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plumbing problem that is going to put me in the nut house

And if there's not, then thats where your fluctuations are coming from. I'm thinking maybe the thermostatic balanced pressure valves are having a fit with this cross flow back charge condition. I've had situations where the pump was kept on ALL the time and it was STILL an issue.

Do install a spring check and your fluctuation/slamming problem should go away.

Been there, done that, fixed it with a check valve and ended up with a good custoemr for life. I think I was the tenth plumber to look at the problem...

ME

Comments

  • Dan C.
    Dan C. Member Posts: 248
    edited January 2014
    speakman shower valve

  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928


    For an idiot like me can you explain:

    "I replaced a draw off on a water heater?"

    What's a "draw off"? Did you replace via "monkey see, monkey do?"

  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,676
    wow

    that's a bummer. Please tell me you're not eating all this time, but I fear I know the answer. That's what I love about our industry (and please forgive me if this is inapplicable); we get "guilty" when we can't fix something.

    Unless there's some real smart dood out there, it seems like some valve broke up and dumped its waste into the water piping. What on earth could it be otherwise? It seems to be cold; what is the main water shut off, ball valve or some old p.o.j.?

    I've been in similar situations; I feel your pain, best of luck.

    Gary Wilson


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  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,676
    sounds like

    the boiler drain.

    I'd be curious to know what spawned this service call.


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    Northampton, MA
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  • Mike:

    A draw-off is just another term for boiler drain or sillcock.

    Dan:

    The shower valve you are working on is a well made product in todays market. The picture you are showing is a pressure balancing disphragm that is pretty much standard in any pressure balanced shower valve that does not use a pressure balancing spindle.

    Your problem is not in the pressure balancing diaphragm. That valve uses a ceramic cartridge to shut off or control the volume of the water.

    If you can't find any other reason for the hammer, I'd suggest replacing the regulating module -
    Part # G05-0412-MO. Contract your wholesaler and he should be able to furnish one direct from the factory quickly.

  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,676
    parts


    isn't it odd that all this happened once he simply replaced a drain on a water heater? I'd be a bit suspicious.


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  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928


    Simple drain was what I had in my head, but wasn't familiar with "draw off".

    Exactly Gary. VERY hard to believe that no problem existed before.

    I have noticed some odd problems in my area that I suspect might be related to anti-backflow devices installed in the distribution system.

    Crazy resonances. Showers--plain shower valves--that "pulse". Kitchen faucet that literally jumps and hammers on full hot until you mix in some cold. Not constant problems not completely predictable with regards to time of day. My best guess regarding time is with high use on the system--peak morning shower and peak supper cleanup...

    Problem also [seems] related to both elevation and water velocity. By far worst and most frequent at low elevation with 1/2" copper internal main (past water heater at least) piping. Moderate at high elevation with 1/2" copper piping. Extremely rare at high elevation with 3/4" or larger main distribution.

  • Weird plumbing resonences

    The weirdest plumbing noises I've run into are sometimes traced to a leaking toilet flapper causing a feed-back oscillation at an old-style ballcock. I've even seen a Fluidmaster do it. It'll drive the customer crazy because it can be triggered by a pressure change by opening a faucet. One checks the toilets and sees "standing wave" ripples on the surface of the tank water while the noise is being made. Change the flapper, and the noise goes away.

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  • soot_seeker_7
    soot_seeker_7 Member Posts: 11
    30 second hot-water..

    "she said that both of her showers only had hot water for about 30 seconds" -

    is it only the showers? better check the other fixtures.

    ss
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    Dan

    first of all I feel your pain. No good deed goes unpunished.

    OR as we say, " Sometimes you eat the bear, soemtimes the bear eats you ".

    You disturbed sediment or mineral deposits when you changed the draw-off ( ya, there called that here is Ma also ). When she turned on the shower the sediment got stuck in the balancing spool or tempering valve. I think you need to replace the cartridge again and flush it before it gets re-installed.

    This is a tough one because there is a good chance this was'nt a problem untill you came along with that "Valve of yours".

    If this where a steady customer of mine or a good chance to be a good customer, we would eat it and chalk it up to being in business.

    Scott

    PS: This why when ever I would turn the water back on I alwys purge the air from the largest fixture, like a tub filler or better yet whirlpool. Shower valves and special kitchen faucets are last.


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  • Dan C.
    Dan C. Member Posts: 248
    edited January 2014
    Don

    "
  • Dan C.
    Dan C. Member Posts: 248
    edited January 2014
    Gary

    "
  • Dan C.
    Dan C. Member Posts: 248
    edited January 2014
    t

  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,676
    valve

    So, there are no old globes anywhere? water heater? main? I like how we all can rally up the responces from a tech point of view; might you please expalin how the business side in you handles this (when the smoke clears). How about work in the street? Public water? Any filtration?Thanks.

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    Gary Wilson
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  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    Ahhhh

    Thast a killer, the excact reason I try not to travel to far. Sometimes it can't be helped.

    I would bring another cartridge with you, swap it out fast.

