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'[EE]: Maybe should be OT, toilet valve question'
2008\03\23@201055 by Sean Breheny

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Hi all,

Happy Easter!

I struggled a bit with whether to make this OT or EE (Everything
Engineering), but here it goes:

One of the toilets in my mom's house is leaking. The problem is that
the fill valve never closes completely. The interesting thing is that
this is about the fifth time that this has happened in 15 years or so.
Is it normal to have to replace that valve assembly every three years?
All the sites I've checked indicate that the flapper is most often the
cause of leaks, but with this toilet, it has never been the cause of
the leaks. She never uses in-tank cleaners or anything which should
hasten the demise of the valve. The only thing I can think of is maybe
high or erratic water pressure? Her water is not very hard. It may be
chlorinated but I don't taste it as excessive.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Sean

2008\03\23@215410 by Dr Skip

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Mud can get in the pipes when they work on them somewhere along the main, which
around here is every few years. It can also be a leaky float if it's a balloon
type, which will take on water and not rise as far.

If it's a lever arm and float, bend the arm and see if it needs additional
pressure to close. The further down it points, the harder it will force the
valve. There is a similar adjustment on the other types too.

Also, turn off the water and see if the tank drains down. It really could be
the flapper letting enough go that it never finishes filling...


Sean Breheny wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\03\23@230040 by Bob Blick

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Sean Breheny wrote:

{Quote hidden}

If it's a Flowmaster, it will do that if a tiny piece of grit gets in
it. Turn the water off. Remove the top plastic part of the valve by
pushing down on it while rotating clockwise an eigth turn. Turn the
water on momentarily(with the lid over the tank!). Then reassemble.

Cheerful regards,

Bob

2008\03\24@025806 by Richard Prosser

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On 24/03/2008, Bob Blick <spam_OUTbobblickTakeThisOuTspamftml.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I'm having a similar problem at the moment with a pressure reducing
valve. If I adjust it for reasonable pressure in the upstairs shower,
it eventually develops a slow leak and I start losing hot water
through the overflow. If I back off the pressure to stop the overflow,
then we get cold showers. A new washer generally fixes the problem for
about 6 months but that''s it. Not sign of grit or damage to the
sealing face where the washer sits.  I've tried sanding the surface of
the washer which removes the hard oxydised surface and it appears to
help but it doesn't last

We first noticed the problem when the council fitted a water meter and
there was grit/swarf in the system but that was a long time ago and it
now appears clean.

One solution appears to be to increase the height of the overflow so
more back pressure will develop before it starts to drip. This will
apply more pressure to the valve & hopefully turn it off harder. But
I'm already close to the maximum pressure of the hot water cylendar.

The good side of things is that it's an easy job to replace the washer.

Any ideas?

Richard P

2008\03\24@084804 by Carl Denk

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Do you have a check valve (backflow prevention or other that allows flow
one direction only like a diode)? If so, cold water comes into the
system and thermally expands. This added volume has to go somewhere. If
not released can build pressure maybe as high as over 100 psi. and force
open valves, force joints apart, or even burst pipes. If there is a
check valve, there needs to be an expansion chamber. Best have a rubber
bladder to ensure the air is always there. See:
http://www.buygasappliances.com/ViewProduct.aspx?categoryid=34&productid=90

Our water meter has a check valve built in, and then we are required to
have a double check valve reduced pressure backflow preventer since we
have a cistern where we  collect roof water which is used for everything
except th kitchen cold water which is potable.

Sean Breheny wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\03\24@121437 by Eoin Ross

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Is the HOT/COLD pressure the same @ the shower (While flowing)?

Sounds like you have a flow restriction on the hot water side of the shower - possible swarf/grit has found its way to a screen on the hot side shower valve?  It may help to think of Pressure as Voltage, and Flow as current. Narrowed lines/blockages act like resistors.

