Beginner’s Guide: How to Fix a Leaky Shut Off Valve (3 Quick Steps)

What to do if your main shut off valve is leaking ? how to fix it ? I explained them in a detailed manner.

Incase your home has an old gate valve, then that may be the cause of leaking. Outdated Gate valves are very prone to leaking and damage.

so I will suggest you to replace that with a ball valve, since they are very strong compared to gate valves.

repair a leaky shut off valve

But before that, you should try out these DIY fixes, which may help you to solve this problem. I will guide you fix a leaky water shut off valve.

Also read: How to fix a leaky bathtub faucet

Step by Step Guide: How to fix a leaky Shut off valve

1. Fasten the Packing Nut

First off all you want to locate the packing nut in your water shut off valve. Packing nut is used to create a water-tight seal between the stem of the valve and water supply line.

As a result, if there is a spill at the valve stem, it is most likely due to the fact that the valve has not been completely turned.

so what you have to do means, just tighten the packing nut until it is not turnable.

What You Will Need

To complete this process, you need a tool called wrench.

Follow these procedures to tighten the packing nut!

  • Take the wrench and use it to turn the packing nut
  • Look for any leaks.
  • If the leak persists, adjust the packing nut and verify again.

If the leakage continues, proceed to the next option.

2. Packing material should be replaced

What You Will Need

For doing this step, you need the following materials.

  • wrench
  • replacement packing material

As soon as you tighten the packing nut on your primary cut-off valve, it will compress he packing material against the washer.

It will helps to prevent the entry of water.

However, if the packing material solidifies or decomposes over time, it will result in leaks in the water valve.

Now you may ask, how to fix it ?

When this incident occurs, you must change the packaging material as follows:

  • Turn off the water supply to your home from the street. This can be done by rotating the main valve in an anticlockwise direction. you can find this main valve near your meter box.
  • Now, go inside your home and turn on any faucet.
  • Why this is done means, it will helps to release any standing after present in your water line. So don’t forgot to do that!
  • Next step is to remove or take off your shut off valve handle.
  • Once you removed the handle, try to loosen the packing nut.
  • Incase any old packing material is present, use a toothpick to remove that off.
  • Usually these old packing material are made of teflon or some other kind of fibers.
  • There is also chance the rubber gasket may present instead of fibers and teflon.
  • If your valve is like that, then you must remove the rubber gasket as soon as possible.
  • After removing, you will have to apply the new packing material atleast two times around the stem in an anticlockwise direction.
  • In the coming step you have to replace the packing nut.
  • Atlast ensure the materials are properly fitted into the packing nut.
  • Avoid overtightening the packing nut.
  • Restore the water supply and look for any leaks.

If it still drips, then check out the next method.

3. Washer may be the problem

If your shut off valves is still dripping, then there is a chance that you may have a damaged or worn washer. to solve this, you have to replace the washer.

Don’t know how to solve it ?

I will assist you to replace the washer. Follow these methods

  • Take off the valve handle.
  • Using a wrench, loosen the packing nut.
  • Now you have to take off the old packing washer and place the new one.
  • Please keep in mind that the new washer must have the same dimensions as the old one.
  • We recommend removing it and bringing it to a home improvement store or hardware shop to ensure that the replacement is a correct match.
  • Check for leaks.

Incase you still finding leaks at the end of this step means, you must call a professional plumber to inspect your water shutoff valve for damage.

Finally, I also want you to remind that, replacing a leaky gate valve with a ball valve is the most effective solution for this problem.

Video Guide: How to Fix a Main Water Shut Off Valve Leak

Why Your Shut Off Valve is Leaking

Why shut off is leaking

Your main shutoff valve may starts to leak due to infrequent usage. the washer within the main water valve might harden or get coated in mineral reserves over time.

When you shut and reopen the valve, the washer present on the stem of the valve may not seat correctly, producing leakage all around valve thread.

Also read: How to fix a leaky delta faucet

How to Replace a Toilet Shut Off Valve

Step 1: Turn off the Main Water Supply

  • Based on your familiarity with your house, you may have to search for the water main shut off valve.
  • The water supply valve is often positioned in the basement, although it may also be installed in other locations like as the laundry room, below the kitchen sink, or in a storage room.
  • You might have to walk into your yard to find the shut-off valve for the water main.
  • After you’ve located it, switch off the water by tightening the valve.

