leaky tempering valve

I have a 5 year old boiler (which also provides hot water service for my house), which seems to have a leaky what I think is called a tempering valve (see link below for pic).
http://www.pexsupply.com/img/categoryImages/Watts%2070A%20Valve.jpg
This valve is right outside the boiler where our hot water service comes out (ie not the baseboard runs). There is almost a constant 2 foot x 2 foot puddle right under the valve (especially after hot water use, like showers, laundy, etc). I've watched it closely and this valve is definately the cause. It look like water is making its way up the stem (against gravity), and leaking from the underside of the valve handle (that black plastic part in the picture). It's been doing this for about 6 months but recently has been slowly getting worse. I've tried turning the plastic part but it seems to not want to budge (I don't push too hard b/c I don't want to break it). I was hoping turning it a bit may reseal the leak. I guess first question... Is it supposed to turn? Next question, how big a job is it for a plumber?? I'm guessing just switching out the valve should be a quick one?? And finally, how common is this?
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Yup, that's a tempering valve!
The plastic part is supposed to turn, but if it hasn't been moved in years, attempting to turn it would probably make the leak worse.
Unless access or shutting the water off is a problem, should be an easy replacement job for a plumber.
Eric Law

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grodenhiATgmailDOTcom wrote:

Best bet would be to just get a Watts repair kit and install it, either by yourself or get a buddy to do it. That'll giet you like new pweformance.
It really doesn't take plumbing skills to do that, no soldering required.
I've had to put a replacement kit in the one in our house a couple of times in the last 25 years when the thermostat inside gave out.
Look on Pg. 33 of this file:
http://www.watts.com/pdf/PL-RP-GP.pdf
The repair kits are available at most any plumbing supply store. The last one I got came from Home Depot IIRC.
Good luck,
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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