This is a valve inside that controls the flow of water to my outdoor spigot (which has its own valve). It's leaking. I was able to temporarily fix the leak by repacking the nut but that's a temporary fix because the leak starts again if i close the valve (plus the nut has a crack).

Is this something I can replace myself? I notice a square shaped bottom (under the nut which has 6 sides) which makes me hopeful I can unscrew that? If so, what am I looking for? Any idea where I can get a replacement or what it's called?

Or would I have to re-weld a whole new valve on? In which case I guess I need to call a plumber.


2 Answers 2


You could probably get another nut to replace the cracked one and the proper packing at a plumbing supply store. Turning the square nut counterclockwise will remove the valve stem from the valve base. There's a possibility that there's a washer in the valve stem that could be replaced and solve your problem. More than likely, it's a gate valve and in that case even if you could find a replacement for the valve stem, the valve base is probably corroded and that means the whole valve would need to be replaced. Replacing the valve would require you to shut off the water to your house and then cut out the valve and sweat in a new one with some repair sleeves or get a SharkBite valve and some couplings. When shutting off the water to your house, there's always the possibility that that valve will also fail to completely shut off the water or not allow you to turn your water back on. In that case, you'd have to have the water shut off at your meter and then replace that valve too.

  • One fine day I dissassembled the master valve to replace the O rings on the stem... I got quite wet, but was able to succesfully complete my task.
    – Jasen
    Aug 4, 2020 at 8:19
  • @Jasen Hey.. ya gotta do what you gotta do..
    – JACK
    Aug 4, 2020 at 12:10
  • I find my local Specialty Plummer’s supply can find just about any valve parts. I have brought photos like this in and after a question or two, they are handing me the part I need or flipping through a parts book and order the part for me. Never had that kind of service from a big box store+
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 4, 2020 at 14:38
  • 1
    @EdBeal I had a place in chicago like that. As a last resort, if they couldn't find the part, they'd let me go into their attic which was full of old parts and let me sift through them until I found what I needed.
    – JACK
    Aug 4, 2020 at 14:57
  • My sheet metal guy is that way he has all kinds of stuff in storage it may take an hour to find parts for a old fire damper but resources like these are worth the extra specialty shops charge.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 4, 2020 at 15:01

The valve you show in the picture probably is a gate valve. This means it has a fibrous gate-like fitting that moves perpendicular to the copper pipe and blocks the flow of water as you close the valve.
To solve your problem take it a step at a time. You didn't say exactly where the leak is occurring. If it's around the valve stem in the picture the problem may be as simple as replacing the cracked cap. If that doesn't solve it try replacing the valve stem and gate by turning the square nut counter-clockwise. After obtaining a new valve stem use a decalcifying agent and a brush to try to clean out any hard water deposits in the valve body.
If this doesn't stop the leak you'll have to cut out part of that drywall aand replace the valve. Sharkbite connections are the easiest to install but require more play (lateral movement) in the copper pipes than a sweated fitting. If there's not much play this is a good time to learn how to sweat a copper fitting. Check out Youtube.

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