How to Repair a Toilet Shut Off Valve
If you are wondering how to repair a toilet shut off valve, the following information can prove very handy.
The toilet shut-off valve is also called the stop valve. This is the valve controlling water to the toilet, usually located below the cistern of the toilet. Most shut-off valves are rather durable and only need a replacement after many years. However, due to sustained usage, the valve can malfunction, leading to leaks or reduced water pressure. You don’t need to hire professional help for repairing shut-off valves. These valves have a very basic configuration and they can be easily repaired at home, using some basic supplies.
Step 1—Executing Basic Shut off Valve Repair
Get started by shutting-off the valve. Shut-off the main water supply to the house to prevent sudden bursts of water. Cover the jaws of the pliers with masking tape. This is critical to prevent scratching of the shut-off valve surface. Use the pliers to firmly grip the packing nut. This nut is located under the handle of the valve. Turn the nut in the clockwise direction. This is the most basic repair to ensure that the nut is properly tightened. If this doesn’t stop the leakage, proceed by loosening the packing nut by turning the nut in the counterclockwise direction with a plier or wrench.
Step 2—Cleaning/Replacing Shut off Valve Washers
When loosening the packing nut, make sure to disengage the valve slowly. This creates a time lag of few seconds, helping to increase the pressure in the small amount of water retained around the valve. As a result, the water shoots out of the valve, helping to unclog any debris in the valve. Removing the nut gives access to the threaded valve stem that contains the washers. Use a flat headed screwdriver for edging out the washers. Clean the washers using water and an old toothbrush. Ensure that you remove the mineral deposition that often coats the washers. However, if the washers seem cracked, you need to replace them. For this, you need to carry the valve stem to a hardware store to procure an exact replacement. Replace the cleaned/replacement washer and secure the valve stem and packing nut. Turn-on the water supply and inspect for leaks. If the leakage persists, proceed in the following manner.
Step 3—Tightening Shut off Valve Water Supply Line
You need to tighten the inlet of the toilet line in the shut off valve. Start by disconnecting the water line from the valve. For this, use a wrench or plier for loosening the nut at the other end of the valve, connected to the water supply line. Use a dry cloth to wipe the piping. Using Teflon taping, wrap the pipe threads of water line. Make at least two complete turns of the Teflon tape over the pipe threads for ensuring better fitting. Use a scissor to cut the tape. Smooth the taped pipe ending with your fingers. Place the taped piping into its slot and tighten the shut-off valve.