The nut for Main Water shutoff (Ball valve) got wet when turning


I shut off the main water to repair a toilet, and the shutoff is a 20-year old green Grinnell 3/4" ball valve. When I put the water back on, I opened up the ball valve very gradually. I noticed that nut that holds the handle in place got wet from turning the valve. After the valve was opened all the way the slight leak at the nut seemed to stop, but it bothers me that it happened at all. This is the valve immediately after the water meter. The one before the water meter (same exact valve) had done that once too, so I leave that one open all the time.
Is it normal for a ball valve to drip as a result of using it and then stop dripping? If not, then do you recommend I get any work done on the main shutoff valves if the nuts holding the handle get wet as a result turning them? Does this mean that usage of the ball valve is deteriorating some packing in the valve? I had thought ball valves weren't supposed to leak the way old crank-style valves do. Would tightening the nut that holds the handle in place stop a leak if it didn't stop on it's own? Without removing the handle, (which I'm afraid to do) I don't see any other nut except the nut that holds the handle in place.
Thanks,
J.
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wrote:

If it's too much to tolerate, wrap a towel or a thinner piece of cloth around the valve, and route the cloth to a bucket.
If that doesn't give you enought time to finish the work you are doing, you may be able to siphon the water from the bucket to sump or to a drain in the middle of the basement. You'll have to put the bucket on a brick or maybe something taller for the siphon to work. When I did this, I had a leaking pipe at a sink, and the bucket was pretty high, and I siphoned the water into the toilet.
The siphon speed was self regulating (even though I didn't do anything to accomplish that, except perhaps accidentally choose the right height for the bucket.) so that once I started it, it ran for 5 days with no attention from anyone. When the water in the bucket was high, the siphon worked faster, and when it was low, it worked slower, so the siphon never emptied and the bucket never overflowed. Not even close.
And we continued to use the sink the whole time.
I used fairly large diameter tubing, that we had to buy for chem class, iirc. I know that for the last 6 inches, I used a large diameter plastic straw, such as are still used for milk shakes. Its outside diameter was the same as the tubing's inside diameter.

I don't know about this stuff.

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Ball valves "usually" can't be adjusted and "usually" there is nothing you can tighten. But just as in a more conventional valve there may be something you can tighten. You may have to take off the handle using the obvious nut to see if there is anything you can tighten. If there isn't anything you can tighten and the leak doesn't stop itself after a few hours you might was well replace the valve.
Since you have "public" water, you might check NOW to see how you can turn the water off at the meter.
We own a house on public water and the water company doesn't have any problem with us using "their" valve. That don't want us to break the wires for the electronic meter reading but otherwise.... The local "big box" store sold "Keys" to operate the valve for less than $10. If you have long arms and strong arms you can operate the valve with an adjustable wrench. I decided to pay the $10 for a "key."
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