and will need replacement. First shut off the water to the leaking valve. Next remove the handle from the stem and then loosen and remove the packing nut.Remove the old washer and slide on the new one. Reinstall the packing nut, tighten lightly with a wrench and reattach the handle. Turn the water back on, open the repaired valve and check for leaks. If it is still leaking tighten the packing nut once again one-eighth of a turn until the leak stops. If that does not help you could try calling for professional help.

- ALBERT STEWART (Johns Creek, GA), 09/26/2017

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