    Good Luck

    Scott

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  • Doug_40
    Doug_40 Member Posts: 17


    I’m just thinking about this here, that the problem started when you changed the drain valve on the hot water heater. Any idea how old the hot water is? Any indication when you drained the tank to replace the valve that there was a lot of sediment there. What thinking here is that sediment was disturbed and has now been flushed into the system clogging the valves at the showers. Does she have hot water now at the showers longer then 30 seconds? Seems like a lot of trash (sediment) was in the water to clog the valve that quickly. Doug.


  • I haven't seen any bad cartridges myself but it is always possible. I would look elsewhere first and as a last resort change the cartridge.

    Good luck -
  • Remember the disolving dip stick problem....

    Itty bitty pieces of plastic will cause HAVOC with tight tolerance valves, and also cause shortages of hot water.

    Think outside the box, but inside the tank grass hopper...

    Also, a swing check in the vertical down flow position will cause the exact same symptoms you describe. 30 seconds of hot water (before the cold water back charges though the circ return connection) followed by hammering (swing check slamming shut).

    I suspect the problem in NOT in the same room as the symptoms... Replace the swing with a spring and your problems should go away.

    ME
  • jackchips_2
    jackchips_2 Member Posts: 1,338
    You have

    plenty of suggestions, especially from ME and Scott but I wanted to add my expression of appreciation for how you are handling the situation.

    We've all or will have before we're done have gone down the same path and can learn from you.

    I would also ask, as previously mentioned, for a follow up to how the business man in you will make the final cost decisions and how they are received.

    Thanks Dan and eventually I will welcome you as a graduate of the "nut house".

    Jack
  • Dan C.
    Dan C. Member Posts: 248
    edited January 2014
    .

    l"
  • Dan C.
    Dan C. Member Posts: 248
    edited January 2014
    Doug

    "
  • Pulsating banging problem...

    It IS the check valve, I guarantee it or my names not Orville Redenbacher...

    Orv
  • mikea23
    mikea23 Member Posts: 224
    EXPANSION

    Install domestic expansion tank on hot water supply
  • Michael Welch
    Michael Welch Member Posts: 43
    Pressure reducer

    One other thing to check is if the house has a pressure reducing valve. I have had 2 different jobs over the years where one fixture would pulsate when turned on and only that fixture. Upon alot of troubleshooting i ended up finding the pulsating coming from the Presure reducing valve. After replacing the pressure reducer the problem was solved for good. Just a thought.
  • Chris_82
    Chris_82 Member Posts: 321


    A little piece of rubber anywhere in the system, an outside "draw off" with a cracked washer, an old fluidmaster in any WC, these can be frustrating, be shure and let us know the outcome.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,229
    How about...

    ... putting a pressure gauge on a hose bibb to see what the static pressure is? If it's high, sealed air chambers just before the shower will help quiet it down. If there is a reducer in the main line, I'd second the need for an expansion tank.

    Yours, Larry
  • Dave_114
    Dave_114 Member Posts: 5
    Do Ya Think,,,,,,,,,,

    You have-it now?

    Dave
  • Dan C.
    Dan C. Member Posts: 248
    edited January 2014
    mark

    m
  • Sorry Dan...

    I made some brash assumptions. I assumed there was a circulation return on the system. If there is, the MUST be a check valve on the return line to keep the cold water from charging backwards through the system, If it is a swing check in the vertical down flow position, gravity keeps it open until someone starts drawing water. You then end up with hot and cold water (through the circ return line) headed for the point of use, until the check valve realizes its supposed to be shut and BANG, it closes.

    Another symptom of this is continually changing water temperatures in the shower requiring continuous adjustment of the shower valve. Essentially, cold water and hot water going to the point of use, fighting for displacement and pressure balance.

    If there is no circ return on the system, then in the words of Gilda Radner, never mind...

    Sorry for any confusion :-)

    ME
  • Dan C.
    Dan C. Member Posts: 248
    edited January 2014
    =

    "
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,229
    Dan:

    Try shutting off the recirc pump and closing a valve in the recirc line. If they get better showers, you know they have been getting flow backwards through the recirc system. Then install check valve!

    Yours, Larry
  • mtfallsmikey
    mtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
    Look hard at Mike A's reply

    If there is a backflow preventer / check on incoming CW, then an expansion tank is required. Otherwise, with heavy calcium, minerals that may have broken loose, that can wreack some weird havoc on any plumbing system.
  • Dan C.
    Dan C. Member Posts: 248
    edited January 2014
    i

    i
  • NO...

    Unless you have more than one return coming back to the tank, in which case you may have numerous parallel circuits going back to the tank, but that should be obvious.

    Back to the drawing board...

    Can you actually see the risers going up to the valves in question from an unfinished basement? If yes, can you feel them and see if there is a cross connection someplace within the system, i.e. a remote shower wand with the mixer valve left open and cross connection occuring between the hot and cold lines right there?

    I've also seen some washing machines cross connect.

    ME
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    It not a cross connection

    that would cause it to effect all or at least nore than one fixture. The problems in the fixture ... my guess is sediment.

    Scott

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  • Dan C.
    Dan C. Member Posts: 248
    edited January 2014
    j

    j
This discussion has been closed.