Turning on the Water after winterization

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Old 12-25-08, 09:17 PM
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Turning on the Water after winterization

I just turned on the water in my brand new house... Anyway it was winterized and I had a pressure test done before move in... It passed the test however I had 2 hiccups that have me really nervous.

1) The more major one I noticed, the master bath's toilet leaks around the base of the bowl. I am not sure how hard this will be to fix but hopefully wont be too bad.

2) The pipes leading to my washing machine leaked no matter how far I cranked the knob; they were disconnected, so i connected them just to patch the prob temporarily and keep water off my floor.

I don't really want to repair the toilet simply because I plan to replace everything in that bathroom by the end of January (new tile, etc etc.)

I havent been able to check the drains, since I bought a foreclosure and I didn't keep the water on very long since I got a little nervous, it being xmas and all I didnt want to need a plumber and then have to pay them for the holiday. I suppose I will deal with that when I finally do turn it on again.

Anyway. Anyone know why a toilet would leak near the base and how hard that would be for a DIYer to fix? Any other advice for a new homeowner relating to this stuff would be helpful.... Or advice on how to pick a plumber if its something too hard for me

Thanks
 
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Old 12-26-08, 03:22 PM
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If there was water in the toilet bowl, the house wasn't "winterized" properly. You may have an internal crack in the porcelain, or just a leaky wax seal. You won't be able to tell until you pull the toilet. You sort of lost me on the washing machine pipes. Where did they leak? If they leaked out the valve or valve handle you may have to rebuild them. They were "disconnected" but you "reconnected" them, that's where I got lost.
 
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Old 12-27-08, 06:28 PM
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.... ok. ive fixed 2 of the 3 toliets in the house (not the one with the seal, thats 2maro---- i didnt even know 2 of them were not working til today.) I think all i will have to do tomarrow is replace the flange and the seal in the toliet. you can ignore the part about he washer, i think i fixed it.

but now Ive got to replace the drain from the sink. Aghhh. I wish I couldve turned on the water during inspection (foreclosure)
 
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Old 12-28-08, 11:14 AM
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That's OK, I spend 9 days in Denver at my daughter's house doing the same thing you are doing. They paid for the trip, so I guess it was a trade off. Shower control valves not secured to framing, toilets needed replacing, ceiling downstairs had to be patched due to removal "after" inspection, when the inspector turned on the water and let it run for 10 minutes. Tub drains had to be replaced. Someone had poured lye in one of the drains and let it set up. Nasty.
Good luck with the repairs and let us know how it goes, or if we can help further.
 
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Old 12-28-08, 12:34 PM
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I think I need to write a little essay for my website called "Why You Should Never "Winterize" A House" - there are knowledgeable and conscientious people who do it properly, but they're usually not the people hired by some mortgage company in California to winterized a property in Chicago, and I end up having to inspect the result.

________

The failed wax rings are are common problem due to expansion and contraction, I just make a blanket suggestion that every toilet in such properties be pulled and re-seated. Cracked bowls are not so common - they usually pour about a gallon of RV antifreeze in each, it seems to be one of the few things that even the most brain-dead winterizer remembers to do.

Another suggestion for anybody arriving here as result of a search on winterization: make sure before you turn the water back on that you are prepared to deal with a shutoff that won't turn back off - these valves are not used very often and are prone to freezing up and refusing to turn back off completely; it's highly annoying to turn the water on, watch it start pouring out of the recessed lighting fixtures in the ceilings because of burst pipes, and then have the handle of the main shutoff valve break off in your hand when you try to turn off the water! In my opinion if the house has been winterized (especially if it's a foreclosure, where weatherization may have been performed by the low bidder) it's cheap insurance to pay for a plumber to turn on the water and see what happens, if there are problems there is a chance they will have the parts on the truck to fix them.

_____________

Weirdest "weatherization" problem I've seen lately is a house with vinyl double hung thermal glazed windows, all but two of the panes had blown seals - and not just minor leaking, pulling up to the property and looking at it from the curb I thought the windows had been soaped.

_________

Finally, here's one where the interior was essentially a total loss due to bursting pipes in both water supply and hydronic heating systems:






 

Last edited by Michael Thomas; 12-28-08 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 12-28-08, 01:05 PM
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Whew, what a mess! My theory...if it holds water, the water must be brought to a specific gravity to where it won't freeze, or it must be removed, period. Furnaces fail, electricity goes off, propane runs out, foreclosures go (as you said) to the lowest bidder. One overlooked place to put RV antifreeze is the washing machine stand pipe. You gotta cover all the bases. Good pix.
 
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Old 12-28-08, 08:59 PM
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wow those are some nasty pics. but i suppose they didnt want any water in the pipes while the house sat empty in a cold weather environment.
 
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Old 12-29-08, 06:14 PM
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Whoever did that job didn't drain the heating system, thus the damage. Here, again, lowest bidder.
 
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