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.