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Question For Plumbers

 
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:48 AM   #1
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Question For Plumbers


We are doing some remodeling for an apartment complex. I was asked by several residents why hot water comes out of the cold faucet because this place won't or can't fix it. It's not a very nice place. By the third time I heard this I asked this woman to demonstrate for me. Sure enough it was quite hot. She said if you sit on the toilet just after it fills, your buns will sweat from the heat.

I'm not responsible for repairing this in any way but I am very curious and with some advice here, I may be able to speak more intelligently when the next person tells me the same thing. 8 units per building and the first 4 have told me this in our first building we started.

This is not just some warm water from pipes roaming through hot crawl spaces. This is hot and it don't cool from letting it run.

Ideas?
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:21 AM   #2
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Re: Question For Plumbers


The most obvious (and likely) thing is that someone did a repair and/or added some new plumbing, and wound up mistakenly connecting part of the "network" to a hot water source rather than cold. I've run into that before, especially in older places with difficult access and a bewildering array of piping.

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Old 08-08-2013, 11:38 AM   #3
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Re: Question For Plumbers


One of my guys said he thinks there is a defective anti backflow valve similar to the one on your lawn faucet. This could allow boiler water to escape into the domestic cold line. Any truth to this? He's not a Plumber, he just guessed. Sounds good though.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:43 AM   #4
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Re: Question For Plumbers


Mixing valve for a shower/tub rotated 90 degrees (from it's proper position), will do just that.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:23 PM   #5
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Re: Question For Plumbers


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Originally Posted by Texas Wax View Post
Mixing valve for a shower/tub rotated 90 degrees (from it's proper position), will do just that.
Can you explain further? You mean a defective mixing valve? Which I assume is what I call a shower manifold? Also keep in mind the entire building this happens to.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:29 PM   #6
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Re: Question For Plumbers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Cabinet View Post
Can you explain further? You mean a defective mixing valve? Which I assume is what I call a shower manifold? Also keep in mind the entire building this happens to.
Any single lever valve 'mixes' the hot a cold water together at the valve body. If the valve cartridge is damaged or missing or installed wrong, then hot and cold water will mix in both lines of the system. This causes 'hot' water to be felt on the cold line as well as the hot line. Is the hot and cold lines temps the same or about the same?
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:32 PM   #7
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Re: Question For Plumbers


Do you get cold water coming out of the hot faucet?

If so pipes are crossed

If not it sounds like "cross flow" through a shower mixer valve
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:56 PM   #8
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Re: Question For Plumbers


The hot is very hot, a normal hot, the cold is not that hot but is past warm. She showed me the kitchen faucet, bath faucet, toilet and tub faucet were pretty equally the same.

The other apartments I believe to be the same based on what they told me but this one lady demonstrated for me. I laughed when the toilet tank was so hot.

Sounds like what you're all saying is you feel it's the shower diverter valve. So would one bad one cause the other 4 apartments to do this? I'm kinda thinking yes, one bad one can cause the other apartments to do the same.
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:45 PM   #9
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Re: Question For Plumbers


Why not try a little fault finding exercise

Turn off the hot water but leave cold turned on. Does the fault go away?

Or If possible turn or blank off the cold but leave the hot water on, what happens then, does full temp hot water go to all cold taps and wc, but at a reduced flow rate? If so, trace back the cold pipes that are now getting hot to the source, if the cold inlet pipe to the shower or a mixer tap is now getting hot this would indicate that the hot is crossing over and back feeding here.

It could also be that there is a blending valve fitted somewhere on the system which is faulty or fitted backwards, so instead of regulating hot water temperature down to a safe level, it is instead blending cold water temp up.

Also worth asking the HO a few questions:-

Has it always been like this right from day 1? ( Origional installation fault on pipe work).

Was it initially ok, but the fault only occurred after some alteration work was carried out? (Faulty connections made during alterations).

Was it initially ok, but just happend one day out of the blue? (component failure, ie. shower valve cartridge or blending valve failure causing cross over).
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Old 08-12-2013, 03:56 PM   #10
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Re: Question For Plumbers


If the pipes are exposed in the basement, go around and feel if they are hot or cold.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:40 AM   #11
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Re: Question For Plumbers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveylad View Post
Why not try a little fault finding exercise

Turn off the hot water but leave cold turned on. Does the fault go away?

Or If possible turn or blank off the cold but leave the hot water on, what happens then, does full temp hot water go to all cold taps and wc, but at a reduced flow rate? If so, trace back the cold pipes that are now getting hot to the source, if the cold inlet pipe to the shower or a mixer tap is now getting hot this would indicate that the hot is crossing over and back feeding here.

It could also be that there is a blending valve fitted somewhere on the system which is faulty or fitted backwards, so instead of regulating hot water temperature down to a safe level, it is instead blending cold water temp up.

Also worth asking the HO a few questions:-

Has it always been like this right from day 1? ( Origional installation fault on pipe work).

Was it initially ok, but the fault only occurred after some alteration work was carried out? (Faulty connections made during alterations).

Was it initially ok, but just happend one day out of the blue? (component failure, ie. shower valve cartridge or blending valve failure causing cross over).
very good advice
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:27 AM   #12
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Re: Question For Plumbers


If the problem is caused by 'cross over' from a valve--you will not be able to shut off the hot line by closing the valve at the water heater.

Turn off the water line to the hater heater---see what happens.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:52 AM   #13
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Re: Question For Plumbers


Quote:
Originally Posted by pappagor View Post
very good advice
Yeah but... being an apartment complex I'm sure most tenants don't need (or care) to know what the repairman is doing, and the OP obviously isn't taking ANY of of the troubleshooting advice however logical. He didnt even note as to whether its a main boiler system or individual resident heaters. He wants a short answer like...

"Hey how come my toilet water be hot and my booty be all sweatin?

"Plummin problem"

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