Fix a leaky shutoff valve
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Tighten packing nut
Hold the valve body with one wrench and turn the packing nut clockwise with a second wrench.
Don’t panic. Here’s a simple fix that
works more than half the time and
doesn’t cost a dime to try. Many shutoff
valves have a packing nut or
packing material that surrounds the
valve stem. The packing can shrink
or get worn over time, causing water
to leak out around the valve stem.
This usually happens after someone
has closed and opened the valve for a
repair or for some other reason. The
good news is that in most cases simply
tightening the packing nut will
fix the problem. Go easy, though. If
you tighten it too much, the valve
won’t turn. Quarter-turn shutoff
valves don’t have a packing nut. If
this type leaks around the stem,
you’ll have to replace it.