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Recently I found my washing machine hot water hookup drips slightly when the washer is not attached. I believe it is a bad valve. When the washer is attached, water flows to the drain and doesn’t cause any issue. I talked to a plumber and he said the cheap solution is to put a cap on the hookup when there is no washer attached, but if I really have to fix the valve then he will have to cut up the dry wall and it will be very expensive.

I don’t want the bad valve to affect the pipe in the wall (water corrosion etc.) and cause bigger damage in the future but also don’t want to spend the money if it is not necessary. I don’t know much about plumbing so I want to ask here to see what your guys say.

Should just let it stay like it is or repair/replace the valve?

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  • Are you detaching your washing machine water supply lines on a regular basis and leaving it unattached for long periods of time? "When the washer is attached, water flows to the drain and doesn’t cause any issue." It seams unlikely that the pressure from the drip will be strong enough to push water through the machines pump. – Alaska Man Feb 15 at 19:02
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    Or is it leaking when the hose is on and the water supply is turned on? Please edit your question to clarify the situation. – Alaska Man Feb 15 at 19:08
  • I found out that it leaked when the washer was detached. When the washer hose is attached back on, the small amount of water just flows to the washer and then go out to the drain. The plumber said the drip wasn’t bad and I don’t have to fix it since the washer is attached 99% of the time. But my worry is that if I just leave it like that it may cause more internal damages to the pipe in the future. – user130268 Feb 15 at 21:24
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Should I spend $$ now to repair a known issue or wait to spend $$$$ later to fix the damage caused by known issue. Hmmm....

Also, how often do you attach and remove your washer hookup hoses? I'm 99.9999% certain that the last time I did that was when I last replaced the washer years ago.

If you want to save some money, and you're interested in learning some DIY skills, have the plumber replace the plumbing, but leave the drywall for you to fix. Most big-box home centers sell "project" sized pieces of drywall (smaller than 4x8' sheets) and small containers of drywall mud. You'll need a roll of drywall tape and a drywall knife or two. Tools and materials will probably be under $50, definitely under $100. There are loads of videos on the Tube of You on how to do drywall as well as oodles of questions here about it. It's not hard, it's just time consuming if you want to do a good job. If an adequate job is acceptable, it's a Saturday afternoon project. (Don't forget, the tools are reusable assets that you can apply to your next project with your new found skills, so they're an investment, not an expense.)

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Most washing machines hook up with standard garden hose attachments. These have rubber rings that can eventually lose compression. First thing to check is the rubber ring. Second thing to check is the valve stem and packing.

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  • The OP said (Maybe, it is unclear) that it leaks when it is not attached so the rubber washer would not be relevant. This really should be in the comment section as it does not answer the question of "should it be repaired" – Alaska Man Feb 15 at 19:06
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Should just let it stay like it is or repair/replace the valve?

While there is no harm in screwing a hose cap on the threaded valve outlet when not in use (i.e. it will not cause any damage or exacerbate any existing problem) it would still be a good idea to fix it because it will only get worse.

A hose valve that leaks-by is usually caused by a bad bibb washer and/or bad valve seat. The more common bibb washer issue is generally not difficult to fix (without opening the wall). If the valve seat or valve itself is damaged... well it depends on circumstances and attachment method.

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  • The plumber that I asked said he would have to open up the dry wall to get to the valve. That would cost 300 itself then I have to spend more money to fix the dry wall. But he said for now it drips only a little and I don’t have to spend the money immediately. If I leave the valve unrepaired, would it cause more damages to the pipe? – user130268 Feb 15 at 21:35
  • NO it will not: screwing a hose cap on the threaded valve outlet when not in use will not cause any damage or exacerbate any existing problem – Jimmy Fix-it Feb 15 at 22:01

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