Leaky gate valves

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Old 12-20-16, 08:16 PM
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Leaky gate valves

After spending a couple of days working on installing plumbing for a water softener, some of the valves I used leak! I must have sweated 40+ connections. Nothing I sweated leaks, but some valves I bought do. Very aggravating. Perhaps it's not a big deal since the bypass valves will be connected to the water softener in a couple of days. I bought the valves at Lowe's. Is it uncommon for a valve to have a little leak? It's only a very slight drip, and not dripping much, but dripping nonetheless. They're gate valves.
 
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Old 12-20-16, 09:04 PM
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Unfortunately the quality of gate valves obtainable in the home improvement stores is miserable.

Most people, my self included, try to use only ball valves.

Where are your valves leaking from..... around the shaft ?
Maybe the packing nut is a little loose.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 04:33 AM
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Where specifically are your valves leaking?
 
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Old 12-21-16, 05:27 AM
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I'll look a little closer today. It's hard to tell at a glance. They're vertical against a wall and setup as a bypass for my water softener (not yet installed). The slight drip is coming from the open end of the pipes I'll connect to the water softener.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 07:56 AM
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So the valves aren't leaking from the shaft or seals, they just aren't fully shutting off the flow?

Pretty common on poor quality gate valves. First reaction is usually to crank them tighter but that usually doesn't work and often leads to a stripped valve. Not much you can do but replace with ball valves or live with it.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 08:54 AM
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They don't appear to be leaking from the shaft or seals, just not shutting off the water completely. Think I'll live with it since they'll be connected to a water softener and opened most of the time anyway. In the future, for either ball or gate valves, where would I purchase something like that? I don't recall ever seeing a plumbing store. I guess I can Google it, but was curious if such stores exist. Plumbers have to get their supplies from somewhere. Guess I could check online.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 09:46 AM
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The Box stores carry ball valves and so far the quality seems OK. Look for ones that have clean castings and operate smoothly. And look at the ball while you operate the handle to make sure there aren't any visible scratches.

Plumbing supply stores are few and far between in my neck of the woods anymore.
 
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