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NullQwerty9
join:2008-12-18
united state

NullQwerty9

Member

Water Shut Off Valve Not Shutting Off Fully

Hey foks,

I'm trying to replace my bathroom sink vanity. First thing I did was to shut off both the hot and cold water valves under the sink (the turn style shaped like a round honeycomb). Unfortunately, after doing so, both hot and cold water still comes out when you turn the sink on. The cold water comes out at a quick drip pace. The hot water comes out a little fasterlike you just barely have the water on (like what would come out of a water bottle if you squeezed it).

Is my only option here really to replace these valves?

mattmag

join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois

mattmag



Pretty typical for that type of valves. You can try "cycling" them open and shut with the water faucets open, and you may flush out the debris and scale that is causing them to leak by. I wouldn't count on it though.

Long-term solution however is replacing them with ball valves of the quarter-turn variety.

LazMan
Premium Member
join:2003-03-26
Welland, ON
·Bell Fibe Internet
·Rogers Hi-Speed

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Can you post a pic - there may be a packing nut you can tighten, to add more pressure (like a hex-nut around where the stem comes out)...

But if they haven't been used much, odds are good replacement is the best option. The washers inside may be cracked or hard, and just not sealing anymore.



cdru
Go Colts
MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN

2 recommendations

cdru

MVM

said by LazMan:

Can you post a pic - there may be a packing nut you can tighten, to add more pressure (like a hex-nut around where the stem comes out)...

I've never had a packing nut control how much pressure is applied to the valve seat and washer. Every valve I've disassembled has had the valve stem screwed into the bonnet that is screwed onto the valve body. The pressure exerted at the seat is determined by the threads on the stem screwed into bonnet.

Tightening the packing nut squeezes the packing material against the stem. This would help correct a leaking valve stem should the packing nut be lose or the packing material no longer created a tight seal. It wouldn't alter the flow of water through the valve.

I agree with Mattmag above. Just plan on replacing the valve. Gate valves should be outlawed for any residential application that is not cycled frequently and does not need to control the volume of water flow other than on/off.

Normal
@videotron.ca

Normal to NullQwerty9

Anon

to NullQwerty9
said by NullQwerty9:

Hey foks,

I'm trying to replace my bathroom sink vanity. First thing I did was to shut off both the hot and cold water valves under the sink (the turn style shaped like a round honeycomb). Unfortunately, after doing so, both hot and cold water still comes out when you turn the sink on. The cold water comes out at a quick drip pace. The hot water comes out a little fasterlike you just barely have the water on (like what would come out of a water bottle if you squeezed it).

Is my only option here really to replace these valves?

No. This is quite normal.

Shut the water off either via a master off, hot-water tank or whatever you have.

Take the valve out (the part you turn with your hand as shown in the pic someone else pasted up above). Bring that with you to homedepot, or whatever hardware store, and replace the o-rings.

That's it.

Might cost you anywhere from 75-cents to 2$.

Put it back and that should be it.

I would get a pack of o-rings for everyone in the house and do them all in one shot. Might set you back a whole 2.50$ (if they are all the same).

As someone mentioned up above, rust, iron filings from the H-W tank, or your city water can accumulate around these and cause the issue. When I changed mine I let the water flow just a tiny bit to flush it out before putting the valve back in. I had quite a bit of particles.

Hall
MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH

Hall to mattmag

MVM

to mattmag
said by mattmag:

Long-term solution however is replacing them with ball valves of the quarter-turn variety.

If I have to replace a faucet (obviously not too often) or more commonly, the fill-valve in a toilet, I plan on the shutoff failing on me at that time, so I also buy a new one -- and have been getting quarter-turn shut-offs for a while now.

robbin
Mod
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX

robbin to NullQwerty9

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to NullQwerty9
said by NullQwerty9:

Is my only option here really to replace these valves?

Standard rule for me now is that if the cutoff valve is not a quarter turn valve it gets replaced when I work on the faucet, toilet etc. The quarter turn valves are worth the time involved and you don't want old, unreliable valves because in the emergency situation time is of the essence in getting the water turned off.

Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium Member
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT

Subaru

Premium Member

said by robbin:

said by NullQwerty9:

Is my only option here really to replace these valves?

Standard rule for me now is that if the cutoff valve is not a quarter turn valve it gets replaced when I work on the faucet, toilet etc. The quarter turn valves are worth the time involved and you don't want old, unreliable valves because in the emergency situation time is of the essence in getting the water turned off.

