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Thread: Toilet shut off valve no longer letting water in after I shut it to do some work

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member mnalep's Avatar
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    Default Toilet shut off valve no longer letting water in after I shut it to do some work

    I have a need for some advice.

    I closed the supply line shutoff valve to the toilet this morning. Just wanted to clean the bowl. (I should have just left it alone)

    But when I opened the supply valve back up, no water is filling the tank? I tried several times to open/close/open, and the first few times I opened it I saw/heard a tiny amount of water enter the tank. I also heard a vibration/hum in the pipes if I opened valve just a little, but that is gone now too.

    This had been functioning before I shut the supply valve. (Although the valve always has been a bit noisy, and slow - like 3 - 4 minutes to fill the tank).

    I manually filled the tank back up hoping that might get the supply flowing, but no luck.

    Do I have a bad valve? Air in line? Help?






  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Undo the supply line to the tank and see if any water comes out the end.
    If not, then you need a new shutoff.

    If water does come out the end, then it may be the fill valve.

    I'm betting it's the shutoff.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member mnalep's Avatar
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    Hi Terry, Guess what. I had to go use the toilet, and without thinking hit the flusher. And now the tank is filling up. I had left the valve open when I posted earlier. Kind of wierd, huh?

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    DIY Senior Member mnalep's Avatar
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    I just that realized that this is your forum. Great job! This is really cool! Thanks.

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    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Glad it worked out for you but use this opportunity as a good time to identify a plumber who could replace that shut-off valve and supply line for you. They are both showing signs of wear.

  6. #6
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Just a tag onto Ian's comment. Replace the valve with a 1/4 turn type and the supply line with a braided stainless seal mesh. Something caused the water not to flow and probably cleared itself temporarily. Not a difficult DIY job. Stay away from the flood guard supply lines, they are trouble waiting to happen.

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    DIY Senior Member mnalep's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.

    Is that short piece of copper tubing under the valve and above that 90 degree elbow typical. The elbow is on another copper tube coming out of the wall, and I don't want to disturb that elbow or the line going into it .

    I went into the basement and could not even find where that toilet supply line is coming from. I see the sinks hot and cold supply lines going up into the floor, but not for the toilet.

    Could it be in the wall running out horizontally from the sink's cold water supply line?

  8. #8
    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    Get rid of that peice of copper, you could get a valve that fits directly on the 90 or take the 90 off and put the valve there. Are you sure the stub out is copper, it looks like it could be galvanized? If thats the case then this could have caused your problem as galvanized can have alot of corosion inside it and when a valve is turned off then on some of it can come loose and get stuck in your valves.

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member mnalep's Avatar
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    Jerome,

    It's cooper - someone at some point painted the copper lines silver. The lines in the basement are all copper. I even put a magnet on that elbow and the pipe from the wall, and the magnet would not stick. I'll go see if I can find a 1/4 turn valve that would thread onto that elbow.

    Can you tell what size it is from the picture? It looks like the same size nut as is on the flexible line attached to the top of the shut off.

  10. #10
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    The toilet line may be teed off of the sink line. Jerome is correct, remove the extra fittings. You can get an angled shut off valve and eliminate everything down to the pipe coming out of the wall. It looks like whoever did the installation didn't have the correct parts so he hacked the job with parts he had. It worked, but not a very professional job. If your house is plumbed with galvanized pipe, that is another possible problem and may have to be dealt with soon.

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member mnalep's Avatar
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    It's all copper. So that 90 angle is soldered on to the copper stub from the wall. I'll look for an inline valve that would thread onto where that short vertical copper pipe is threaded onto the angle.

    I don't want to get into soldering a 90 valve on the copper stub out. I've always had problems trying to solder. I avoid it whenever possible.

  12. #12
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    You can cut the elbow off and use a compression fitting to install a new valve. It would be a be tricky to solder that close to the wall without burning the tile. Possible, but not a what a novice should try. Compression fittings are what most all plumbers use anyway. Cut the pipe square and clean up the burrs on the end of the cut. Compression nut, ferrall and compression 90 degree 1/4 turn valve.

  13. #13
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If that elbow is threaded onto the section coming out of the wall, unscrew it there. Be careful as that stub might unscrew in the wall. See if you can hold that piece coming out of the wall while unscrewing the elbow with a pair of pliers. While you have it off, pull off that chrome eschution and replace it with a new one, and it will look much nicer, too. Screw a new valve onto that stub.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  14. #14
    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    OK so what you want then is a 3/8" retro valve, it will have a female to go on that 90 and a compression for your supply to your toilet.

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    DIY Senior Member mnalep's Avatar
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    I didn't think you could screw onto a copper pipe?

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