>>> .....rhprosserKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com 24 Mar 08 02:58:04 >>>
On 24/03/2008, Bob Blick <bobblickspamKILLspamftml.net> wrote:
>
><SNIP>
I'm having a similar problem at the moment with a pressure reducing
valve. If I adjust it for reasonable pressure in the upstairs shower,
it eventually develops a slow leak and I start losing hot water
through the overflow. If I back off the pressure to stop the overflow,
then we get cold showers. A new washer generally fixes the problem for
about 6 months but that''s it. Not sign of grit or damage to the
sealing face where the washer sits.  I've tried sanding the surface of
the washer which removes the hard oxydised surface and it appears to
help but it doesn't last

We first noticed the problem when the council fitted a water meter and
there was grit/swarf in the system but that was a long time ago and it
now appears clean.

One solution appears to be to increase the height of the overflow so
more back pressure will develop before it starts to drip. This will
apply more pressure to the valve & hopefully turn it off harder. But
I'm already close to the maximum pressure of the hot water cylendar.

The good side of things is that it's an easy job to replace the washer.

Any ideas?

Richard P

2008\03\24@151628 by Richard Prosser

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Hi Eoin

No, Only the hot water goes through the reducing valve. The cold water
runs at mains pressure (and the shower mixer is designed to accomodate
that). The plumber claimed that setting it up this way allowed the
cold water to "pull" the hot water through the system and actually
increased the haot water flow rate.  I guess it would happen if there
was a low pressure area in the mixer - similar to a siphon effect.

The filter screen on the shower mixer (hot water) has been removed as
it was introducing an additional pressure drop. That was done about 3
years ago and so far I've only had to clean out the mixer once.

RP




On 25/03/2008, Eoin Ross <.....erossKILLspamspam.....chemstation.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\03\24@161332 by Victor Fraenckel

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Perhaps this might help:

http://www.doityourself.com/scat/repairing

There is very little EE stuff in a toilet!

Vic
--

*____________________________________________________________________________________________*

*Victor Fraenckel
KC2GUI
victorf ATSIGN windreader DOT com**
*


2008\03\24@162326 by Carl Denk

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Yea, but without a toilet, there would be very little EE. :) :)

Victor Fraenckel wrote:
> Perhaps this might help:
>
> http://www.doityourself.com/scat/repairing
>
> There is very little EE stuff in a toilet!
>
> Vic
>  

2008\03\24@162649 by Jinx

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> There is very little EE stuff in a toilet!

Some of mine should be ......

----------------------

What is the definition of perfect pitch?

Throwing a banjo into a toilet without hitting the seat

http://bluegrassbanjo.org/banjokes.html

2008\03\24@171705 by Eoin Ross

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It is possible that there is an "inline eductor" in the mixer. ( http://www.s-k.com/pages/pro_01_01.html )

How old is the mixer? There may be a cam that has worn out not allowing the hot to open as far.

I'd not expect large particles to get past the cylinder or pressure reducing valve - so unless there is calcium buildup in your hot water line (Maybe there is and a chunk broke off, lodging @ an elbow?) , that shouldn't clog the pipe up.

It sounds like your overflow is a relief valve in the PRV - or is it a long pipe 10 ft or so above the roof ?  
An open pipe going above the roof is pretty much failure proof. 1 PSI = 27.7 inches of head (H20), so that might be out for your supply pressures.


I'd be inclined to fix it up using the washer - then look at pressures before and after the PRV, and at the shower head (Hot & Cold, static and running) - and keep a log until the problem cropped up again.

It does seem an odd way to plumb it these days, usually that setup will result in people gettting scalded/frozen whenever a tap is turned on. AFAIK shower mixers run better with even pressure. Been about 10+ years since my time @ a plumber/plumbing supply house.

