Leaky ball valve with crazy loose packing nut

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Nev, Jul 6, 2021.

  1. Nev

    Nev New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2021
    Location:
    Ohio
    I've got a 3/4" ball valve going to my water heater which ever since it was turned now slowly drips. After doing some research I saw the thing to do was tighten the packing nut but it is actually so loose that when I grabbed it the nut slid halfway off. I am not sure if threading corroded off of something or what but if I didn't know any better I'd say this nut wasn't the right size.

    What are my options? Is it possible to find a replacement nut? Cleaning all the rust/calcium has made the leaking a bit worse I think...

    Thanks
     
  2. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    No photo. It hard to tell that the packing nut is stripped or the threads on the valve are too far gone. Someone in the past may have over tighten it. Take a picture and go to a store to see if you can match it up. With sharkbite fittings and valves available, it is not all that hard replacing the valve.
     
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  4. Nev

    Nev New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2021
    Location:
    Ohio
    ahh, I don't know what happened to my photo. Sorry about that.

    I was thinking replace as well and was looking at compression fittings at Home Depot but I didn't really know if I cut out the existing valve how I would have enough room for a new valve since I'd lose some pipe in the process
     

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  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I've seen them loose from the factory. I would first see if it threads back in carefully.
    Very small and they don't take much turning.
     
  6. Nev

    Nev New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2021
    Location:
    Ohio
    It doesn't seem like it will grab a thread at all... I can slide it right on and off like it was a size too big (except it does look the right size for the white ring behind it)
     
  7. BillTheEngineer

    BillTheEngineer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Location:
    Hauppauge, NY
    If you need/want to cut it out and concerned the pipe won't be long enough there are ways to deal with it without sweating in a new valve. Use a threaded valve and two thread to compression or sharkbite adapters. Yes it's a bit more expensive and there are more leak points, but no sweating is needed.
     
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    That looks like the pipe out of the valve may be soldered to the top of the water heater. That would be odd. So maybe I am misinterpreting the picture.

    Sharkbite has some interesting valves, including their "Slip Ball Valves" for repair work.

    https://www.sharkbite.com/products/brass-push-ball-valves
     
  9. Nev

    Nev New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2021
    Location:
    Ohio
    Still cheaper than a plumber, for sure! I did not think of that.

    The picture definitely cuts off at the bottom in a way that is misleading. The previous water heater was a tall model and it was replaced with a short one so the installer added some extra pipe which is what I think you're seeing. Below that there is a regular big ol' nut on the top of the water heater. Home Depot recommended this 18" hose to screw into the water heater but it would be too long and I don't see a shorter one offered. https://www.sharkbite.com/products/...ed-flexible-water-heater-connector-ball-valve

    From what I have been reading the sharkbites make me nervous, but I may go with one of those slip ball valves. Probably less chance of me screwing it up as long as I avoid old solder and get a clean connection.

    ---
    Thanks all! I think I should be able to figure something out now
     
  10. GReynolds929

    GReynolds929 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2021
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    WA
    Ball valves don't have packing nuts in the traditional sense. That nut is what holds the handle on. If it's leaking you need a new valve.
     
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