Will shutting down water to house harm boiler


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Old 12-13-22, 03:23 PM
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Will shutting down water to house harm boiler

Hi! I have a broken tub faucet valve that is leaking a stream of water continually. There's no shutoff at the tub, so the only way I can stop the leaking is by shutting down the water supply for the whole house.

I have hot water heat, and am wondering if shutting the main water supply will cause the boiler to go dry. I know it's okay to shut the water off for a few hours, because a plumber has done that here, but how long is too long?

Thanks in advance
 
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Old 12-13-22, 03:50 PM
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Not having potable water, freezing or being able to flush the toilet gets stale fast, so if you are living in the house, I would say not more than 4 hours unless there is no chance of water pipes freezing. Get a plumber in to fix the faucet.
 
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Old 12-13-22, 04:08 PM
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Usually not a big deal to replace or rebuild a leaking faucet. Unless you are having some really severe cold weather, the pipes won't freeze in a couple of hours. You can fill a bucket for toilet flushes if necessary. I would just be sure that you have the required parts and tools on hand before you start. You might consider installing stop valves for the bathroom while you are at it.

Not a plumber but I think the boiler only needs make up water when some is lost through leaks etc. If you have leaky radiators I would isolate the boiler feed water and turn off the thermostats. If you have baseboard heaters I would not be concerned.
 
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Old 12-13-22, 04:37 PM
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Forced hot water heat would not be effected at all but not knowing the condition of your system and how it's fed I would shut off the manual cold water feed to the boiler to prevent any syphoning of the boiler water into your potabe water. There is no time limit that your house water can be shutoff after that as they are 2 seperate systems.. If you have steam you occasionally need fresh water so you would have to keep an eye on the boiler.

As was mentioned if possible after shutting off main water cut the isolation valves in you need to turn the house back on and then fix your tub. Just a thought.
 
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Old 12-13-22, 05:38 PM
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Sorry, I should have given more info in my OP..

I'd fix the faucet myself if I could, but my plumbing adventure days are behind me. I just went down cellar and shut off the water to the house, and that is about the limit of my plumbing DIY abilities nowadays. I used to repack those valves myself, however now I can't get down to their level, and if I could I wouldn't see them clearly enough to work on them..

As far as getting a plumber in to fix it right away, I tried to, but it turns out in my area, regular plumbers are running backlogs between four weeks and, believe it or not, next spring.

I called a 24 hour emergency"plumbing company today, and they sent out someone who wouldn't repack the valves, but wanted to replace the whole faucet unit - FOR JUST UNDER $2000!! That's another question I wanted to ask, does that seem as out of line as it does to me. (They're charging $85 just for the estimate. He couldn't tell me how long I'd have to wait even to get them to do the job, and I definitely won't be calling their office to find out.)

Therefore the only thing I can think to do is get in line for a regular plumber, and keep the water line to the house shut down as much as possible until he gets here. Just need to know how many hours a day I can do that without harm to the boiler.

I'm filling the deep sink for water to heat to wash dishes, and pitchers of water from the solid carbon block water filter spigot to drink. I hope that would take care of rust or anything from the boiler if there's syphoning.

I have radiators and also baseboard heat strips, as far as I know no leaks.

Sorry this is so long







 
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Old 12-13-22, 05:45 PM
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Spott, just noticed where you said " If you have steam you occasionally need fresh water so you would have to keep an eye on the boiler". If I turn the water line back on for a couple hours every day, will the boiler get whatever fresh water it needs automatically at those times?
 
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Old 12-13-22, 07:26 PM
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Well, I just talked to my friend's husband, who said there's a cap I can get at the supply house that will thread onto the shower arm, so I can divert the water from the faucet to the shower arm and the cap should stop the leaking. I'll post whether it works, if it does I can turn the water back on tomorrow
 
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Old 12-13-22, 09:20 PM
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Joan,
unless you have steam heat using radiators and generally have to add water to the boiler yourself there is no need to worry. If you have baseboard heat with a circulator pump shut the valve off to the boiler as previously mentioned and you will be fine for as long as you want. After you turn the house back on, put the valve the way it was.

If it is your tub spout that is leaking then capping off the shower are will not help. Water does not flow uphill, if I understand what you want to do correctly.

Not knowing when the boiler will need water, if it does, it will not do any good to turn the water back on.
 
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Old 12-14-22, 05:19 AM
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This problem should not be difficult to fix. Have you exhausted reaching out to your friends for a DIY type of plumber? If there is a trade school near by, contact them and see if they put plumbing students in contact with people needing some apprentice level plumbing help.
 
 

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