Repairing a Leaking Water Shutoff Valve Repairing a Leaking Water Shutoff Valve

What You'll Need
Slip joint pliers
Masking tape
A small container
A screwdriver
Clean rag

You may have to use the water shut off valve to repair your toilet or sink. Water shut off valves can become ruined and you may have to repair or replace them. Leaky valves are no fun for anyone and can cause significant damage. Here are some easy steps to help you through the process.

Step 1 - Masking Tape

You will want to prevent scratches on the water shut off valve by wrapping masking tape around the mouth of your slip pliers. Take the wrapped pliers and grab the nut that can be found behind the handle of the valve. The nut will need to be turned 1/8 of an inch, in a clockwise direction. This may stop the leak; if it does, then you are done. If not, then you will need to go on to the next step.

Step 2 - Turning Off the Water

You will need to shut off the water at the main valve and should have a bucket, or some kind of container to drain the pipes. This will also help you catch the last water that remains in the valve. Next, you will need to take the valve apart. There is no reason to take it off the line. Use the screwdriver and take the screw off the valve’s handle. You can undo the nut and pull out the valve stem. Once that is apart, you will have to make a note of the position of the washer.

Step 3 - Cleaning the Washers

Take a clean rag and remove any deposits that were left by minerals. Continue to gently rub the washers until they become flexible again. Once you are finished, you can put the water shut off valve back together again. You should not use putty or glue because it can make it hard to repair the valve in the future. 

Step 4 - Finishing up

Now it is time to clean up and turn the water on. You will need to be sure the lines get filled back up so that you can look for leaks. If you continue to see leaks, you will have to replace the water shut off valve.

Leaky valves or pipes cannot only be an annoyance but they can be very costly, as well. Keeping the valves in good working order and maintaining them when they need it will keep your costs down do a minimum. It also helps when you can do the repairs yourself and not have to call a plumber. This is a job that can be done in a short amount of time with little or no cost to you. Once you are done, you can sit back and relax knowing that your water shut off valve is leak free.

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!