Water Shut-off Valve Keeps Turning [Easy Fix]

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Having problems with water shutoff valve spinning is very common. The water shutoff valve sometimes doesn’t turn smoothly. Either it spins or gets stuck because of overtightening, improper installation, mineral buildups, etc reasons. Since it’s a common problem, we’ve got solutions too. 

What to do when the water shutoff valve keeps turning

Cut off the water supply. Detach the valve from the supply lines. Replace the valve after unscrewing it. When you’re installing the replacement valve, make sure it’s tightened all the way. So it doesn’t leak when you turn the water back on. 

You might have different replacement parts for different valves. The procedure is still the same. And it’ll be a piece of cake for you. Read along if you wish to know the details!

Why Is The Valve Constantly Turning?

The reason the valve is constantly turning is that you might have overtightened it. That’s how it’s loosened and it keeps on spinning. 

The gate valves are often never fully open when it’s broken. So, that’s why they’re constantly spinning. 

Another probable reason is, your valve threadings are worn out. Hence, they are spinning and you need to fix this. 

Why Do You Need to Fix the Water Shutoff Valve? 

A valve that spins but won’t close isn’t controlling water flow. It may leak, but the problem isn’t always evident. Unfortunately, whether you can see the issue or not, it will eventually hamper plumbing repairs.

Shutoff valves are necessary for the secured maintenance of all your plumbing at home. A lot of times valves need to be fixed when their valve handles are broken. Some valves are more susceptible to malfunction than others. When gate valves are only partially open, they can corrode pipelines. 

For most valves, the main problems don’t arise until you need to shut off the water. At this point, you’ll have to perform two repairs.

Types of Valves You’re Dealing with

You must first establish the sort of valve head you are looking at before you can replace your cutoff valve that just rotates. You could come across three distinct types of valves. A sweat valve, for starters, is soldered into place and cannot be loosened. 

Second, the back of the compression valve has a hex nut, which makes it stand out. A threaded valve, on the other hand, contains threads and hex flats. But it doesn’t contain any separate nut.

There’s a possibility you have a gate valve if your house is older. The gate valve opens or closes the pipe and adjusts the water flow. This type has a circular handle that must be twisted numerous times. Because these valves are only meant to work in two positions, it’s critical to leave them fully open or totally closed. 

A ball valve with a lever-shaped handle is common in newer homes. To turn the water on or off, a lever handle must be rotated 90 degrees. You can determine if the lever handle is open or not right away.  When the lever is closed, it is perpendicular to the pipes. When it is open, it is parallel. Problems occur when the ball valve’s handle is broken.

Are you looking for the perfect ball valve? Here are some of our suggestions: 

Take Cautions Before You Fix Water Shutoff Valve

You must first turn off the main water supply. In certain locations, a utility provider is required to manage this. Although many homeowners have a valve at the street and another one near the meter.

Make sure you don’t miss out on this step. Or you’ll end up with a large mess and a lot of damage. If you can’t cut off the main water supply, quicken the process with the help of a plumber. 

Check your water heater as well as you turn off the water. Before shutting off the water to the home, put the gas in the pilot position. To avoid difficulties with electric water heaters, turn off the circuit breaker.

If you need to go out to acquire components for your valve, it’s a good idea to turn off the water to avoid leaks. Before you begin, turn on a sink on each floor of your home to drain the water from the pipes. 

Also, make sure you have towels on hand and a pail beneath the valve you want to work on so water doesn’t spill all over the place.

Location of the valves

Kitchen and bathroom fixtures, dishwashers, and refrigerators all require shut-off valves. They are usually near the fixture or appliance that they service. 

Supply valves for the kitchen faucet, dishwasher, and refrigerator are frequently found in the same location. 

For example: inside the kitchen sink cabinet. A hot and cold-water valve is generally situated within the vanity cabinet, and a cold-water valve is usually located directly behind the toilet.

The primary house valve may be concealed. Look for the main valve in crawl spaces and basements.

A valve key is required for streetside valves. These are frequently located in tight spaces, making turning extremely difficult. You may fully shut off the water flow into your home by using the “t” shaped valve key. 

Remove Water Shutoff Valve

Some spinning valves are very easy to remove. A wrench and some elbow grease are needed for this step. You may have to chop out welded ‘sweat’ valves or those that are otherwise hard to release. 

Expect some water to flow out once you’ve turned off your valve. Which is why you’ll need a bucket and some towels. 

Unscrewing and replacing threaded valves is quite easy. Often, the disk will come off, or the threading within the valve handle will be stripped. Close the replacement valve thoroughly after disconnecting the faulty valve and replacing it.

There are only a few steps remaining after installing a new valve. Empty your bucket and clear out any water that has become trapped inside the pipes. Then re-open your main valve. And allow water to flow until all trapped air has been removed from your pipes.

You may turn off the sinks on each degree of your home after the sputtering stops. Don’t neglect to test the new valve. Also, don’t forget to turn the water heater on. Otherwise, a chilly not so good surprise will shake you up when you shower.

The handle on your valve has come away from the threaded gate. It may free spin. Don’t simply leave it at that. Especially if you’re lucky enough to get the stem back in to open or close the gate. 

These are still broken and will most likely fall apart again. The valve still needs to be replaced. 

You need to buy a new valve. The main valve’s cost may vary from other water valves. In this case make sure you turn off your water.

FAQ

Question: Can a water shutoff valve go bad?
Answer: Yes it can. The stem threads might be broken or the handle might be broken. If so, the clever way to deal with it is to repair it. 

Question: How much does a plumber take to fix a water valve?
Answer: A plumber should take $175-$250. The material’s cost is not included in this. In total it should be around $173.71 to $208.13.

Question: What’s the best shut-off valve?
Answer: The best shutoff valve is the ball valve. It’s the newer technology. Most old houses have gate valves. But if they’re somehow broken, a ball valve should be placed instead of them. 

Conclusion

So now you know why the water shutoff valve keeps turning. While a spinning water shutoff valve can be very upsetting, the methods we explained are easy for anyone. 

You just have to follow the same process for all kinds of water valves. Let us know how it worked out for you. Take care!

Scott Kelly