Shut off valves under sink

Old 01-03-01, 03:54 PM
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One of my shut off valves under a bathroom sink started to leak recently. I went ahead and turn it off to stop the leak. I'm a new homeowner...I was wondering if this is an easy fix like a washer or should I seek professional assistance? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Old 01-03-01, 04:03 PM
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If it is not leaking when shut off, and just leaking around the stem, just snug the cap nut up (under stem/handle)to stop the leak.
Good Luck!
Old 01-03-01, 10:02 PM
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Old Guy is right, as usual, but if just tightening the cap nut does not stop the leak, then close the valve tightly, remove the handle from the stem, then remove the cap nut. You will need to replace the valve stem packing, which can be either graphite or teflon rope packing (about 1/8" diameter), which is available at most hardware stores, and all of the Big Box stores. Cut enough to make about 1 and a 1/2 wraps around the valve stem, and push it down into the space between the valve stem and the sidewall that the cap nut screws down into. Replace the cap nut, and valve handle, and turn the water back on. If it still leaks, tighten the cap nut down tighter against the new packing.

Old 01-05-01, 05:27 PM
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But also make sure it's really the valve that's leaking, and not merely that water is dripping off it, after running down the tube. If you have any doubts, wrap a paper towel around the supply tube above the faucet, and secure it with a twist-tie. Come back later and see if the towel is wet.

Let us know how it comes out.
Old 01-05-01, 05:57 PM
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As about 99.99% of the people in the world DON"T do it I guess you don't either... but it's a good idea to, every few months turn the handles of every valve in the house, shut off valves under sinks and well as laundry and main water valves.Just close them a little and then open them back up! I also don't think it's a good idea to open them completely (unless it's a "ball" valve - with a lever handle) Open it all the way and turn it back just a bit! If it ever does get stuck, you have that little bit to turn it the other way. This helps clear the little calcuim buildup that happens in any water supply system!

There!! Now that I've got that out of my system.... LOL

On the small under sink shutoffs it's a GOOD idea to use TWO wrenches to tighten the "cap" (especially if it's on copper tubing, I HAVE LEARNED THE HARD WAY!) One to hold the valve body and the other on the cap!

Other than that the "guys" have it covered!!!

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