repacking a water main faucet


Old 12-07-10, 12:00 PM
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repacking a water main faucet

Could anyone explain how to repack a water main valve? It is leaking into the basement. Plumber wants 400.00 to repack. We don't have that kind of money. Thanks for any help you can give.
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Old 12-07-10, 12:19 PM
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Have you tried just tightening the packing nut? That usually works on valves that are used infrequently.
Old 12-07-10, 12:31 PM
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This may help you. Let us know.

YouTube - Leaky Water Valves

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Old 12-07-10, 08:32 PM
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First off, what exactly is the problem? Is the valve leaking at the handle? Does the valve not shut off completely? Basically what are you referring to when you say re-pack the valve. If you are just talking about the valve leaking at the stem, you may be able to fix it yourself quite easily if you are careful. As Furd mentioned earlier, you may be able to just tighten the packing nut a little. Another easy quick method I have used in the past is just loosen the packing nut and slide it up to the handle, then wrap some Teflon tape around the stem a few times and then slide the packing nut back into place and re tighten. Works 95% of the time. If this does not solve the problem, it is probably time to replace the valve with a new Ball valve.

The packing nut is the FIRST nut you will find immediately below/behind the valve handle. Be very careful when working with this as brass becomes very brittle over time and can break, and if this is a main shut off and you are on city water, you could be in for a small flood. Hence the reason for the large repair price tag. The main water may need to be shut off in the street, If you are on a well, you could shut off the power to the pump while making the repair.

Hope this helps.
Old 12-31-10, 04:10 PM
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Probably best to just replace the main valve with a new ball valve. If your water department is customer-friendly, they'll come out and shut off your water at the street. Then come back when you call them, after you've got the main valve replaced. No charge.

But have them wait until you leak-test your connections.

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