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Thread: Toilet Water Shut Off Valve

  1. #1

    Default Toilet Water Shut Off Valve

    Greetings,

    After shutting off the water to the Toilet to fix something, the shutoff valve now leaks. I tried to tighten the packing nut - no luck - the pipe was starting to turn and I didn't want to break the pipe behind the wall.

    So... I unscrewed the packing nut and went shopping for a new washer / neoprene ring to fix the problem. The guy at the store didn't have an exact match (the valve is 40 years old) and send me home with a wax and teflon washer. He said although it was not an exact match - it is smaller than the inside of the packing nut and larger than the valve stem .... that the wax would compress and expand to make it work.

    His directions were basically to tighten + pray, tighten + pray, until it expanded to close all the gaps.


    #1 Am I wasting my time ??
    #2 Is the wax/teflon washer something that will fail in the near future ??

    Many thanks for you time.

    Stilltrying2 in Carolina
    Last edited by stilltrying2; 02-06-2007 at 01:54 PM.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Default

    Why are you wasting your time with a 40 year old valve that can be replaced with a new one for $10?

  3. #3
    Plumbing Contractor TNPlumber's Avatar
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    Default dump the old valve

    Dump your old valve for a new 1/4 turn valve. I wouldn't risk rebuilding it. A new valve will give you piece of mind. Think of it as a valentine's day gift.
    "Nothing that time and money can't fix."

    Scott

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member TedL's Avatar
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    Default

    Assuming you have a copper sweat valve. If you'e queasy about soldering, and have a couple inches of copper tube sticking out of the wall, you can cut off the old valve and replace it with a compression valve. Two wrenches are all you need to install. $5 at the big blue box.

  5. #5

    Default 40 Year Old Valve

    Hi Folks,

    Thanks for the comments.

    ** The water pipe to the wall is galvanized pipe (I think - it has been painted over many times)
    ** There is 3-4 inches sticking out of the wall
    ** What should I do ? Use a hack saw if it is galvanized and buy one of those copper pipe cutters if it is copper??

    ** Also - I am more of a computer geek than hands-on fix it guy.... I do OK with straight-forward "on and off" plumbing jobs, but I never got the knack of soldering and other more complicated plumbing stuff has taken far too long to repair.

    Regards,

    ST in NC
    Last edited by stilltrying2; 02-06-2007 at 06:15 PM.

  6. #6
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Default

    I've got a whole handful of those very small bib washers that can be used as a push on or a bib screw. Most 40 year old stops should be able to be repaired. Take it apart.

  7. #7

    Default If it ain't broke

    Plumber1... thanks for "piping in"

    Slap a washer on it and go on with life ... if I had the tools and expertise, I would replace it - but everything seems pretty "solid" - except the packing nut washer...

    Ace - here I come !

    ST in NC
    Last edited by stilltrying2; 02-06-2007 at 06:31 PM.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member TedL's Avatar
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    Default

    If galvanized, it will unscrew with two wrenches...one to hold the pipe, one to twist off the valve. That's the preferred approach.

    Rereading your original post, it appears the nipple sticking out from the wall started turning out from the elbow in the wall before the valve started turning off the nipple. That means you "broke" the 50 year old connection, which could lead to a leak in the wall.

    The good news is that you can buy a new valve and nipple, and easily finish unscrewing what you (unintentionally) started, with one wrench. A generous spread of pipe dope on each end of the nipple, and put the new nipple & valve in place. Tighten with one wrench on the flats of the valve. Turn off water upstream, of course, before starting.

  9. #9

    Default

    Ted L...

    When I said "the pipe was starting to turn" I meant it moved a millimeter, if that much - I was watching it very closely - it seemed to be more of a "flex" than actually turning. So I don't think I broke the galvanized pipe connection behind the wall.

    The good think is that we live in a ranch-style house and all the plumbing sits just over the crawl space ... so any leaks just get the insulation wet and go down to the vapor barrior I have over the dirt in the crawl space. There is a small board behind the toilet that covers the pipe - so I can remove that and give it a look-see for a leak.

    I am still hesitant about messing with the old valve body, trying to unscrew it. A plumbers visit in this area usually winds up costing a few hundred and I am not wanting to add that to the $$ load I am carrying for the next sixy days.

    Again - many thanks for your input - I am a nervous nellie when it comes to plumbing. We gotta have our water - with three females in the house!

    Regards to all,

    ST in NC
    Last edited by stilltrying2; 02-06-2007 at 07:08 PM.

  10. #10
    hardwood flooring contractor fast pasquale's Avatar
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    Default

    40 years old?.. Replace that fossil! Take a piece of 60 grit sandpaper and sand the paint off it. If you see opper.. it's copper... If it's greyish.. it's galvanized.. Then you can go from there. Don't get the multi turn. Get the 1/4 turn....

  11. #11

    Default A Big Win today !

    Hi Folks,

    Well, I was a big boy today I changed out the 40 year old valve for a new Turn Ball Valve ! Since the threads were still good on the galvanized nipple, I bought the screw-on kind. It was extremely hard to get the old valve off, seemed like it was cemented on, but thank the Lord I didn't break the pipe off behind the wall. The water supply pipe from the wall was in great shape and with a little pipe dope, the new valve went on very easily. Unfortunately I broke the supply line to the toilet by too many turns of the wrench. So now that is new too !

    Each of you has my utmost thanks for giving this Non-Plumber a bunch of tips. If you replied to my pleas for help and like great coffee, just PM me and I will give you my website address for a deal: pound of free coffee for each pound you buy - or if you like tea - 7 free tea pouches for every 15 you buy.

    Thanks again and enjoy your days !

    Still Trying in Carolina

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