Valve cannot be turned off?

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Old 10-21-20, 01:57 PM
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Valve cannot be turned off?

My outside faucet has a shutoff valve in the garage as shown in the photo (red one). I tried to turn off the water like all previous years in preparation for winter. Oddly, even after I turned the valve until it is tight, the water at the faucet is only reduced to maybe 20% of the max flow. I marked the "off" position with a silver marker previous years so that when it is facing towards me, it was off.

As I was tightening the valve, a few drops of water leaked out of the stem but as I tightened it further it stopped leaking.

The valve is 36 years old but I only use it twice each year. I could try to tighten the valve with more brute force but I'm worry that could make things worse. But if I don't turn off the water the pipe may freeze and burst (happened a few times in previous years). What should I do?



It does not show in the photo, but there is T join between the two valves. I believe the water main comes in on the left side, passes through the house shut-off valve (black), then split into two paths: one goes to the outside faucet and the other one to the rest of the house.
 
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Old 10-21-20, 02:39 PM
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You can replace the washer in the valve or replace the whole valve. Just make sure to turn off the water supply to your house before working on the valve. You may have to shut it off at the meter.
 
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Old 10-21-20, 03:08 PM
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Replacing the washer maybe the easiest.
Is it reasonable to assume shutting off the black valve would shutoff the water going to the red valve?
How do I narrow down the type of washer to buy? Do I need to figure out the brand/model of the red valve?
 
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Old 10-21-20, 03:17 PM
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Make of valve really isn't too helpful.
You'll probably need to remove the valve guts to visually match the washer.
 
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Old 10-22-20, 05:59 AM
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If your water supply comes in the T between the valves like you said then closing the black will not help with servicing the red. That is why I said you may have to shut the water off at the meter.
 
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Old 10-22-20, 06:22 AM
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Bring the valve stem with you to the hardware store to try to get a proper fit. Do you get leaking through the stem when water is turned on? If so then you'll want to re-pack the gland nut. In the future to prevent the problem work the valve more often during the year. That will keep the washer and packing moist and maintain sealing.
 
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Old 10-22-20, 06:51 AM
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To give the OP and idea of what he is dealing with a pic of a Globe valve may be useful. His valve may be old enough to have rope packing to seal the stem rather than a washer as depicted in the pic. BTW, the valve next to it appears to be a gate valve. With either valve, a large percent of those are damaged by an un-knowing operator when the valves are infants. ie, to stop water flow they must be turned off real tight and that's not the case.
 
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Old 10-22-20, 01:01 PM
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I thought not using the valve would prolong its life..Actually I have a fear of messing with shutoff valves because my experience is they malfunction often, especially when I need to use them.

Yesterday I turned off the black valve to see if also turns off the outside faucet. It doesn't. Actually even the faucets inside the house are not completely shutoff -- I still get a trickle of water. And the outside faucet still flows. Then I went to the meter shutoff and found it is pack full of dirt. I have to clean them off today and try again.

Are there more dependable and longer lasting valves I can replace these valves with? Something that would still work even if I don't touch them for years.
What about ball valves?
 
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Old 10-22-20, 01:52 PM
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Yes a ball valve is much better. But still it's always a good idea to work them occasionally. Are you familiar with the Sharkbite valves? That would make the job a lot easier.
 
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