Shut off valve leaking

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Dato Da, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. Dato Da

    Dato Da New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Hi,

    I just posted about a valve that doesn't turn. Now, in order to find out which way to turn to shut off a value, I tried it on one that seems turn-able. It did turn, but then it started leaking!

    P1000679.JPG

    My toilet paper test shows that the leak is at the screw (the greenish area in the picture). Is there something I may do to stop the leaking? Thanks.
  2. Smooky

    Smooky Member

    Messages:
    652
    Location:
    NC
    It might stop if you open it all the way.
  3. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,811
    Location:
    IL
    Yes. You want to replace the valve with a 1/4 turn ball valve. You will disconnect the flex hose from the valve. Then you will turn the valve CCW. The nipple may unscrew from within the wall. That's OK. Remove the valve from the nipple. Either replace or re-use the nipple. Put teflon tape on both ends of the nipple, and screw on the new valve.

    If the valve first comes loose from the nipple, you can leave the nipple in place. Teflon tape the free end, and screw on the new valve.

    Many would suggest replacing the flex line to the toilet while making the swap. Others would reuse if it looks to be in good shape.
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,397
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    As noted previously, replace with a 1/4 turn valve. A toilet valve should always be fully on or completely off, so the 1/4 turn is an obvious choice. Replace the flex line. It's cheap insurance. Sure, the old one might last for years, but it also might split tomorrow. You will have the labor done, and you have to go to the hardware/plumbing store anyway, so buy the supply line while you're at it.
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,418
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I like to open it all the way and then back it in a bit.
    If it drips from the stem, snug up the bonnet nut.
    SHR likes this.
  6. Dato Da

    Dato Da New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Thank you folks very much for your suggestions.

    I tried opening it all the way, and then backed it in a bit. That seems to reduce the amount of the leak (now one drop every couple of minutes), but it's still leaking. I tried tightening the bonnet nut (the greenish hex thing in my picture) with the two-wrench approach, but I couldn't move it in either direction (perhaps I was being too gentle). Is there anything I may do to help me turn the bonnet nut? Or is there something else I may try to stop that small leak? Can I just slap some plumber's putty/silicon on the stem?

    Just in case I do need to replace the valve: Could you please tell me from the picture if the valve is soldered on the pipe or if it's screwed on? I don't really see a nipple in there, so does that mean I need to cut the pipe if I want to replace it with a 1/4-turn valve?

    I am sorry for my stupid questions--I have close to zero experience in DIY. Thanks again.
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,811
    Location:
    IL
    It's probably easier to replace the valve, and you will have a valve that works better.

    Here is a thread that might help: http://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?threads/warning-on-toilet-shutoff-valve.34282/ Sliding that escutcheon from the wall may help see what is going on. You could also try a close up picture taken with a camera in macro mode.

    A magnet will stick to a steel pipe, and that would insure threaded. A magnet will not stick to brass or copper. Brass is usually threaded, and copper is usually soldered.
  8. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,348
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    That is chrome sleave soldered on to copper tube and can not just be cut off pull the chrome bell away
    from the wall and take a look.
  9. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered Member

    Messages:
    305
    Location:
    Georgia
    I enlarged the photo and discovered something interesting; we use the same china.
    Now, run down to the home center and purchase a chrome angle stop with a 3/8 compression outlet.
    Come home, turn off the water, throw down some towels, and remove the handle and stem, etc from the shut-off.
    Remove the handle and stem from the new shut-off that you just purchased and screw that sucker into the valve body of the old shut-off. Reattach the supply tube, turn the water on, then check for leaks. You're done.
    The quarter-turn is nice, but this is easier.
  10. Dato Da

    Dato Da New Member

    Messages:
    7
    This is what it looks like behind the chrome bell:

    P1000680.JPG

    The white stuff there obscures things quite a bit, so I took another picture of an identical shut off valve under the sink that looks cleaner:

    P1000681.JPG

    As you may see there, it's actually two pipes-- One that comes out of the wall and the other connected with the valve, with the latter wrapping around the former. Is this soldered on?
  11. Dato Da

    Dato Da New Member

    Messages:
    7
    :) I got mine at Costco. Did you too?

    Thanks for your suggestion. How do I remove the handle and stem? I suppose I need to remove the bonnet nut in order to get to them. Alas, I can't turn the bonnet in either direction. :(
  12. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered Member

    Messages:
    305
    Location:
    Georgia
    Not sure on the "china".

    You'll need two tools to remove the nut. One to grip the valve body and one to unscrew the bonnet. Turn the nut tighter first to break it loose, then start unscrewing it ccw. Turn the handle ccw and remove the stem. Look inside the body for black washer fragments and fish out any you find. Screw the new stem into the valve body followed by the nut. The assembly may bind up if you start the bonnet first.
    The tools you need would be maybe channel-lock pliers and an adjustable wrench. The whole house water would be turned off during this procedure.
  13. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,348
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    That sleeve is soldered on and needs to be heated off.Copper tube coming out of the wall.
    You cannot just cut the chrome sleeve and install a new valve on the chrome sleeve.
    Copper tube to short if you cut it off behind chrome sleeve.
    If you can get the bonnet off you may be able to repair the existing valve.
  14. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,811
    Location:
    IL
    How do you think that the valve is attached to the chrome?
  15. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,348
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    It is
    It is a chrome plated copper tube made for finish work and it is soldered on.
    It has the same ID as the OD 1/2"copper tube as in a copper to copper coupling.
    Factory made I have installed them many times.
  16. plumber69

    plumber69 Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    BC
    Watch out for those metal supplys feeding the toilet, they get a fine crack in them all the time. Toilets sometimes become loose, floor becomes soft or house settles and theres not much play in these
  17. craigpump

    craigpump Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,085
    Location:
    ct
    I have close to zero experience in DIY...

    I predict a call to a local plumber on Saturday or Sunday
  18. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,516
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I always put Lube on the stem when I jack with shutoff valves.

    Tighten the stem seal works for most leaks.
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