I noticed a leak coming from the valve between my main water supply and the pipe connected to washing machine's cold water intake. I looked online and saw 2 common solutions : tighten the packing nut , or replace the packing washer.

Now my problem is that I can't locate these parts on the valve I'm working with. I was able to remove the handle and expose what looks like the valve stem (based on a diagram I found online) , but the packing nut is what I'm having trouble finding.

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You can see in the second picture where it's leaking from. The plastic cap is what the blue handle fits over, and is held in place by a screw.

I assumed the big nut right above the stem/screw (second picture) was the packing nut, but I can't seem to turn it at all, in either direction. I don't know if that indeed is the packing nut and it's simply stuck because of rust buildup or something, but I don't want to force it and break a soldered connection.

Can you guys help me figure out what I'm looking at here ?


1 Answer 1


Definitely packing. Can't 100% confirm from the picture whether it was designed to be serviced, but there has got to be a reason for the hex-shaped machined valve bonnet. I think you need to use bigger wrenches (back-up wrench and working wrench) and get that bonnet off so you can repack the valve. It's likely just stuck.

I would just cut it off or "un-solder" it and replace it with a top quality ball valve.

  • You won't break the solder joint if you back it up with a large wrench on the cast valve body. Jan 6, 2017 at 8:41
  • Thanks that is a very good and detailed answer! Just to make sure I understand correctly, what do you mean by "backing it up with a wrench on the cast valve body"? Does that mean I have to hold the pipe behind the valve in place using a second wrench to make sure I don't break other joints? Jan 6, 2017 at 10:00
  • Have you tried putting the blue handle firmly in the full open position? This sometimes compresses the packing and seals around the valve stem. Jan 6, 2017 at 10:22
  • Before you tighten the bonnet nut, you should first turn the valve part way (or fully) inward from the full open position toward the closed position. This allows clearance between the valve stem and the bonnet. Jan 6, 2017 at 11:06
  • Back in the day if tightening the bonnet nut didn't work, one would replace the packing. Does nobody do this anymore? Jan 6, 2017 at 11:33

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