• Share:
How to Fix a Leaking Shutoff Valve

This quick DIY fix for a leaky water shutoff valve is something even a novice can handle. Follow our how-to steps and photos for complete instructions.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Fix a leaking shutoff valve

The plumbing supply shutoff valves behind toilets or under sinks can go for years without being turned off and then reopened again. That inactivity can cause the neoprene washers to become either brittle or crusted up with mineral deposits, and they lose their ability to seal leaks.

Occasionally, after shutting off a toilet supply valve to replace the tank plumbing parts, you may find that the shutoff valve leaks through the packing nut once the valve is opened again. To remedy this, most plumbing pros advise first using a groove joint pliers to tighten the packing nut one-eighth turn clockwise (Photo 1). If the neoprene washers are still flexible and clean, this should work to stop the leak.

If the leak persists, before replacing the entire valve, try this. Turn off the water at the house's main shutoff, then disassemble the problematic shutoff valve without disconnecting the valve from either the water supply line or the line leading to the toilet. Unscrew the handle, the packing nut and the threaded valve stem (Photo 2).

Clean the washers with a cloth and flex the neoprene to try to get it supple again. Avoid gumming up the inside of the shutoff valve; don't use any pipe dope or plastic tape on the valve stem's threads. Reassemble the shutoff valve, turn the main house valve back on and check for leaks. If the valve leak persists, turn off the main water shutoff valve, then disconnect the valve and replace it.

Back to Top
closeX

Add Your Comment

How to Fix a Leaking Shutoff Valve

Please add your comment
closeX

Log in to My Account

Log in to enjoy membership benefits from The Family Handyman.

  • Forgot your password?
Don’t have an account yet?

Sign up today for FREE and become part of The Family Handyman community of DIYers.

Member benefits:

  • Get a FREE Traditional Bookcase Project Plan
  • Sign up for FREE DIY newsletters
  • Save projects to your project binder
  • Ask and answer questions in our DIY Forums
  • Share comments on DIY Projects and more!
Join Us Today
closeX

Report Abuse

Subject
Reasons for reporting post

Free OnSite Newsletter

Get timely DIY projects for your home and yard, plus a dream project for your wish list!

Follow Us