No Cold Water to Washing Machine

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tvent

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I have no cold water supply at the valve that supplies water to the washing machine. It does appear there is some pressure in the line because it makes a brief pressure release noise when I open the valve. See link to videos below.



The hot water supply at the valve works with no problem, for some reason there is no cold water coming out of the cold water supply line.

I have tried disconnecting the washing machine hoses and cleaning the screens to the washing machine inlet valves. I have replaced the washing machine hoses from the black rubber ones to the stainless steel type to make sure they are not blocked. I have reversed the hot and cold washing machine hoses, to make sure there was not a problem with the washing machine cold water inlet valve.

I have tried turning the main water supply line in the house off and draining the lowest pipe and then turning the water back on to try to clear a blockage in the line (this was done several times). I have taken apart (unscrewed) the cold water valve assembly fixture in the wall box as seen in the video above. There did not appear to be any blockage in the fixture itself. I don't hear or see any water leaking from a broken pipe in the wall somewhere. The washing machine is on the third floor of the house and the water line is on an inside wall. I do not suspect the line to be frozen.

My next thought was to open up the drywall and further inspect the pipes and connections that are supplying the water to the hookup box in the wall behind the washing machine.

Any ideas on what I should do next? Would it be worth it to unscrew the hot and cold valves in the box and reverse them, to see if the problem is the cold water arrestor/valve?
 
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frodo

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common sense
1] a valve is off
2] the valve is broken
3] pipe has a blockage
4] a break in the line


typically, the blockage is going to be at that valve
turn off water to the house, remove the valve you have pictured in video
check to see if valve is stopped up or in need of replacement

have someone turn the water on while you hold a towel over the open pipe to blow out anything inside the line
turn water on for 1 second the off..there will be a mess to clean up
so prepare with towels
 

bbp

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Try disconnecting the hot from the machine.
Attach to the cold water boiler drain, turn on hot water then cold. You may be able to loosen the blockage. Worth a try.
 

Diehard

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It sure sounds like the ball in that little 1/4 turn ball valve, which looks like it's part of a water hammer arrestor assembly, is faulty. Probably between the stem and the ball.

You may see what the ball is or isn't doing by looking into the valve opening while turning the handle.
WEAR SAFETY GLASSES !!! YOU MAY OPT FOR A MIRROR INSTEAD.
A small flash light may help.
Also, make sure that plastic valve handle is not slipping.
 
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tvent

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Thank you for the replies. I believe the pipe has a blockage. I swapped the hot and cold valves and still got nothing from the cold water line. I turned the water on and removed the cold valve and water just drips from the supply pipe. How do I try to unblock a pipe like this?
 

Diehard

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Thank you for the replies. I believe the pipe has a blockage. I swapped the hot and cold valves and still got nothing from the cold water line. I turned the water on and removed the cold valve and water just drips from the supply pipe. How do I try to unblock a pipe like this?
Do you have a globe valve nearby upstream of that point. A Globe valve has a washer that when it gets loose can stop the flow. In any case try checking valves up stream of the problem first.
 

tvent

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The only globe valve upstream that I know of is the main water supply valve. I have hot and cold water to all of the other fixtures inside of the house. I have also stuck a coat hanger down the pipe but it only goes as far as the first 90 degree elbow. Can a air compressor, plumbing snake, or piece of braided wire or baking soda/vinegar/salt be used to try to unclog the line?
 

tvent

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I also connected the hot water line to the cold water line and that did not free any blockage.
 

frodo

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you are going to have to blow the pipe out
this can be done one of 2 ways
turn off all of the valves under the fixtures in the house
turn off-- valve for icemaker, dishwasher, water heater and your water meter
install the gauge and adapter i have posted,,,if you find the same thing cheaper thats ok also
install on a outside hose bib
install a ball valve on the pluged line at the washer box
pump up the pressure to 100 psi
then open ball valve
and let that sucker blow

be careful,
i suggest holding a towel over it

the other way,
same procedure, except instead of air, turn the water on


tip. if it is a globe valve bib washer
turn off the globe valve, then check if water is off, if water is off
it is not the globe valve washer stuck in your pipe
 

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Diehard

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Just an added heads up to the previous suggestion.
Keep in mind that depending on what you use for an air supply and/or how much air you may already have in that pipe line, will have a big impact on how effective that potential blowout approach will work.
For example, if pipe line is filled with water and you're using an air pump to bring it up to 100 psi, and since water is essentially incompressible, it may only take a couple of strokes of the pump. So if you think about it, in the absence of a volume of compressed air, there won't be much to push volume along.

