Unused W/H Weirdness?


Old 06-09-03, 09:19 PM
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Unused W/H Weirdness?

Hello All; I'm still reading the forum several times a day, but it has been a while since I participated and wouldn't you know it; It took a problem to get me out of my shell; So, as a reminder for those who don't know; Bought a fixer-upper and am currently fixing-upping;

Attached to the house is what was once an apartment, built upon a slab; I will eventually be bringing it into the house and replumbing, but right this very second; I only know that waste leaves through a separate line and other than everything being on one meter, I can't be sure what route the supply may be taking. Also, the apartment is practically filled to the brim with storage and it is without electricity, so it'd be tomorrow before I can clear a path through the kitchen to look for a cut-off under the sink.

In the far back corner of the bath is a small electric water heater; It happens to be positioned next to the wall, where I stand while smoking and thinking. Tonight, I heard what sounded like metal rustling and though it was in the vicinity of where the relief valve is piped to a spout, I couldn't tell for sure, grabbed my maglite and investigated...

Once inside and at the heater; What I was hearing and feeling could be described as a valve opening, water pushing towards the full tank and then, shutting back off; All within a second or two;

I stand in that spot, multiple times most every night, though I don't think I may have stood there yesterday which could be important; On Memorial Day, I connected my evap cooler to an outside spigot, so it has been valved-on for a couple of weeks and on Saturday evening (day before yesterday), it appears that a water main may have burst and been repaired, two blocks back...

Armed with all this info; Other than clearing a path to the kitchen sink to see if there is a cut-off under there for the entire apartment, or cutting the copper and installing a cut-off; Does anybody have a clue as to a possible cause or remedy, especially taking into consideration that I plan to reuse the w/h in another location?

Thanks in Advance;

PS) No water is visible anywhere and the tank is obviously full.
Please see my next post, "Addendum" for additional information.

Last edited by magister; 06-09-03 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 06-09-03, 11:04 PM
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I've gotten out twice, since hearing and feeling the situation and nothing has occurred, either time. Everything is back to normal; No noises; No nothing. My wife is out of town; My kid was out with me, when the strangeness occurred; The evap wasn't running and no water was being used, anywhere. The noise lasted long enough for me to figure-out from which direction the sound was happening; Walk into the house and get my maglite; Go back out and distract my kid in case it was a prowler; Wind my way through the maze to the bath; Put my hand on the supply line to diagnose; Shine the light around and come back out to be nice to the kid. Altogether, it was happening for between 5-10 minutes.

Since the occurrance; I have stood out there; Came back in and flushed the toilets; Turned-on the cold kitchen and come back to turn-on the hot kitchen; Nothing, back to normal.

The waste line goes directly from the apartment across the yard to tie into the mainline within a couple of feet of the street; I've assumed that based on what I've seen of the apartment plumbing; The supply line probably crosses the yard and ties into the main supply line, somewhere underground;

And BTW: The city line which may have burst a couple of blocks behind the house is on the line they are replacing and re-hydranting; I can't be sure there actually was a burst the other eve; Water and mud was around later, but the police lights could've been a roadblock because power was off to where they ordinarily check for DWI's; It was the first Sat after school ended and they rent the mobile drunk-o-meter...

Any ideas? This is alien to me...

Thanks Again;

Last edited by magister; 06-10-03 at 12:00 AM.
Old 06-10-03, 03:04 AM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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Sounds like sediment in the tank.
Attach a hose to the drain spigot, and flush out the tank until the hose runs clear.
Good Luck!
Old 06-10-03, 09:02 AM
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Thanks Mike; Though what confuses me is that there is nothing drawing from the tank, it just sits there as it did for probably three years prior to my purchasing the house; I don't use any water from the apartment and everything is turned-off, up under the fixtures.

Last night during the weirdness, I actually put my hand on the copper supply line and you could feel water moving or hammering at the full tank and it repeated for well over five minutes; Other than I guess, possibly theoretic evaporation because this is the desert; No water has been drawn from the tank since I initially tested the lines, back in late Sept or early Oct. There's no electricity connected to device, the apartment is on a separate electric meter and I only use the area for storage...

The water is connected and I've considered "borrowing" some for other purposes, but everything is turned-off under the fixtures, though for some reason the w/h appears to be hard-piped without an easy turn-off. The only other variation, or possible explanation is that I believe the lady next door may have been standing in the vicinity of her sink and right this very minute, I don't know if the apartment is piped from before or after the house cut-off.

Otherwise, I will spend part of the afternoon and early evening clearing a path to the apartment's kitchen sink because the w/h supply at least comes from that direction and I guess I will proceed from there; Though, everything is happening at 3/4 Time because of my nature and due to the fact that I'm blessed with an undistracted/undeterred, 24/hr "helper"...

Thanks Again;

BTW: I have never witnessed the "weirdness" before, or since...

Last edited by magister; 06-10-03 at 09:17 AM.
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