Happened to me last year, the line to the toliet tank bust when I was in my room reading and I'd hate to know what would of happened had I not been here...

replaced it with a quarter turn valve since getting it off quick was what I needed, plus I looked crazy trying to turn off a valve and water was shooting right in my face

mityfowl
Premium Member
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX

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I no longer ever turn those valves in my house.

Any plumbing work that needs to be done on them and it's out to the water meter and turn the whole house off.

Somehow I've lost the whole house cut off
ImpetusEra
Premium Member
join:2004-05-19
00000

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Despise those valves. Everytime I use them they still let water through to some degree. Even better are the ones that do nothing and then after turning start to leak out the stem. If there's ample pipe to cut those valves off and replace with a ball valve and you don't have to bend like a pretzel to solder them on I'd say go that route. Otherwise replace o-rings as suggested if the parts can be found.
peterboro (banned)
Avatars are for posers
join:2006-11-03
Peterborough, ON

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Standard procedure for me has been to install separate shutoffs with bleeders to segments of the house when I do plumbing projects. With 3 bathrooms and two kitchens it helps. Plus when the city re-did the water lines on our street and we fed off a rubber hose for months I installed an new 3/4 ball and cock main shut-off.

jack b
Gone Fishing
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join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod

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Many old style valves have a have a tapered or flat hard rubber washer mounted on the stem that makes a seal on the valve seat. Over time they dry out. When it cracks, it leaks (won't shut off 100%)

If your valve looks similar to the picture LazMan posted, you can usually fix it fairly easily. ( provided they're not all rotted out)

Turn off the main water supply, and verify it's off.

Loosen the packing nut and unscrew the valve stem by turning both counterclockwise (open)

The valve stem should come right out. The washer is on the end and has a small screw holding it in place. Bring it to a hardware store to match up the replacement washer you will need.

Before you put it back together take a look inside the valve for any debris that might be stuck in there that would prevent the new washer from seating properly.

Turn the water back on and check for any leaks.
NullQwerty9
join:2008-12-18
united state

1 edit

NullQwerty9

Member

Thanks everyone! This is all a bummer to hear, but what can you do. I actually don't have the style pictured in lazman's post but rather i have the one in this pic in this post.
While i understand long-term it should be replaced, does what Jack b is saying or what normal was saying apply to my style as well? Seems like it should.

robbin
Mod
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX

robbin

Mod

Could you take a pic of your valves?
Oedipus
join:2005-05-09
Clovis, CA

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If I'm in the mood to undertake a solid weekend of under-sink cussing and countless trips to home depot, all I have to do is touch one of those valves.

At least yours are leaking internally rather than externally.

Normal
@videotron.ca

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Anon

to NullQwerty9
said by NullQwerty9:

While i understand long-term it should be replaced, does what Jack b is saying or what normal was saying apply to my style as well? Seems like it should.

Yes.

If it was the washer right at the top near the plastic or metal handle, it would drip at the handle. So it isn't that. But pick one up. If it ever leaks (or you damage it) you will be glad you have it.

In the picture you can see a washer in the pipe. That is one of them to change. There is actually one or two more, depending on the model. One right at or rear the end, which really isn't visible in that picture, and you may have another o-ring in between those two.

So shut off the water, take the entire valve out (may have to wiggle it hard when you unscrew it) and bring the whole thing with you to homedepot or whatever ("some" homedepots hire retired plumbers so you don't waste an hour dicking around wondering which one will fit out of the hundred different sizes. The guy will likely replace them for you right there).

Get extra's for each of these in your home. Do them all. Flush it out a little bit to move particles out.

I have one in the house like that (seems to be a cast iron handle) from around the 60's which is an odd non-standard size these days. Homedepot didn't have one of the parts. Had to go a real plumbing only type place for the "packing washer".

So while these are normal to see, if it's a real 50-yr old odd size one like I have (and they are quality made) you may have trouble finding that packing washer. So go easy on that particular washer just in case (since I don't know the specifics of yours).
Normal

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said by NullQwerty9:

This is all a bummer to hear

Nah. It's a bit of a pain in the ass to have your ass-crack up in the air while under a sink and bent in positions that the human body wasn't meant to be in, but the wife or GF will get a kick out of your manliness as you are under the sink.

When one goes, it's best to do them all in the house. This way you know you did them all at the same time and know you won't have an issue again till your an old man. Plus it's something simple you should learn to do instead of running out and buying a whole new valve. Few dollars only for the whole house (and maybe the taps outside for your hose). Plus once you do one then the second one is easier and you will be happy you did it.

Then once it's all done, you suck in the gut, flex, and say, "honey I did it, I deserve 3 beer". Then at work Monday you find out she took a pic and put your plumbers crack on facebook...

