Needle valve doesn't completely shut off water


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Old 11-17-05, 08:49 AM
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Needle valve doesn't completely shut off water

I actually have two problems -- one in this forum, and once that's fixed, one in another. The water supply to our furnace humidifier has a needle valve soldered directly to the end of a cold water copper pipe (on a copper elbow joint), and that valve has another smaller copper flexible tube connecting it to the humidifier. When I went to clean and restart the humidifier for the winter season, I found the reservoir FULL of water and I'm positive I shut off the needle valve at the end of last winter. Hence, I know the water line leaks inside the humidifier (that's my problem for the other forum). BUT, I can't fix that problem because I can't fully shut off the water at the needle valve -- only small drips but continuous inside the humidifier. I turned off the main water supply and removed the "needle" to see if all I needed was to replace an O-ring or washer or something...but couldn't find anything (the washer on the nut seals just fine). Short of buying an entirely new valve (not exactly something I could install -- I'm quite squeemish about soldering...), is there any other way to stop the leak and get the needle to completely shut off the water? Thanks in advance for your help.
 
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Old 11-17-05, 08:59 AM
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Needle valves are notorious for leaking and plugging up. The humidifier should have a float that shuts off the water when the reservoir gets full though. That sounds like more of a problem than the valve. Check the float for calcium build-up or some thing blocking the float from shutting off the water supply.
No reason to be squeemish about sweating copper. I have included a link that is animated and interactive showing the procedures for sweating. Good luck.

http://www.doityourself.com/info/h2handlecopper.htm
 
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Old 11-18-05, 10:05 AM
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Still have worries

Thanks so much for the rapid response (and the very informative link)! Do you have any more hints on how to "unsolder" the existing valve? (Nonetheless, I'm still worried I'm going to screw up something somewhere in my first stab at soldering - being a woman, I worry a lot! I fear if I'm unsuccessful, I'll have NO water in the house until the plumber comes!) BTW, the float has been thoroughly cleaned of all crud -- the leak inside the humidifier (Carrier brand) is UNDER the water hole covered by the little black rubber stopper (as observed by removing the float). Sure wish I could plug that leak with some plumbers putty!
 
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Old 11-18-05, 10:47 AM
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The copper tubing that leaves the needle valve and goes to the humidifier, is it a flex line (like you see behind stoves) or is it soft copper (just copper tubing/no lines on it(corragated)? If it is solid surfaced soft copper, you can buy a compression valve and merely cut out a small section of the line after the needle valve, and install the new valve. No sweating involved. Just two wrenches.
As far as the black plug, if it is leaking, I would dry out the reservoir and put some 100% silicone on it and reinstall the black plug. It will still be removable if you need to drain the reservoir (a little more difficult but still removable).Hope this helps.
 
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Old 11-26-05, 06:15 AM
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More detail please

The line coming from the present (leaking) needle valve to the humidifier is the soft, flexible, noncorrogated copper type...but it's real skinny! Do they make compression valves for these skinny pipes? I searched the web for such a valve, and (not knowing exactly what I was looking for) couldn't find something like that. Would the guys at HD know what you're referring to? If so, THANKS...I like that solution better than soldering! Also, I'm not sure where you recommend a dab of silicone should go...on the rubber stopper itself? (After more exploration, turns out that's where the leak occurs... two new rubber stoppers tried on both sides (that's 4 tries!) still doesn't stop the drips!) Thanks again for all your help!
 
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Old 11-26-05, 06:42 AM
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sket prob.

They make compression valves for the skinny pipe. Take the outside and the inside dia. and go to the Home Depot or plumbing house and one of them will have a compression valve to fit. Luck.
 
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Old 11-26-05, 07:10 AM
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Yes, I was saying to put the silicone around the edges of the plug to seal it. The copper tubing is probably 1/4". Thats a standard humidifier supply size. HD will probably have it.
 
 

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