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.
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
2) Is it normal that the body needs to be tighened, or do I have a problem
Last year I put a new main shutoff on and used a ball valve because you
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!
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.
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.
I never can remember the names of the damn valves.
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.
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...
Not unusuall to have to snug things up a bit to seal. You didn't harm
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
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.
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