Water shut off valve leaks under kitchen sink

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by ryan_siefring23, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. ryan_siefring23

    ryan_siefring23 Engineer


    I've got a leaky valve under my kitchen sink. I was going to replace the faucet and I first tried to see if I could hot water shut off valve to close. When I turned the knob it started leaking out the valve stem.

    I need to decide what to do next. Their is quite a bit of lime build up around the threads on this valve, looks like it leaked a lot in the past. I can either replace the valve with a new 1/4 turn valve or I can try and just replace the washer on the leaky valve. What do you suggest?

    If I replace the valve, I need to get the lime off. Any suggestions on this?

    Also, The whole house has these crappy valves installed. Would it be worth my time to just install new valves in the rest of the house or should I just shut off the whole house water supply each time I need to fix something.

    Thanks for your help,
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2008
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    Replace the whole valve...do it as you need to do maintenance or notice leaking. I'd also consider relacing those on the toilets, since of the things in the house, they usually need the most maintenance and its much nicer to only have that thing off verses the whole house while you fix it or run out for parts. It's possible that just tightening the packing nut you might stop the leak, but that also makes it harder to turn, and the valve seat and washer is probably shot if it is that old, so it would leak and not shut off completely anyways.
  3. Mort

    Mort New Member

    When I found one valve in need of replancement I figured the rest couldn't be far behind. Since they're largely in locations that don't get seen everyday, the chance for a leak going unnoticed seemed not worth taking. I just had everything replaceed at once with the 1/4 turn ball type valves. The plumber was a little creaky afterwards but his pockets were heavier.:D

    For a DIY, I would guess that a CLR type product or maybe just vinegar would disolve the lime deposits.

  4. Southern Man

    Southern Man DIY Hillbilly

    North Carolina
    Take a small wrench and tighten up the nut below the stem to tighten the packing. Tighten just enough so it stops leaking, then an iddy bitty bit more. Clean up the area, dry it real well, then place a paper towel under the valve so you can check back a few hours later to make sure the leak is fixed.

    All valves, especially these little valves should be "exercised" by turning them in, then back out, on an annual basis. More often if you have hard water. If you can’t turn them off then the lime has built up internally and it has to be replaced.
  5. ryan_siefring23

    ryan_siefring23 Engineer


    Tightening up the packing nut did the job. That's all I needed to do. Thanks for your help. I tired to replace the valve, but I couldn't get it off. I'll just need to shut off the house water supply if I ever need to do any work on that faucet again.

  6. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Will be a perfect time (house water shut-off for sink repairs) to then replace that valve, too.
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