>>> @spam@rhprosserKILLspamspamgmail.com 24 Mar 08 15:16:00 >>>
Hi Eoin

No, Only the hot water goes through the reducing valve. The cold water
runs at mains pressure (and the shower mixer is designed to accomodate
that). The plumber claimed that setting it up this way allowed the
cold water to "pull" the hot water through the system and actually
increased the haot water flow rate.  I guess it would happen if there
was a low pressure area in the mixer - similar to a siphon effect.

The filter screen on the shower mixer (hot water) has been removed as
it was introducing an additional pressure drop. That was done about 3
years ago and so far I've only had to clean out the mixer once.

RP




On 25/03/2008, Eoin Ross <KILLspamerossKILLspamspamchemstation.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\03\24@190044 by Richard Prosser

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Hi Eoin

On 25/03/2008, Eoin Ross <TakeThisOuTerossEraseMEspamspam_OUTchemstation.com> wrote:
> It is possible that there is an "inline eductor" in the mixer. ( http://www.s-k.com/pages/pro_01_01.html )
>

There's nothing that looks like the diagram but there may be something
in the design that produces a similar - but less efficient result.

> How old is the mixer? There may be a cam that has worn out not allowing the hot to open as far.
>

The mixer would now be about 10-12 years old I guess.

> I'd not expect large particles to get past the cylinder or pressure reducing valve - so unless there is calcium buildup in your hot water line (Maybe there is and a chunk broke off, lodging @ an elbow?) , that shouldn't clog the pipe up.
>

Out water is quite soft. We don't get calcium buildup on anything.
Even kettles etc don't scale.

> It sounds like your overflow is a relief valve in the PRV - or is it a long pipe 10 ft or so above the roof ?


Long Pipe. Except it's only about 4ft above the roof line. The top of
it is maybe 8metres above the hot water cylinder. I'm seriously
considering lengthening it if I can but the cylinder is only rated for
10metres of head so I'll need to measure it. I don't want to burst the
cylinder.

> An open pipe going above the roof is pretty much failure proof. 1 PSI = 27.7 inches of head (H20), so that might be out for your supply pressures.
>
>
> I'd be inclined to fix it up using the washer - then look at pressures before and after the PRV, and at the shower head (Hot & Cold, static and running) - and keep a log until the problem cropped up again.

Any hints about how to measure the pressure? I could buy a gauge but -
being me -I'd prefer a homegrown solution that allowed datalogging!
(e.g a strain guage tied to a plastic bottle connected to a tap ?)

>
> It does seem an odd way to plumb it these days, usually that setup will result in people gettting scalded/frozen whenever a tap is turned on. AFAIK shower mixers run better with even pressure. Been about 10+ years since my time @ a plumber/plumbing supply house.

Yes, we do get some variation in temperature when taps are turned on
or off. But not dangerously so.

Thanks for your help anyway.

Richard P

{Quote hidden}

2008\03\24@192211 by Apptech

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> There is very little EE stuff in a toilet!

No it is full of EE stuff - it is full of "Everything
Engineering" (and water) . But there is (usually) very
little electronic of electrical stuff.


       Russell

2008\03\24@192220 by peter green

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> There is very little EE stuff in a toilet!
>  
Note: here on the piclist the EE tag stands for everything engineering
not electrical engineering so problems with toilet mechanisms do just
about fit under the EE tag.

2008\03\24@215722 by Apptech

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>> There is very little EE stuff in a toilet!

> Note: here on the piclist the EE tag stands for everything
> engineering
> not electrical engineering so problems with toilet
> mechanisms do just
> about fit under the EE tag.

Challenge:     Just try and make a toilet cistern with
existing functionality without any engineering.

ie Every piece of functionality present is engineering
based.
You MAY be able to persuade one to grow as a biological
object - using "only" bio engineering :-).


       Russell

2008\03\25@005743 by Sean Breheny

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Wow, this started quite the discussion!

So, thanks for the suggestions. It seems that the problem was caused
by a rubber valve part (basically a little rubber pad which the
mechanism pushed against a small nozzle to stop water flow) which had
deteriorated. I ended up replacing the whole fill valve assembly
anyway. It works now.

