Water Shut Off Valves

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Bill 314

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Hello, I'm attempting to replace shut off valves for both the toilet and sink in my basement half bath. When shutting off the water main and draining the system, I get a continuous low pressure flow off water in that bathroom sink. I let it run for 10 mins with no change in volume. I recently had the original gate style shut off valve for the home replaced with a 1/4 ball valve, so shut off to the home shouldn't be an issue. Where is this water coming form? Of course opened and left open all upstairs fixtures shortly after the shut down. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Bill
 
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pasadena_commut

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All the water in the house's pipes draining into the basement? Open all the valves in the rest of the house so that water can flow more freely (not be slowed by the vacuum forming above it). If you forget even one that vertical pipe might drip very slowly because the vacuum at the top will hold up quite a lot of water (like the upside down glass of water on a table trick.) Did you open the shut off valves on the toilets?

Worst case, it might also be siphoning out of the hot water tank somehow, although there is usually a valve on the hot side to prevent flow in the other direction. There should be a valve on the inlet side, close it.

Also, if you close the ball valve and open just one upstairs cold valve, does it eventually stop dripping? If not the ball valve may leak.
 

Jeff Handy

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The pipes in the house can hold a lot of water.

They can drip for a long time, over an hour, you have to open up everything, to let air get in to help the pipes drain.

Is there a laundry sink or slop sink in the basement?

If so, open that up all the way.
 

Bill 314

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All the water in the house's pipes draining into the basement? Open all the valves in the rest of the house so that water can flow more freely (not be slowed by the vacuum forming above it). If you forget even one that vertical pipe might drip very slowly because the vacuum at the top will hold up quite a lot of water (like the upside down glass of water on a table trick.) Did you open the shut off valves on the toilets?

Worst case, it might also be siphoning out of the hot water tank somehow, although there is usually a valve on the hot side to prevent flow in the other direction. There should be a valve on the inlet side, close it.

Also, if you close the ball valve and open just one upstairs cold valve, does it eventually stop dripping? If not the ball valve may leak.
First of all, thank you for your reply. Very much appreciated.
Yes, the lowest point of plumbing in my home are the two fixtures (in finished basement) that I'm trying to replace. I did open all sinks, showers, and even outside hose faucet above these fixtures. The valve on the toilet that I plan to replace was never turned off. Did not drain the toilet yet either.

I have had some concern that I may be siphoning water from the water heater, but wasn't sure this was a possibility. There is a shut off valve on the cold inlet side, but nothing on the hot outlet side. With that being said, I had both hot and cold wide open on the basement sink and that water never did turn warm much less hot. Even when just having the hot side on only.

After closing the main valve, I then went upstairs and opened all fixtures. The water flow almost stopped immediately and you could hear the fixtures sucking air. This was done for both the hot and cold side. Then went back down stairs and opened the sink in question. Water flow was not fast, but was steady for at least 10 mins.
I do not have extensive plumbing in the house as it is a small (1,200 sq feet) split foyer style house. This is why i thought 10 mins was excessive.
 

Bill 314

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The pipes in the house can hold a lot of water.

They can drip for a long time, over an hour, you have to open up everything, to let air get in to help the pipes drain.

Is there a laundry sink or slop sink in the basement?

If so, open that up all the way.
Hello Jeff, Thank you for the reply. I wouldn't say this was a drip. More like if you barely crack open the valve on the sink. Low steady stream of water. I could not hear water squeezing past the main valve like I could the old one I had replaced, but I would say the flow of water out of the sink was about the same. Only other water lines below the second floor are the washing machine hook ups and hose bib the goes into the garage right off the main. I do have concerns about the water heater siphoning which is right next to the main. Just odd the water never tuned hot. I did hear a popping noise come from that area though, which was about the time I decided to abandon the repair and turn the water back on.
 

Jeff Handy

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Ten minutes is not a long times for the pipes to keep draining.

Whenever I take a job that involves soldering copper pipes in a basement, I allow at least one hour for the pipes to keep gurgling and draining.

PS make sure you are not sucking up stale water from any hoses attached to sillcocks, remove the hoses.
 
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Jeff Handy

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Post good clear close-up pictures of the valves you want to replace in the basement.

All plumbers have had to deal with repairing or replacing a shutoff valve that still had some water coming out of it.

We can advise you on how to do it, even with some low flow still present.

With a big enough catch pan or succession of smaller pans, dumped out as needed, a weak flow from the valve is no big deal.

You can change out a valve, or just change out the old guts with the guts from an identical new valve, in only a few minutes.
 

House Doc

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Check the water meter after you close the input valve and open a faucet. Then you can see if the valve is leaking. Once you are sure that the valve don't leak, any water coming out is just what is in the pipes and will stop.
As Jeff says, always try and include pictures of what you're working on, such as what kind of valves you are replacing. This opens the option of other ways of doing the job.
 

pasadena_commut

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It occurs to me that the proper way to drain the line supplying a toilet is to leave the shutoff open and then either unhook the hose or prop the toilet's valve in a position so that it stays open. (The latter assumes there is no back flow arrester in the valve.) Leaving the shutoff open alone won't do it because the toilet valve will normally be closed and it will hold the vacuum on the column of water below it.

