shut-off main water, but water keeps running


Old 10-27-02, 04:38 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: portland, me
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Question shut-off main water, but water keeps running

My question is: - why the heck would shutting of the main water not completely stop the water from running? i figured i'd have some sort of wait for the pipes to drain, but they never did stop - not for at least 3 hours, anyway. some of the faucets drained out completely, but a couple didn't.

here's the scoop:
I needed to replace a stem in my shower upstairs, so turned off the main water line, and waited about an hour for the water to stop running, and though it slowed, that was it.

i finally turned on the downstairs sinks, and water stopped coming out of the shower faucets upstairs, so that i could remove the stem and run to the hardware store. i left the downstairs faucets turned on while i went to the hardware store, because i was afraid if i turned them off water would otherwise come out of the shower and perhaps leak behind the enclosure down the wall.

well, my husband got home before i did, saw the kitchen sink on and running, and turned it off. about fifteen minutes later he went down to the basement and said there was water leaking from the basement ceiling. there are NO pipes running there, so we assumed it must have come from water getting between the shower enclosure and the wall (and yes, when i got home, saw the downstairs sink OFF, and went upstairs to replace the stem, there was water coming out of the cold line that was presently stem-less. couldn't tell for sure if any of that water could be leaking behind the enclosure).

as soon as i got the stem back on in the shower and turned the main water on, it slowed and eventually stopped the leaking in the basement.

HELP! b/c i have to shut the water off again and take the stem out to go searching for the right replacement, as the 3 places i looked today didn't have the right one. i'm a little nervous, and so is my husband!

[B ALSO[/B] - are there other scenarios as to what could have caused the leaking in the basement? (this is 2 floors below where i was fixing the shower. there's NO sign of water damage on the main floor of the house- can't see any wet ceilings or walls).

thanks so much.

Last edited by hanky; 10-27-02 at 09:56 PM.
Old 10-27-02, 11:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Seattle, WA
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Sounds like you have the smoking gun already. Why look further. I would also say that you should consider having your main water shutoff repaired or replaced, if you ever have a real emergency. Also If you shut off the water from a valve in your basement, you should also be able to turn off the water at the water meter out by the street. In the meanwhile you could just do the same thing that you did and It should work fine. Tell hubby to let the faucet run this time though. ;-)

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