3 Valves Just Started Leaking

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Old 03-11-15, 04:15 PM
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3 Valves Just Started Leaking

After this brutally cold winter, we've had some warmer weather the past few days. I came home from work yesterday to find a wet spot (18" diameter) on the floor. I figured it might be the backflow preventer failing again so I closed the supply valve for it. Today I came home, and I noticed the leak in the same spot, directly beneath a quarter-turn boiler drain (put my finger inside it and it felt wet). Then I looked beneath my circulators and there two more small spots. One is from another q/t b/d and the other is from one of the Webstone circulator isolator valves. In the three years I've been here I've never had a leaky valve. Now 3 start leaking? How?



 
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Old 03-11-15, 04:25 PM
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That is certainly bizarre!

I can't recall ever having a ball valve drain drip...

Is the pump leak at the flange? or is it from the valve stem?
 
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Old 03-11-15, 04:40 PM
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This is not the answer to your question, but in your first pix, I see fittings with telltale blue-green stains - an indication of leakage in copper piping systems.
 
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Old 03-11-15, 04:41 PM
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The isolator one is leaking from the stem, and the boiler drain on the circulator loop is also leaking from the stem. But the valve on the indirect heater loop is definitely leaking thru, not the stem. They're easy enough to replace since they're threaded, but I'm just blown away.
 
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Old 03-11-15, 04:48 PM
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Isn't there a packing nut under the handle that can be snugged down to stop the stem leaks?

And the one that's leaking from it's mouth... can you say "brass hose cap" ?

 
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Old 03-11-15, 04:51 PM
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I see fittings with telltale blue-green stains - an indication of leakage in copper piping systems.
Looks more like solder paste staining to me.
 
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Old 03-11-15, 04:52 PM
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It is common for valves to not have the packing nut tightened enough from the factory. For the ball valves merely remove the handle (if necessary) and snug down the packing nut and then replace the handle. For the boiler drain simply add a garden hose cap (make sure it has a gasket inside) until you want to replace it with a ball valve.
 
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Old 03-11-15, 05:30 PM
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This is funny, I came home tonight and did my usual cycle/runtime check and heard then saw a leak from a Nibco ball valve. First thought was WTF this thing is less than 3mos old...then I tightened the nut under the handle.
 
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Old 03-11-15, 05:44 PM
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Looks more like solder paste staining to me.
Very possible. But I just looked at about a dozen copper, sweated joints that were made about 8 years ago and that are visible from my basement. Heating pipes installed when we had a small addition put on the back of the house. No blue-green stains.

I would like to attribute it to my superior soldering skills, but I can't. The joints were made by a union plumber.
 
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Old 03-11-15, 05:51 PM
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The union plumber probably cleaned the excess flux off the pipes after soldering, something handymen rarely do.
 
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