no water upstairs

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  #1  
Old 02-02-11, 04:53 AM
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no water upstairs

I have a quad-level finished home. What could cause no cold water water in both upstairs bathroom sinks, and no water at all in both upstairs showers and toilet? The kitchen (main level) and basement bathroom sink/shower work fine. Oddly, if I run the bathroom sink hot that does work, some low pressure is available at the showers, but only if the sink hot side is opened up, and it's not normal pressure.
Lived here 2 years. The first week we were here there was a similar problem but when I tried to show someone it had fixed itself. I presumed opening/closing certain faucets freed up some air or something. this time I've tried as many combinations of opening/closing as I could think of including shutting off the main, draining everything out the basement sink, opening the upstairs and reopening the main...nochange. I also ran the water softener through a cycle without change.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-02-11, 05:07 AM
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correction

correction to above...BOTH bathroom sink faucets must be open to run the shower. It looks/sounds as if the hot water pressure is drawing cold up through the lines but when you shutoff the hot so goes the cold. There are no apparent air/water leaks from the cold side in the house.
 
  #3  
Old 02-02-11, 06:33 AM
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Whenever you have water supply problems during cold weather, you have to consider a frozen pipe. Mixing valves can create some strange symptoms by back feeding pressure/water from a line that is working on one side. Try letting the water run slowly for awhile where ever it can. That may carry some heat into the cold areas and open up the pipes. CAUTION, when a frozen pipe thaws out, if it has cracked, it will leak.

Was your first experience with this confusion also during the winter? If so, you will need to investigate to find the problem area.

Bud
 
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Old 02-02-11, 12:17 PM
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follow-up

thanks, yes last time it was 2 yrs ago in Jan. I specifically remember pouring concrete for fenceposts though so I knew it wasn't near as cold as it is now. House is only 8 yrs old and well insulated so I'm almost positive it's not a freeze-up. Regardless, I went to work and came home for lunch and it's all OK again! Too weird! Spent 2 hrs this AM fiddling with different faucets and valves, only to come home after 6 hrs and wash my hands at the kitchen to eat, there was a couple of slight spits and so I checked upstairs to find everything working. I am very suspicious it's a problem with city pressure or reducer valve (i have no gage) and while I was at work the pressure raised for some reason. Thanks for reading.
Baffled in UT....
 
  #5  
Old 02-02-11, 06:39 PM
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I have to agree with the frozen pipe hypothesis. Just because the house is well insulated doesn't mean someone forgot some insulation between one of the joist bays where there's a vent or exhaust pipe or something. It's likely freezing just a bit, then thawing as the day continues on.

If it were a clog somewhere, it likely wouldn't free itself - and it certainly wouldn't re-clog afterward. It also would likely happen with just one fixture since it would probably occur at the faucet handle or aerator.

I'm not convinced it's a pressure issue, since you'd notice low pressure everywhere. Your house isn't really tall enough that you'd notice much pressure difference between downstairs and upstairs.

Of course... just my thoughts. Good luck!
 
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