The stopcock controls the flow of water in your house, shutting off the entire supply in an emergency. If you discover a leak from your stopcock then you should tackle to problem immediately so that the problem doesn't escalate.
If you're absolutely sure it's the stopcock that's leaking then you might be able to repair it yourself, however be prepared to call in a professional plumber should you need to.
Tighten the compression nuts
First you'll need to locate your stopcock. It's usually found under your kitchen sink or under the stairs.
If water is leaking from the compression nuts you should first try tightening the nut on the body of the stopcock. This will often stop the leak. Take care not to over-tighten as this restricts the stopcock's ability to open and close.
Replace the gland packing
The problem can also be caused by the gland packing wearing out. To fix this:
- Buy some gland packing at your local DIY store.
- Turn off the water supply.
- Unscrew the gland nut.
- Pick out the old packing with a penknife.
- Replace it with fibre twine wound clockwise around the spindle.
- Grease the twine first with petroleum jelly.
- Pack it down and retighten the gland nut.
- Open the stopcock fully and then turn back half a turn. This can prevent it from seizing.
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