How to Repair a Leaking Cut-Off Valve

When I turned the cut-off valve on my toilet off then back on again, it developed a leak. How can I fix it? -Dee

Hi Dee,

Since cut-off (shut-off) valves are rarely used, the washer inside the valve can become hard or covered with mineral deposits over time. When you close the valve then open it again, the washer on the valve stem may not seat properly, causing it to leak around the valve stem nut.

Start by slightly tightening the packing nut on the cut-off valve just behind the handle by turning it clockwise. In many cases, that will stop the leak.

If the valve still leaks:

  1. Turn off the main water supply to the house.
  2. Open a faucet in the house to relieve the water pressure.
  3. Unscrew the packing nut, and remove the valve stem.
  4. Replace the washer on the end of the valve stem.
  5. If the washer isn’t replaceable, replace the entire valve stem.
  6. Insert the valve stem back in the valve, and screw the nut back on.
  7. Turn the water on, and check the cut-off valve for leaks.

If the cut-off valve still leaks, then you’ll need to remove the entire cut-off valve and replace it.

Good luck with your project,


Further Information


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2 Comments on “How to Repair a Leaking Cut-Off Valve”

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  • Kathy F Says:
    February 2nd, 2018 at 5:05 am


    I have a fiberglass tub/shower combo with the tub spout and shower head. When I turn the shower on, half the water comes out the tub spout and half comes out the shower head. What can I do to fix this problem?

    Thank you!

  • Patsy M. MIlls Says:
    July 23rd, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    What do I use to clean the yellow stain on my bathtub made by a leaking tub spigot? Does it cost to subscribe? I try to make repairs myself as I am on a limited Social Security payment. I lost most of my savings in the stock market tumble. Now soley dependant on SS.

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How to Repair a Leaking Cut-Off Valve