Step 2: Remove the Standing Water

  • Before removing the toilet shut-off valve, empty the supply line to eliminate any residual water from pouring out into the bathroom floor.
  • Turn on a faucet that is lower than the level of the replacement toilet valve.
  • This procedure permits surplus water to drain from the above-mentioned water pipes, along with the pipeline that delivers water flow to your toilet.

Step 3: Remove the Supply Line

  • The water system to the toilet has a thin flexible tube that connects the toilet to the valves.
  • A small bucket should be placed on the floor beneath the valve to collect any extra water that leaves the line prior to removing it.
  • Loosen the bolt that links the water supply line to the valve with the help of a crescent wrench.
  • After that, remove the pipeline from the valve.

Step 4: Remove the Shut Off Valve

You have to remove the toilet shut off valve based on the type of joints and plumbing fixture you have!

Incase you have compression joints, then the first step is to loosen the bolt.

  • For doing that you need a tool called crescent wrench.
  • Using that loosen the bolt which is joining the pipeline to your current valve.
  • It is recommended to use a pair of pliers to hold the pipe while you are removing the bolt.
  • This will help to keep the pipe from twisting or bending while you give pressure to remove the bolt.
  • After you have taken the nut, remove the old valve out of the pipe with your fingers.
  • Finally, unscrew the nut and compression rings and keep them apart.

If your toilet valve has a sweated copper joints, then you have to lay a tube cutter well above the copper pipe as near to the existing valve as you possibly can.

It is necessary to leave adequate pipe protruding from the wall to allow for the installation of the new valve.

Disconnect the valve by tightening the pipe cutter and rotating till it cuts fully through the material.

Step 5: Replace the New Valve

  • Incase you are attaching the new shut off valve to a copper pipeline, you must use a deburring tool to smoothen the sharp edge that was generated while you are cutting the material.
  • Press the tool securely into the pipeline and spin it a few times until the tip is perfectly smooth.
  • If you’re dealing with a PVC pipe, you may skip this step.

Step 6: Attach the Compression Nut

  • Now you have to attach the compression nut into the copper pipe.
  • During this process, ensure that the threads are pointing towards you.
  • Next step is to press the compression ring onto the tube with your fingers.
  • Move the new valve well above the pipe until it reaches the limit, making sure that the valve‘s outlet is appropriately directed upward to take the toilet’s supply line.
  • Adjust the compression nut to fit the threading of the replacement valve‘s inlet.
  • Next, using two crescent wrenches, first one is to support the valve body in position and the other one is to secure the nut, screw the nut further to 1⁄2 turn with the valve body in point.

Step 7: Tighten the Nut

  • Plug the toilet supply line to a fresh shut-off valve using the provided connectors.
  • If indeed the main line is equipped with a compression nut, you may remove the nut that came with the new or replacement valve when installing it.
  • Attach the bolt to the valve outlet by threading it on.
  • Next, using your hand, tighten the nut.
  • After that, take the crescent wrench to give it a further 1/2 turn.

Step 8: Look for Leaks

  • Now you have to unlock the main water line.
  • Next step is to adjust the toilet shut-off valve by rotating it in an anticlockwise direction.
  • Allow the water to fill the toilet’s tank. Then look for any water leak.
  • Turn off the water, drain the lines, and remove the compression nut from the valve if you find any leaks with it.
  • Apply plumber’s tape or plumber’s putty to the valve‘s studs to seal them.
  • Replace the fitting, ensuring careful to tighten all of the compression nuts, and inspect it again.

Also read: How to fix a leaky shower faucet


Replacement of a leaking valve is a simple repair that most do-it-yourselfers can do in a few hrs.

It is possible to guarantee that your plumbing repair will be a success by following these easy procedures.

This will enable you to stop the leak and put your toilet back into function without any problems at all.

You can do the PVC and copper repairs on your own, but you’ll need to hire a plumber for the older materials.

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