Some homeowners are understandably nervous about tackling a plumbing job when you consider the damage that water can do when it manages to get loose in your home, but fixing a leaky shutoff is the sort of job even a novice can handle.
Here is a look at how to avoid the expense of calling out a plumber by following a few simple steps and successfully fixing a leak by yourself.
Your first task is to tighten the packing nut on the toilet shutoff valve by turning it clockwise in order to seal a leak around the nut.
You might want to wrap some cloth around the plier’s jaws so that you don’t damage the nut during the process and the trick is to use light but steady pressure so that you reduce the risk of damaging the water lines.
A shutoff valve can be left untouched for many years before you have to turn it off and that means it could be vulnerable if it is brittle or crusted up. If you notice that it is not shutting off the water completely you may have to turn the main water supply to the house off before carrying on with the fix.
Replacing the valve
You might find that despite your efforts to stop the shutoff valve leak it still gives you problems.
It could be that you need to replace the entire valve rather than cleaning it and giving it a turn to tighten. If that’s the case, you will need to turn off the water supply line to the house so that you can work safely without any water flowing.
Try to reassemble the shutoff valve while the water is off but if the problem persists, the best way to resolve the issue will be to disconnect the valve and replace it with a new one.
Any tools you need for plumbing and DIY jobs you can find here, and for this specific job the main items needed will be a 4-in-1 screwdriver and a pair of slip joint pliers.
Follow an online tutorial if you are nervous about making a mistake, but there are not many steps to follow when you are attempting to fix a leaky shutoff valve.
The task of fixing a leaky valve is a simple one itself and as you can see it only requires a short space of time and few quick steps to resolve the issue unless things don’t go to plan.
It is always worth remembering that if you live in an old house where the plumbing has barely been touched or updated in a number of years, that is good news from a cost point of view, but it does mean that wear and tear and age deterioration will take their toll at some point.
The main thing to keep in your mind when you are doing this job is to take it steady and don’t try to force the turn and risk damaging the valve with too much force.
Try spraying some penetrating fluid to give things a helping hand and that should help you with the turns and be safer than applying brute force to force it to turn after years of inactivity.