Leaking water tap


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Old 01-27-17, 11:11 AM
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Leaking water tap

I have a water tap that is part of my infloor radiant heating system that has a small leak. It seems to be coming out of the handle area where it screws into the actual pipe, this thicker groved area below the handle. I am not a plumber by trade for sure but to fix this is it just a matter of buying and new handle and removing it. Does the water have to be turned off to the piping as well. Thanks for any info.
 
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Old 01-27-17, 01:48 PM
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No, it's not the handle. There is likely a stem packing leak - you can repack the valve, but you will have to depressurize the line. Temporarily, try opening the valve all the way and see if by backseating the valve, the leak will stop.
 
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Old 01-28-17, 01:30 PM
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P.S. I think that valve is a gate valve, and a bit long in tooth. What is the purpose of the valve? If it's just to isolate part of the system for maintenance, replace it with a ball valve. If it's for adjusting flow, replace it with a globe valve.
 
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Old 02-02-17, 08:12 AM
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Grease

The packing is what is compressed slightly against the stem, they harden or can weep a little bit over time. Depressurizing the line and replacing the packing (which is typically kind of a really thick rubber/cloth composite type of washer) is the ultimate solution. But opening the valve fully, and smearing some plumbers silicon grease (little packets available at Home Depot), then closing and opening to get the grease into the packing a bit, might be enough to seal things up. When replacing packing, I always am liberal with the silicon grease as it prevents binding of the stem to the packing, and adds to the sealing.
 
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Old 02-04-17, 04:46 PM
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I had a plumber look at it seeing they had recently installed a new HWT and had turned off the valve during the install, which started to leak after it was turned back on. The original tap was there since 1999. He replaced it with a handle type valve.
 
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Old 02-04-17, 05:25 PM
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He replaced it with a handle type valve.
That would be a ball valve.
 
 

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