plumbing answer
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plumbing answer (by Rangor [TN]) Jan 9, 2021 5:54 PM
       plumbing answer (by Robert J [CA]) Jan 9, 2021 7:27 PM
       plumbing answer (by Allym [NJ]) Jan 9, 2021 7:59 PM
       plumbing answer (by Rangor [TN]) Jan 9, 2021 9:11 PM
       plumbing answer (by Robert J [CA]) Jan 9, 2021 9:32 PM
       plumbing answer (by Roy [AL]) Jan 10, 2021 10:13 AM
       plumbing answer (by small potatoes [NY]) Jan 10, 2021 10:01 PM

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plumbing answer (by Rangor [TN]) Posted on: Jan 9, 2021 5:54 PM

In reference to my earlier 'plumbing question' post, the primary problem ended up being a blown out lower element in my 2 year old water heater. The seasoned handyman said it looked like the maybe the heater had been drained and then power turned back on and the element allowed to get hot before reintroducing cold water into the WH. It did look pretty rough.

When I hooked the gauge to the spigot today (after lowering it quite a bit to see if I could extend shower length) it only read 25 psi. It is now at 65 and my washing machine no longer has a slow water entry issue. I noticed yesterday when pressure was low that the fill valve to one of my toilets was not shutting off even though there was plenty of water in the tank. With more pressure it did turn off so I am assuming that washing machines have a similar mechanism that requires enough water pressure in order to stop the flow of water.

The shower faucet that was leaking in the wall yesterday turns out to be completely unrelated. It just looks like the PEX above the shower faucet was attached at an angle (not coming straight out of the faucet) in order to tie in to some existing PVC that goes to the shower head. I get that they didn't have access without tearing out a portion of the wall to all of the PVC (the shower head plumbing actually goes up that wall, over the shower and the head is on the opposite exterior wall) but I would have much preferred them not even attempting the angle they attempted. That shower is unusable until that gets repaired.

It is always hard to figure things out when multiple things get changed at the same time - removing an incorrectly placed PRV, installing a new one at the street, a number of adjustments to the pressure in a short period of time and re-piping the house. If the handyman is correct and the element got fried when they drained and refilled the water heater then it makes sense that the water heater was the issue, even though I discounted it due to its newness. Thanks for all who gave feedback. Just thought you would want to know the outcome. At least the outcome as of now. And yes, I just took a long hot shower.......


plumbing answer (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Jan 9, 2021 7:27 PM

When toilets keep filling it means there is too much pressure for the Ballcock (fill valve) to cut off the water.

I myself hate PEX, but I'm still a certified PEX installer. I do Copper 99% of the time. My Fittings, Viega (propress) are rated for over 200 PSI, but my Rothernberger Presser tester shows the pipe and fittings easily hold over 600 PSI for a 24 hour period. Why is this important?

Many of my actor/producer/directors/writer clients live in the Hollywood mountains, high up towards the top of the mountains. In order for the City 125 normal PSI to reach all that way, the City pushes out pressures sometimes reaching 220 psi, and at the homes I read around 180 PSI in the evenings.

These home will blow out a commercial pressure reducing valve once every two years. I install a back up valve with a pressure alarm.

Your system is a simple one but you need your PEX plumber, or someone qualified, to look things over and get the right correction.

As a plumber some of my clients from the past laugh at my pricing. Too much for their blood. Instead they hire a handyman at less than 1/2 the hourly rate. But what they forget is he's not a licensed bonded plumber and has no parts. He has to turn off the water, take out a sample part and then go shopping at a Home Depot or Plumbing Supply Company. Then returning and installing the part -- taking him 3 hours to do a 20 minutes job.

Around 40 clients had faulty diverter valves in their apartment buildings. The parts were no longer being manufactured for the past 30 years. Their handyman didn't know how to remove the diverter and broke a pipe. They had to turn off the water to the entire building. Stores were then closed and they couldn't purchase a replacement shower manifold fixture. What to do. The plumber wanted to break open the shower tiled walls to get at the problem.

I came, open the drywall in the bedroom behind the shower fixture and installed my pipe freezer. Then I could turn back on the water to the building and fix their current diverter valve and fix the broken pipe. The owner was amazed that a plumber has the parts, skills and tools to do most any job.. The owner was finally willing to pay a "retail" repair bill....

plumbing answer (by Allym [NJ]) Posted on: Jan 9, 2021 7:59 PM

Robert J. Pipe freezer brilliant. I have observed something over the years and people say it's impossible. I had a drip in my kitchen sink faucet. One night it stormed and rained very hard, and the drip increased ! Next day back to normal little drip. My water comes from a big reservoir about half a mile away. Water pressure is not that good because my neighborhood is kind of up a hill from it. The next neighborhood over is much higher and they get a pump assist to get their water.

So heavy rain on surface of open reservoir, fills it up higher, increases pressure and my faucet leaks more? Make sense?

plumbing answer (by Rangor [TN]) Posted on: Jan 9, 2021 9:11 PM

Just to clarify, the re-piping was done by a licensed plumber of 40 years with a couple younger guys with a lot of experience. The 'handyman' that looked at it today works for a rental company and has rentals of his own. He is the one that looked first at the heating element and concluded that the licensed plumber refilled the water heater while the element was on and hot.

But yes, I didn't want to use a handyman to re-pipe my house so I went the licensed plumber (recommended) route. Nobody is bullet proof though and I saw enough miscommunications between them when they were working to believe that the handyman's conclusion is certainly plausible.

In terms of why low pressure would cause the tank to fill and overflow into the overflow pipe I have no idea. All I know is that when pressure was too low (25psi) that is what happened (along with my washing machine slowly filling when off) and when I increased it to 65 psi, the toilet and washing machine started functioning the way they should. I'm sure that if I increased pressure too far that I would run into a host of other issues as you say. I appreciate the feedback - I always learn something. Thanks. --64.252.xx.xx

plumbing answer (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Jan 9, 2021 9:32 PM

Allym [NJ] I have what's called a Ridgid Pipe Freezer. It's a mini compressor with 2 hoses and adapter to go around 1/4" tubing up to 2" dimeter piping. These freeze head you put on both sides of the pipe you want to work on so no water will back flow to the area.

Also I have a Carbon Dioxide tank with bags I put around pipes and inflate the bags dry ice. It' melts so unless I add more CD, the water will start moving.

When I work at Hospitals or places that need constant water flow, I use my freezer. They cost around $3000 each.

plumbing answer (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jan 10, 2021 10:13 AM


I am so glad you made this post and that it had a happy ending. why? Next week I am having my 50 year old galvanized pipes torn out of my primary residence and replaced with Pex. My licensed plumber will be doing the work.

My house has great water pressure coming into the house. Water at the outside spigot shoots out like a fire hose, however, when that water reaches my 2 bathrooms (shower heads), the water pressure is greatly reduced. My existing 50 year old galvanized pipes have rust that has built up inside them.

plumbing answer (by small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: Jan 10, 2021 10:01 PM

I don't see why the plumber would have drained the heater at all. Did they move it?

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