Bad Valve Seal Symptoms and Replacement Cost

Jerry Wilson
Written by
Last update:

What is the Function of a Valve Seal?

A valve seal stops water from leaving the spa pump and leaking into your pool or in the surrounding area. It has to be made from a material that will resist rot and grime while maintaining a good water-tight seal. It also has to be durable enough that it will last for many years of functional use, and affordable enough that you can replace it when you need to.

There are 3 primary types of valve seals that are available for purchase. They vary in price and in the way that they function.

The composition of the valve seal is an essential part of its function. Some of the products that you can choose from include :

  • o Sponge Seals
  • o Foam Seals
  • o Natural Rubber
  • o EPDM Rubber
  • o Gland Sleeves
  • o Laminated Vinyl
  • o Silicone
  • o Other Materials

The type that you choose will depend on what is available at your local hardware stores, the amount of money that you want to spend, and to a certain extent, how much maintenance your spa pump requires.

Bad Valve Seal Symptoms

As a homeowner, you may often run into troubles with your plumbing. But valve seals tend to last a lot longer than the other components in the bathroom … so if you find that your shower is having trouble with the valve seal, you’ll want to keep reading and take a look at the symptoms.

So what are the signs of an issue with the shower valve seal?

It doesn’t seem to shut off completely.

You notice some water leak detecting around the edges of the valve when you use the shower, and it seems to be coming from some place deeper than the showerhead.

The on and off functions aren’t working correctly anymore.

The valve doesn’t snap back in place when you turn it.

In some cases, the bathtub may also have the same issue.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Valve Seal Replacement

If you’re driving down the road, blast the air flow on your heater or air conditioner, and nothing happens, check the hoses and make sure you’re getting good flow. If the hoses are in okay condition and you still aren’t getting good air flow, though, you may have a bad valve seal.

This is a fairly common problem in vehicles, and it can also be a cost-effective repair.

What Can Happen?

If you see water dripping under your dash or if you hear something in your engine that doesn’t sound right, you may have a bad seal. A leaky valve seal will probably cause the air conditioner and heater to blow warm or cool air but no matter how high the setting, you’ll never get warm or hot air.

Other possible problems include windows that won’t work because the window seal is leaking. Your air conditioner and heater will run less efficiently as well.

Checking for a bad valve seal is easy. Run the heater and air conditioner and check for consistent air flow and good temperature.

If you don’t get good flow or temperature, go ahead and check under your hood. You should see coolant leaking if the valve seal is bad.

What Should You Do When You Have a Bad Valve Seal?

Our home’s water supply comes from a reservoir on top of a nearby mountain. The reservoir is made up of a series of tunnels at different elevations from which water is pumped into the home. The system does a few things at the same time that all have positive effects. It keeps our water supply safe, provides a backup (in case of fire) and is also self-cleaning. The way it cleans is by introducing water into the system from a different reservoir at the same time as the pumps are moving water from the top of the mountain into the home. This equalizes the pressure and also pushes old water out of the system.

The main thing that keeps out water supply safe is a valve at the bottom of the mountain. This valve is a pressure release valve. It’s not a stop and start valve. It’s a bad valve seal that only lets water flow through when there is enough pressure to do so. If the pressure drops too low, the water in the system can’t be pumped to the top of the mountain with a standard home water system.


The manufacturers of the American Standard Champion 4 toilet were aware that this unit has some leaky valves because the original instructions included with the product, informs you to “check for leaks”. So this should be a gradual problem that you could be aware of and address before it becomes a more serious problem.

To do this, just use a small amount of food coloring in the toilet tank. Check for leaks the next morning. Any color in the toilet bowl will confirm a leak.

Bring this up with a reputable plumber to review the cost of repairs. If the cost is going to be less than several hundred dollars, then it may be a good idea to patch bad valves instead. This is a bit tricky for the inexperienced, so it’s better to let a professional handle the repairs.