So the more volume of air the better for that purpose, so long the pressure doesn't approach the working pressure limits of the pipes, particularly if they are plastic. The 100 psi would seem to be quite reasonable.
 

Diehard

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I also connected the hot water line to the cold water line and that did not free any blockage.
Assuming the source of pressure for the hot water was coming from the same water service, there was probably more pressure behind the cold water line blockage than on the hot water. On second thought, there would be equal pressures.

I know I had only mentioned a globe valve but it sounds like you're implying that there is no valve all the way back to the main supply valve. I find it hard to believe that there is no shut off valve, of any type, between the main supply valve and the cold water, washing machine connection.
 
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frodo

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Assuming the source of pressure for the hot water was coming from the same water service, there was probably more pressure behind the cold water line blockage than on the hot water. On second thought, there would be equal pressures.

I know I had only mentioned a globe valve but it sounds like you're implying that there is no valve all the way back to the main supply valve. I find it hard to believe that there is no shut off valve, of any type, between the main supply valve and the cold water, washing machine connection.

Diehard
In a residential home, you are required to have a valve at the water meter [the curb stop is acceptable]
within 5' of the structure before it enters the house. A valve is required at each fixture
no other valves are required
 

tvent

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The townhouse was built in 2005 and the pipes are plastic. There is one room in the basement(utility room) with the water heater, furnace, and shut off valve where the water line comes into the house. At the curb in front of the house in a little manhole is the meter with a shut off valve that supplies water to the house. If there is a valve between the one in the house and the washing machine, where would this be located (other than the utility room in the basement)?

As a side note I have noticed for awhile now when I turn off the water supply to the house in the utility closet, it doesn't completely stop the flow of water to the fixture that I am working on. I figured that it might be normal for a little water to still get through even though the valve that controls water to the house is closed.

As a second side note, a few years ago we had the filter in the water softener fail. This caused tiny yellow beads of sediment to come out the water lines and clog all of the screens on the fixtures, toilet float, and even a valve to the toilet. I suspected this as the problem, but I've checked the valves by reversing the hot and cold and there is just no water getting through to the line at the washing machine.

This pressure idea seems interesting. Big thanks for all that info. I did try pouring hot water and baking soda and vinegar down the line and of course it didn't do anything. Is it possible to blow the air into the pipe at the washing machine? Could you turn the water to the house off. Turn the hot water on. And blow it back into the water heater? This method came from a Youtube video of a guy winterizing a cabin water line.
 

frodo

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you can blow the air in at the washing machine, i do not understand why you want to blow the stoppage back into your piping system instead of blowing it out
but yes, you can blow it from the washer

when you turn the water to the house off. you no longer have hot water
 

Diehard

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Diehard
In a residential home, you are required to have a valve at the water meter [the curb stop is acceptable]
within 5' of the structure before it enters the house. A valve is required at each fixture
no other valves are required
Yes, I can accept that. My house wasn't that much different. But I'm used to seeing washing machine hook-ups, which once were hose end valves, then the single handle assemblies and lately ball valve type hose connections, preceded by isolation valves. In other words treated as a faucet at a fixture.
But I can believe it.
 

tvent

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If I call a plumber and he determines the blockage needs to be blown out, is this a common service plumbers provide? In other words, do I need to ask them if they have this equipment? Thanks.
 

frodo

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Yes, I can accept that. My house wasn't that much different. But I'm used to seeing washing machine hook-ups, which once were hose end valves, then the single handle assemblies and lately ball valve type hose connections, preceded by isolation valves. In other words treated as a faucet at a fixture.
But I can believe it.
all that is required
wbvalve.png
 

phishfood

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I would start by trying to blow it out FROM the main OUT through the washing machine valve. Reason being is that with doing the reverse, whatever solid material that is clogging the pipe might just find it's way back out of the water heater into the pipe sometime in the future.

Only if you cannot get it out that way, would I try blowing it backwards through the system.
 

Diehard

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Although all implications are that you are getting hot water flowing normally into your machine, I must ask you to verify that, simply because of the fact that there seem to be a lot of air coming out that valve in the video.

I suppose that there is a possibility that increasing the pressure in the direction of the normal flow and blockage may push something through, as unlikely as it may seem.
Since the only (KNOWN) valve in that cold water line has been removed and has been eliminated from the possible causes, I would suggest isolating the location of the blockage as best you can.
For example...
1. Determine the last flowing branch off the cold water line feeding the washer. This basically tells you the section of pipe that has the blockage in it.
2. I would then shut all isolation valves to all fixtures as well as shut the main water service coming into the house.
3. Then(being plastic pipe) cut the pipe at the location determined in step one above.
4. Now you can blow BACK from the washing machine valve to the open ended pipe you just created.
 
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