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90 Year old National boiler owner lady is B A A C K

Phyl Member Posts: 9
You all helped me with my boiler problem and I am in the process now of having a new one installed sometime soon.
I have a new, very baffling question to ask you. You will think I have "lost" it, but I think I'm still ok.
Why do I have so many questions that all pertain to leaks!

The first time I turned off the hot water valve on the boiler, per HVAC Man #2, I noticed my upstairs shower began to drip from the shower head. It made no sense to people who knew something about plumbing. I can understand that because it made no sense to me.

Once I turned the valve back on, the dripping stopped.

I turned off the hot water valve a couple of weeks ago and noticed the same thing, dripping from the shower head. No water comes from any of the hot water faucets in the house. I called a local plumber I know and he wasn't sure what it was. He thought it was the part that unscrews out of the shower head and took it out but then just put it back again. He was stressed out himself over a medical issue that had just come up and told me to watch it and to call his office and his co-worker would come and take a look. He came as a courtesy call and left to go on an immediate two week vacation.

I turned the boiler back on until two days ago. Because the weather is pretty hot and because I would prefer to not have to remember to add water to the sight glass every couple of days, I turned off the hot water for "good". I wash clothes in cold water and I take short cold showers, so I figured I could manage until I get the new boiler. Once again, the shower head drips.

But this is the NEW and even more baffling thing. Today, I flushed the toilet in that bathroom and watched the shower head, It STOPPED dripping. When the toilet tank filled up, the dripping started. I thought that was insane, so I deliberately flushed the toilet a second time and, again, the shower head stopped dripping or slowed down to almost no drips. When the tank was full, the dripping started up again with a larger "leftover" back-up drip to begin with, and then the regular steady drip.

I'm going to go upstairs right now and flush the toiler again. Hold on. OK, I measured the dripping and it is one drip a second (10 drips in 10 seconds). I flushed the toilet and in the time it takes for the toilet to flush and for the tank to fill up, there were five slow drips (I have the good old-fashioned eco-unfriendly toilets). When the tank filled up, again, there was a larger "connected" drip and then faster dripping.
It is now back to 1 drip per second.

I am not worried about it. It just doesn't make sense to me. How is the toilet connected to the shower line? When I ask others about it, they think it's my age. It isn't.

When I have the boiler installed, I will have the shower head also checked out.

I have to keep the bathroom door closed so I don't hear the dripping at night.

Thank you all. I'll be interested to see what you think.



  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,467
    It sounds like you have a leaky shower valve.
    In an old house, it is pretty likely that when the toilet fills, the pressure in the pipes drops just enough to interrupt the dripping.
    I would start with the shower valve.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Phyl
    Phyl Member Posts: 9
    I think I have it figured out. After looking online, I guess it is the knob that you turn to hot and cold. It's not the sprayer. That knob has to be taken apart and replaced. Entire water to house has to be turned off. Doesn't look too complicated (for a plumber to do).

    So, I guess I am ok. I'll leave it for the plumber to do.

    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,791
    If I were you I would wait on the shower valve repair until you have a steady supply of hot water.

    I assume you have a single lever shower mix valve.
    The absence of hot water pressure on that side of the valve may let the cold pressure overpower the seals and let the cold water drip.
    You figured it out yourself that when you turn the hot back on the dripping stops.

    It seems strange but could happen.
  • Phyl
    Phyl Member Posts: 9
    Thank you Jughne:
    I had turned off the hot water on the old National. Then I decided to turn off the entire system. So my boiler is turned completely off and the hot water lever oin the boiler is also off. Is it ok to leave it like this for a week or so? No hot water, and no heat? Am I damaging anything by doing this? I still get a very small drip from the shower sprayer.

    I'm ok without the heat and without hot water. Is it safe to leave it like this for awhile, maybe a week or so?

    Thanks. Strange things happen with me - it might be me!

    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,791
    I would also shut off the electric power to the boiler.
    Do you have someone on board to replace your boiler?

    A separate water heater is not a bad idea for you.
    A small fire for hot water rather than firing the boiler in the summer time.
    This could be installed now and give you hot water if you had to wait some time for a new boiler.
  • Phyl
    Phyl Member Posts: 9
    I do have a great HVAC person who is going to install a new boiler for me soon. Waiting for all the preliminary necessities -- stainless steel liner, getting asbestos removal company name. The boiler should be installed within a few weeks.

    Mr. Garrity was referred to me via this website, and I am very grateful. He is going to install a Utica PEG and a separate water heater!

    I'm just curious about what is going on with my old boiler. I turned off the red switch (Emergency) that shuts down the system. And I turned off separate hot water lever that is on the boiler = that is in off position.

    I just turned on the hot water tap in the kitchen and got a full 7 ounce glass of water. I got a good 7 ounce glass of water from the set tub in the cellar. I got no water from the first floor half bath and no water from the second floor sink faucet.. I still get a slow drip from the shower sprayer on the second floor. I just don't know why I get water from the not water tap when I have turned off my heat and turned off the hot water on the system.

    My tankless hot water system is connected to the old boiler; it is not a stand-alone. My new one will be separate.

    It's all a mystery to me. I keep walking around checking and "wondering". Help is on it's way.

    Thanks, again.

    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,791
    Perhaps the 2 glasses of water you got were just the upper pipes draining down from above. If you leave those faucets open you may eventually run out of water on the hot side as it all drains out.