Why Is My Main Water Shut-Off Valve Leaking?

January 12, 2017

If you’ve noticed that your home’s main water shut-off valve is dripping water, you’re probably wondering if this is a sign of a larger plumbing issue.

  • The packing nut is responsible for making a watertight seal where the valve stem meets the water line. So, if there is a leak at the valve stem, it most likely means the valve is not shut off all the way.

  • When tightened, the packing nut on your main water shut-off valve binds down “packing material” against the washer to seal off water. Over time, though, this packing material can harden or disintegrate. And when this happens, it won’t form a solid seal and will cause leaking.

  • If your water valve is still leaking at this point, you may have a bad washer that needs to be replaced. 

If you are unsure how to do any of the listed repairs above, have a professional take a look at your shut-off valve. The best solution for a leaky gate valve is to replace it with a ball valve.


If you live in the Bay Area or surrounding areas, schedule your appointment with Clear Drain Plumbing today. We’ll send over a certified plumber who can replace your leaky valve in no time!

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