There does seem to be some slimy grit in the water which gets slowly
deposited on all the surfaces in the tank, so that may be the culprit.
Also, it seems that the water pressure is very high. I tried to
compensate by partially closing the shut-off valve and that seems to
help.

Sean


On Mon, Mar 24, 2008 at 9:57 PM, Apptech <RemoveMEapptechspam_OUTspamKILLspamparadise.net.nz> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>  --

2008\03\29@100816 by Howard Winter

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Sean,

On Tue, 25 Mar 2008 00:57:39 -0400, Sean Breheny wrote:

> Wow, this started quite the discussion!
>
> So, thanks for the suggestions. It seems that the problem was caused
> by a rubber valve part (basically a little rubber pad which the
> mechanism pushed against a small nozzle to stop water flow) which had
> deteriorated. I ended up replacing the whole fill valve assembly
> anyway. It works now.

Being basically mean, I'd have just replaced the pad first!  :-)

> There does seem to be some slimy grit in the water which gets slowly
> deposited on all the surfaces in the tank, so that may be the culprit.
> Also, it seems that the water pressure is very high. I tried to
> compensate by partially closing the shut-off valve and that seems to
> help.

OK, but this doesn't reduce the pressure, only the flow rate.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2008\03\29@113521 by Sean Breheny

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Hi Howard,

On Sat, Mar 29, 2008 at 10:07 AM, Howard Winter <RemoveMEHDRWTakeThisOuTspamspamh2org.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>  Being basically mean, I'd have just replaced the pad first!  :-)

I thought about that but it looked like a custom part which was glued
into the assembly. I had to finish this job while I was visiting my
mom, so I had time limitations.

>
>
>  > There does seem to be some slimy grit in the water which gets slowly
>  > deposited on all the surfaces in the tank, so that may be the culprit.
>  > Also, it seems that the water pressure is very high. I tried to
>  > compensate by partially closing the shut-off valve and that seems to
>  > help.
>
>  OK, but this doesn't reduce the pressure, only the flow rate.

It should reduce the pressure while water is flowing, but you are
right that it doesn't reduce the static pressure. So, we'll see how
long this one lasts.

Sean

2008\03\30@054225 by Nate Duehr

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On Mar 29, 2008, at 8:07 AM, Howard Winter wrote:


>> There does seem to be some slimy grit in the water which gets slowly
>> deposited on all the surfaces in the tank, so that may be the  
>> culprit.
>> Also, it seems that the water pressure is very high. I tried to
>> compensate by partially closing the shut-off valve and that seems to
>> help.
>
> OK, but this doesn't reduce the pressure, only the flow rate.


And if you really think it's high, you should probably check with a  
pressure meter.  They make them that fit right onto the fittings on a  
water heater without having to find some other place to measure, and  
there are some limits to how high it really should be.   A plumber can  
install a whole-house damper type device which can keep things  
reasonable so you don't have pipes blow out, or other problems from  
really high pressures.

My plumber checked my house when the new water heater was installed.  
It took about 2 seconds and he was able to tell me that my house is on  
the low side of "borderline" for high pressure during off-peak times  
in the neighborhood.  I elected to leave it alone, because we're up on  
a hill and I tend to water both front and back lawns at the same time,  
so I didn't want to make that more difficult for myself.  I'm more  
limited by flow rate, but the house pressures take a dive if both  
front and back spigots are wide open.  I asked him what the risk was,  
and he said things like valves that turn on and off "hard" will really  
bang pipes around, etc... if you get wild with them.

Hard on the system over time... but neither of us is a "slap the  
handles around" type of person.  I think if we had kids I might think  
twice before turning down the offer to install the device to bring the  
pressures in the house piping down a bit.  I forget how he said they  
actually work, but it was a number of years ago now that the water  
heater was replaced.

--
Nate Duehr
EraseMEnatespamspamspamBeGonenatetech.com



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