Brand new leaking gate valve

I bought a 3/4 gate valve at HD. It leaked out onto the valve; maybe one drop in about 3 minutes. I tried tighening the stem, but that didn't help. Then I noticed that the body was also hex shaped, I turned that about a eight of a turn and the drip stopped.
The valve is open; it will only rarely be closed.
Two questions- 1) Will trying to stop the leak by turning the stem have any adverse affect; should I turn it back to where it was? I turned it maybe a quarter of a turn. 2) Is it normal that the body needs to be tighened, or do I have a problem here?
Thanks.
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Exactly why did you buy a gate valve? I don't buy gate valves bacause they suck. Get a ball valve instead.
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can't mess with a main shutoff. However in this instance it was $4 instead of $10. I don't expect to use it very often, and if it craps out, replacing it isn't a big deal. I even thought about not putting a valve in at all; the once every few years I can just use the main shutoff; but decided $4 was worth it.
However I didn't expect it to leak brand new!
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I had a thread here recently titled something like "Junk Chinese plumbing components". It's getting harder to find anything that isn't made (or mis-made) in China.

I'm not sure why you're asking. Are there still problems? Or haven't you dared to try to operate the valve a few times?
If it's leaking around the stem, don't expect it to improve with time. A quality made ball valve will be expensive (initially) but worth the money in prevented frustration.

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That's correct; I only used it once since "fixing" it. It is not leaking and I don't want to mess with it. Hopefully it will be a few years before I need to use it again.
But yes, if I had it to do over again, a ball valve would be my choice. The agravation isn't worth the $6 I saved.
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toller wrote:

But I don't understand your description. Isn't a gate valve one that has a hollow pieces that raises and lowers within the body to control the water flow? If so, they come completely apart. The stem is packed and is tightened down to the point that it doesn't leak. The whole sliding part (gate) is held in the body by a bigger nut under the valve packing nut. Is that what you turned and it stopped leaking? Anyway, there is a gasket under that big nut.
I don't think you have a problem. You tightened the packing nut because you didn't know where the leak was. Probably somebody never tightened the big nut sufficiently or more likely somebody messed with it and loosened it at the store.
I don't see what the problem is, you just tighten stuff, maybe look and see if the correct gaskets are there before you tighten it. The only problem I ever had was that the sliding part (?gate?) would sometimes crack and bulge if frozen.
How could you save $6 by buying a gate valve instead of a ball valve? Ball valves cost less than gate valves where I live and a 3/4" ball valve doesn't cost more than $7. 1/2" ones are less than $4. 'Course you can find another store and buy the exact same valve for a lot more.
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... and where are these bargain valves manufactured?
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So, if it works, it is okay. Thanks; I will stop worrying about it. Maybe I will take one apart in the store.

I went to two stores (HD and Chase Pitkin). At both the 3/4" ball valves were $10 and the gate valves were $4.
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The guy in the plumbing department in Home Depot once showed me why the Nibco ball valves are better. Just look at them, not made in China, and they ball itself is large, not the small restrictive opening like you see in the Chinese valves. For a main shutoff valve I'd get one of the Italian made gas ball valves...
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anything and I wouldn't worry about it. It is a good idea, however, to exercise valves periodically to keep them free and working properly when you do need them. I would recommend a full-flow ball valve for this application since gate valves do not always shut off totally. Since it's in and working I wouldn't change it. Full-flow ball valves cost a little more than the others but it would be a good valve for this application.
Dan
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

Several years ago, I had the same problem, same part, same application, same store! Damn packing "nut" was a piece of stamped nylon, and the center hole was way off center. It ended up being a "C" shaped washer that would never seal. I made a neoprene washer for it.
I now really look over anything from the DIY stores before i buy, if it looks like crap, operates poorly, it IS crap, DON'T BUY IT at any price.
-larry/dallas
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