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Household plumbing water shut-off question
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 01, 2006 11:30PM
My upstairs shower hot water valve is leaking, allowing some dripping. I know that the emergency shut-off leaks at the stem when the valve is closed, so I have put this off a bit. Now the shower is dripping enough so I can't ignore it any longer.

If the shower is upstairs, and the hot water heater is downstairs, can I shut off the cold water into the hot water heater, thus stopping the pressure, and open a hot faucet downstairs to drain the residual pressure if any, and drain down the upstairs hot pipe, and then do the repair that way? The water heater will still be full, so that won't be a danger. I assume that if I crack open a hot faucet downstairs to bleed off any pressure from the heating/heated water it should work fine?

then just open the cold into the heater when I am done, and then just bleed the hot lines at the faucets?

The emergency shut-off is almost inaccessible to me in the back of a kitchen cabinet, through an access panel, and it is sweat-soldered in. I have no desire to try and fix that valve while it doesn't leak when wide open.
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Re: Household plumbing water shut-off question
Posted by: Mike Johnson
Date: August 01, 2006 11:40PM
Yup.
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Re: Household plumbing water shut-off question
Posted by: Baby Tats
Date: August 02, 2006 02:33AM
Quote
Racer X
If the shower is upstairs, and the hot water heater is downstairs, can I shut off the cold water into the hot water heater, thus stopping the pressure, and open a hot faucet downstairs to drain the residual pressure if any, and drain down the upstairs hot pipe, and then do the repair that way? The water heater will still be full, so that won't be a danger. I assume that if I crack open a hot faucet downstairs to bleed off any pressure from the heating/heated water it should work fine?

then just open the cold into the heater when I am done, and then just bleed the hot lines at the faucets?

Sure, sounds like what I would do.

Quote
Racer X
The emergency shut-off is almost inaccessible to me in the back of a kitchen cabinet, through an access panel, and it is sweat-soldered in. I have no desire to try and fix that valve while it doesn't leak when wide open.

This is the one valve in my house that I want to function 100% at all times. I don't miss an opportunity to actuate it. This is a lesson that I learned during the great toilet flood of 1999. I am convinced that this is one of those times that it pays to buy "top shelf" parts. You strike me as the handy type, you might want to put this on the six month to do list. Maybe you can install a new valve ahead of the old one in an easier to access location.


BT
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Re: Household plumbing water shut-off question
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: August 02, 2006 02:39AM
The newer 1/4 turn valves are much nicer when you replace the valve-more robust and easier to actuate.
There is a newer line of valves and hoses called flood safe-the sense free flow, and shut off.
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Re: Household plumbing water shut-off question
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: August 02, 2006 06:29AM
Just don't let anyone operate a single lever fixture while you're doing the work. It can back feed the system.

I second the quarter turn shut-off valves. They're much better than the rising stem ones.
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Re: Household plumbing water shut-off question
Posted by: modelamac
Date: August 02, 2006 06:30AM
Yes.

While you are at it, install ball valve shutoffs or 1/4 turn valves, if you have the opportunity.



Ed (modelamac)

I think I will just put an OUT OF ORDER
sticker on my head and call it a day.
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Re: Household plumbing water shut-off question
Posted by: shadow
Date: August 02, 2006 07:19AM
Quote
Racer X
My upstairs shower hot water valve is leaking, allowing some dripping. I know that the emergency shut-off leaks at the stem when the valve is closed, so I have put this off a bit. Now the shower is dripping enough so I can't ignore it any longer.

You might just be able to tighten the valve bonnet to stop the leak (that's the nut that the stem rises out of).

Either way, if you are going to shut off the hot water, you might want to drain everything above the shut-off valve and replace the packing in the stem:

- Shut off cold water
- Open up hot water faucets to bleed the system
- With a bucket under the HW valve, close the valve and loosen the bonnet.
- Pull the valve stem.
- Replace the gasket at the bottom of the stem and re-wrap the upper portion with new packing.
- Re-seat the valve and tighten the bonnet. You should not have to "bear down" on the bonnet nut.
- Turn on cold water valve ... tighten bonnet, if needed.
- Bleed air from HW system.

It's for this reason that I only use ball valves (quarter turn). I've had one that was bad from the factory, but never one that failed after installation.

- Shadow
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Re: Household plumbing water shut-off question
Posted by: Fritz
Date: August 02, 2006 04:31PM
the 1/4 turns are great. Contractor gave me some $*** about it. Didn't seem any harder to install when I had to do them on a weekend repair. But I like them.
When we redo the kitch and 2nd bath this year, they're going in there too.
Now if there is a water emergency, my wife can shut them off, NP.



!#$@@$#!

What if the hokey pokey really is what it’s all about?

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Re: Household plumbing water shut-off question
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 02, 2006 07:14PM
update, I tightened down a wee bit on the shut-off, and it is leak free so far.

bad news, when I took the shower's hot valve apart, the seat came out with it...odd.

Then when I went to put it back, I noticed the cracks in the threads inside the valve body where the seat screws in. I investigated, and pulled out a chunk of threads. Plumber is due tomorrow afternoon. I know when to stop.

At least the shut-off now works, and I put the valve back together without the seat, so if any water leaks internally past the emergency shut-off, it will come out the tub spigot. At least we have 2 full bathrooms, and I was able to turn the hot water back on, so we can shower downstairs.

This is one reason why 2 bathrooms were a MUST when we got our house.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/02/2006 07:15PM by Racer X.
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