Then you get to help someone else here by telling them your war story a year from now.

...All normal.

cdru
Go Colts
MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN

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to peterboro
said by peterboro:

...I installed an new 3/4 ball and cock main shut-off.

I've heard of government screwing over it's citizens, but installing a new ball and cock seems a little excessive.

I think the term for the valve is ballcock (all one word). You also didn't install a ballcock valve as your main shutoff. A ballcock valve aka a float valve typically would be found in your toilet and consists of a hollow sphere on the end of an arm that floats, shutting off when the water reaches a particular level.

You probably mean just a standard 1/4 turn ball valve, which is what is recommended over gate valves for water shutoffs.

jjoshua
Premium Member
join:2001-06-01
Scotch Plains, NJ

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I, too, think that the washer has half worn out. If you take the aerator off of the sink, you might find bits of the washer in there.

If you can replace the washers, it's an easy fix.
NullQwerty9
join:2008-12-18
united state

NullQwerty9

Member

Awesome...thanks everyone. I'm gonna give the washers a shot first and plan to do a full replace later. Unless it doesn't work in which case I'll do a full replace now. I'd probably use a SharkBite fitting as I don't trust my soldering skills.

I'll post back this afternoon with results. If successful I'll probably tout my manliness and my suspected ability to survive in the wild and make fire out of twigs. If unsuccessful, I might sound panicked and will probably whisper so the wife doesn't hear.
peterboro (banned)
Avatars are for posers
join:2006-11-03
Peterborough, ON

1 recommendation

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to cdru
said by cdru:

said by peterboro:

...I installed an new 3/4 ball and cock main shut-off.

I've heard of government screwing over it's citizens, but installing a new ball and cock seems a little excessive.

Yes, you're right. I must of been having some sort of subliminal homoerotic thoughts about my plumbing and as for the government we are fully socialized medicine up here, and as I could use a couple inches, I'd welcome the installation if the new one if it were longer.
wth
Premium Member
join:2002-02-20
Iowa City,IA
·Mediacom

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said by NullQwerty9:

Awesome...thanks everyone. I'm gonna give the washers a shot first and plan to do a full replace later. Unless it doesn't work in which case I'll do a full replace now

If you replace those valves, also replace those galvanized nipples, as I've seen those rust out on the inside within 30 years.
MaynardKrebs
We did it. We heaved Steve. Yipee.
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join:2009-06-17

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Ok, now we're replacing nipples to go along with our new ball and cock.

It's getting to sound more and more like a plastic surgery forum.

robbin
Mod
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX

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said by NullQwerty9:

I'd probably use a SharkBite fitting as I don't trust my soldering skills.

Is the current one soldered in place?
NullQwerty9
join:2008-12-18
united state

NullQwerty9

Member

yep

jack b
Gone Fishing
MVM
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Cape Cod

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SharkBite fittings are not my favorite for making similar-material or ninety-degree pipe joints or for unsupported valves, but they are perfect for in-line couplings or copper to pex transitions!

They do work nicely in some cases, like in tight quarters, especially where a torch might set something inside a wall cavity on fire! ...

...or where someone isn't so sure of their soldering skills...

robbin
Mod
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX

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I'd just get the quarter turn valves with compression fittings. I've never had a compression fitting fail.
patcat88
join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY

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to jack b
said by jack b:

They do work nicely in some cases, like in tight quarters, especially where a torch might set something inside a wall cavity on fire! ...

Buy a fireblanket and a spray bottle of water, wet wall down, put fabric behind, then blowtorch it.

BillRoland
Premium Member
join:2001-01-21
Ocala, FL
·Cox HSI

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I just went through something similar, needed to shut off water to my bathroom faucet. The cold water supply valve wouldn't close completely, and the hot water supply valve was totally frozen, couldn't budge it without risking damaging the pipe. Once I shut off water at the meter, I removed them both and replaced with quarter turn ball valves. That will be my SOP each time I have to shut off a valve for something in the future until they're all replaced.
NullQwerty9
join:2008-12-18
united state

2 recommendations

NullQwerty9

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Gentleman. I come back to report harrowing tales of success. The beast and I grappled back and forth for minutes. I grabbed the beast by it's neck (the valve stem) but it refused to come loose. We battled bravely, till I finally chopped off it's neck (cut the pipe) and removed the beast from it's lair (took off the valve). It has since been replaced by the shark guardian (SharkBite Water Shutoff valve) and peace has been restored.

Tales of my journey will be repeated for years to come.

Thank you for your support and farewell.
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