Never assume that the main shutoff really does shut completely off. (Although it is much more likely that it does with your ball valve than with an older gate valve.) There is usually a hose bib on a rising pipe right above the shut off. Leave that open and whatever does leak through the main shutoff will land on the ground outside instead of dripping continuously into your house's pipes.
 

Bill 314

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Post good clear close-up pictures of the valves you want to replace in the basement.

All plumbers have had to deal with repairing or replacing a shutoff valve that still had some water coming out of it.

We can advise you on how to do it, even with some low flow still present.

With a big enough catch pan or succession of smaller pans, dumped out as needed, a weak flow from the valve is no big deal.

You can change out a valve, or just change out the old guts with the guts from an identical new valve, in only a few minutes.
Hello, Attached are photos of the bad valves and my plumbing. I am trying to avoid using the shark bite type fitting and want to fully replace all three valves as I am completely remodeling this bathroom. To address the gentlemen suggestion below, I'm not sure i have access t the water meter. May be underground where the shut off to my house is. Definitely not inside or on the side of my house. I guess my next course of action will be to try one more time making sure everything is open and waiting longer for the lines to empty. I also plan to cut power to the electric water heater. Don't wont to worry about burning up elements if it is siphoning for some reason. If the photos I've attached tell you anything more about why I could be having issues, please do tell.20200726_181319.jpg20200726_181342.jpg20200726_181417.jpgCapture.PNG
 

Jeff Handy

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You can order new Eastman valves online, and just swap out the guts.

The big nut right behind the oval handle will unscrew, and then the stem will also unscrew and come out.
 

Jeff Handy

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You need to post good close ups of all the valves, from the side view, to verify the exact type Eastman valves you have.

Then you can either order rebuild kits, or just get new valves and use the insides to fix the old ones.

Pros on here can advise, I might not be on as much for a few days.
 

House Doc

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Here's a thought...
1. Close the main
2. Open the valves to the lower level so the water drains the pipes.
3. When the flow has reached it's lowest level, remove the stem/guts from an upper level identical valve to see how it can be rebuilt. (Assuming that there is no water flowing from upper valve.) It may be as easy as replacing a washer.
When removing the stem, do so carefully. You may have to open/close the valve to remove the packing nut (the chrome nut just under the handle). Some models can bind and snap the stem if not rotated with the packing nut.
Once the stem/washer is repaired you can quickly swap it out with the leaking ones downstairs. You may get some water leaking, but if done quickly, shouldn't be a problem. When I have to do it this way I put a painting roller pan under it, it's large and will hold quite a bit of water.
Repeat for the rest of the leaking valves. The first one is the learning part, the rest easy.:D
 

House Doc

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Just a feeling after looking at the picture of the shutoff valve. If the whole setup was installed and then soldered, some solder could have dripped down and damaged the ball valve. The ball is steel but the parts that seal to the ball are nylon. I always try to keep the valve at the top of the stack of soldered parts. Or assemble and solder it before I install it into the system.

Just another idea to think of.
 

Jeff Handy

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A shallow catch pan like that is ok if the valve is very close to the floor.

But trying to empty it, it tends to splash out the sides, IMHO.

Good idea on swapping out guts with a valve from upstairs.

But you still need new valves or repair parts on hand, otherwise your water might be off in the whole house for days.

Still waiting for pics from a side angle.
 

SHEPLMBR

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Here's a thought...
1. Close the main
2. Open the valves to the lower level so the water drains the pipes.
3. When the flow has reached it's lowest level, remove the stem/guts from an upper level identical valve to see how it can be rebuilt. (Assuming that there is no water flowing from upper valve.) It may be as easy as replacing a washer.
When removing the stem, do so carefully. You may have to open/close the valve to remove the packing nut (the chrome nut just under the handle). Some models can bind and snap the stem if not rotated with the packing nut.
Once the stem/washer is repaired you can quickly swap it out with the leaking ones downstairs. You may get some water leaking, but if done quickly, shouldn't be a problem. When I have to do it this way I put a painting roller pan under it, it's large and will hold quite a bit of water.
Repeat for the rest of the leaking valves. The first one is the learning part, the rest easy.:D
Or after you have opened all the valves on the lower floor and the draining has slowed, crack open the union on the PRV above your main valve.
 

House Doc

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A shallow catch pan like that is ok if the valve is very close to the floor.

But trying to empty it, it tends to splash out the sides, IMHO.

Good idea on swapping out guts with a valve from upstairs.

But you still need new valves or repair parts on hand, otherwise your water might be off in the whole house for days.

Still waiting for pics from a side angle.
I know that I must be a "JERK" in your mind for coming up with the idea of looking at the inside of existing valves to see if they can even be repaired, instead of having to solder new valves inside of cabinets. And God knows I must not have learned a thing being in business since 1974. You seem to know it all!!
 

Jeff Handy

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House Doc, I don’t get your hostility.

I was on your side with your suggestions, I even put a Like under it.

I just added that a wide shallow pan tends to splash, and to have new parts on hand.

I have been posting a lot lately, due to illness.

Sorry if I am hogging too much of the forum.

And I am 63, been doing this a long time also.
 

havasu

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Ya know, we come in here to help others. Nobody is paid, including me, and the hostility is really not warranted nor needed. As Rodney King eloquently said (if this is possible), "Can't we all just get along?"
 
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