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Thread: Shutting off the water??? An impossible task??? Emergency!

  1. #1

    Default Shutting off the water??? An impossible task??? Emergency!

    We're having a plumbing emergency (not related to previous emergencies) and it could all be solved until morning if we could shut the water off. It seems simple. By the water meter, we have a valve on either sight. Righty-tighty. I get it. Down the line there is another valve. That t0o gets tightened.

    Now, no water comes out of the faucets anywhere, and the toilets will be bone dry if we flush. However, where we have the problem (busted pipe going to the shower-cold water), the water keeps coming out and coming out. We can't stop it, and we really can't have it seeping our walls and subflooring for the rest of the night.

    Why is there water coming out? Three valves, no water coming out anywhere else....how do we stop it????

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member TedL's Avatar
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    Sounds like the problem leak may be at or near the low spot in the system, and it's just the water in the pipes draining by gravity flow.

  3. #3
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    If it is on the hot water side, pipes can continue to dribble if you have a water heater. Open a few hot water taps around the house to get some air in.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default leak

    If it is siphoning the hot water tank, opening hot water faucets will just make it worse. Open some cold water faucets to try to break the siphon.

  5. #5

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    This is a cold water issue. The break is on a cold water pipe for the first floor shower.

    The main water line comes in at about 6 feet (estimate - it's a small/low basement), drops down, there is a valve, the meter, and another valve. Then the pipe goes up and across to the back of the basement (about 12-15 feet). (Once was a well at the back, now it is municpal water in the front - thus the piping across the basement.) It drops down against the wall (there was a filter added on there, now removed), and then back up where we have pex installed. (Yes, this would be better with a diagram.)

    Anyway, pex goes up and is a T - one line goes out to an outside spigot. The other line goes to feed the rest of the house. In order, it is the kitchen, the upstairs bathroom, the hot water heater, the washer, and then the first floor bath.

    I shut the two valves off by the meter. I shut a third valve before the pex starts. The water still flows out of the cold water feed to the shower. It's not a few drops, it's a decent, steady small stream. And it goes on and on and on. HOURS. It's not something that is just left over water in the line.

    The kitchen sink, the bathroom sink -all open, no water flowing.

    On a whim, we turned the outside spigot on...and the water stopped.

    So, where is this mysterious water coming from? The meter isn't running (that little triangle isn't spinning!), but we have gallons of mystery water coming from somewhere.

  6. #6

    Default

    I don't know what to tell you as far as the supply for the leak, but if you want to stop it and get the water turned back on, asking about the supply is moot. Cut a valve into the line to shut it off. A compression valve or a Sharkbite valve would be ideal since you can't solder with the water in the pipes. Get it on there with the valve open and then close it so you can reconnect everything. If its pex and you don't have the fittings or tools for it, a Sharkbite valve would work. If its copper, a compression valve or Sharkbite valve would work.
    I consider myself an accomplished DIY'er. I don't know everything but help where I can. I'm not a pro, but like to think I'm professional.

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member TedL's Avatar
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    Probably you have gate vales, the older version of "full flow", but very susceptible to crud accumulation keeping them from fully closing. Loosen one side of the meter and move the pipe away, putting a bucket underneath. The unions on a meter are made for ease of swapping meters out.

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