Replace valves or Packing washers? Laundry room valves.

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Bigealta

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I'm having trouble locating the domed stepped packing washers for these water valves in my laundry room. They both leaked out the stems. I replaced the seat washers and wrapped some Teflon tape around the stems and added a bit of Teflon paste where the stem and top of packing washer met. This did fix the leaks out the stem. The shut off was also good. But I then took the stem out of 1 of the valves to just get new packing washers. I'm having a very hard time finding new ones after going to 2 "specialty" plumbing supply houses as well as regular supply houses.

I have new replacement valves but of course the existing ones won't unthread from the brass/copper (not sure which) female 90 in the wall. I've applied heat and cranked hard but if I use any more torque it feel like I'll snap the copper pipe in the wall. I'll have to cut out some sheetrock to get a wrench on the 90 Fitting.

When I reassembled the stem I noticed a hairline crack in the packing washer. I used Teflon tape again but this time I got a very small drip out the stem. I've cranked the packing nut pretty tight but still just getting a tiny weep thru the stem.

What would u guys do?

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Bigealta

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Here is a similar packing washer I found but I think this one is to small. And mine is black rubber I believe.

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Reach4

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I am not a plumber. I would get packing cord, and add that to whatever is there. I would not use PTFE tape, but I am partial to PTFE packing cord, but its not like I tried graphite packing cord and had a bad result.

Getting the right packing washer sounds a lot more sophisticated.
 

Bigealta

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I do have both graphite and Teflon rope / packing cord, but I was thinking this might split my rubber packing washer crack open more than it is now?
 
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Reach4

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I don't picture that happening because I envision the packing being contained. Will the new pressure from the packing cord above cause the crack to get smaller? I don't know, but I don't picture the crack expanding.
 

Jeff H Young

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I'd repair it you're halfway there got the concept try it without washer just string squish it with nut then remove and add more string if possible and squish again. I had a big roll of Teflon string for more than 15 years haven't had any string in awhile the graphite I thought was good too . Can't say which is better I avoid repacking valves but where they aren't easy to replace they can usually be repaired with success with string or washers
 

Mr tee

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Some replacement packing washers come with a diagonal slit. Teflon or graphite string packing added to what you have will probably work. Back in the day at our high service plumbing store If folks brought in a stem & bonnet I would find a square cut cloth & rubber that fit tight on the stem and had the right OD. Then I would grind the washer to the right shape (boy does that smell good) and put silicone grease on the stem. In these days finding the packing washer might be problematic and you would certainly need to grind it yourself. It works very well, however.
 

Bigealta

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Ok will try repacking with Teflon rope and the original washer. But I found a shop that may have the packing washer. They just bought out my favorite old supply house and are working thru the inventory. He says he saw them but doesn't remember exactly where.
 

Bigealta

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Update, I finally got to the house and since i did not find a replacement packing washer i used 1 wrap of teflon rope packing around the stem. Before that though, I removed and cleaned the brass packing nut inside and out very well with fine sandpaper to remove some light corrosion. Then replaced the cleaned brass nut over the stem and down onto the teflon wrap and original washer. It did the trick. Thanks everyone here for all the suggestions and help.

Here's a couple pics of the packing washer and the brass nut before i cleaned it.
 

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