How to Fix a Leaking Hot Water Valve


The hot water to your sink, shower or tub is controlled by a hot water valve hidden beneath the hot water handle. When you turn the handle, it rotates the valve inside, called the valve stem, which raises and lowers a washer, which allows water to flow out of the faucet. Sometimes these washers can crack or tear, which causes your hot water valve to leak. Calcium and other deposits can also get trapped in the valve body, causing it to not shut properly and leak. You should fix a leaking hot water valve as soon as possible to save both water and energy.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat bladed screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Washer
  • Plumber's tape
  • Locate the shut off knob for the hot water valve you want to fix. In the majority of installations, this will be located directly beneath the hot water valve. For example, in a kitchen sink, the shut off valve will be located in the cabinet beneath where the sink is set up. Rotate the knob counterclockwise to shut it off.

  • Open the faucet and allow the water to run out.

  • Use a flat bladed screwdriver to remove the hot water faucet cap. Pop this off. Use the Phillips screwdriver to remove the sink handle screw. Pull the handle upward to remove.

  • Remove the packing nut on the hot water valve with the adjustable wrench. Grab the hexagonal nut with the wrench and twist counterclockwise to remove.

  • Remove the valve stem in the same way that you did with the packing nut in Step 4. Pull this out of the valve socket.

  • Unscrew the screw at the bottom of the valve stem. Remove the washer and replace it with a new one. Use the brush to clean off any gunk or calcium buildup on the stem. Wrap the threads with plumber's tape and screw it back into the valve socket. Tighten with the pliers.

  • Screw on the packing nut. Tighten it.

  • Replace the handle. Secure with the screw. Press the screw cover into place.

  • Turn on the water supply. Open the faucet and check for proper operation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some hot water valves may not have a packing nut as detailed in Step 4.

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  • Photo Credit faucet image by Mat Hayward from
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