No water after replacing shower washer a few hours ago


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Old 06-29-18, 03:18 PM
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No water after replacing shower washer a few hours ago

Early this morning, I replaced the washer of our shower's hot faucet because our shower was dripping. (Last week, I did the same on the cold faucet but didn't fix the drip completely.) Before doing this, I turned off our main water by turning the main lever into the vertical position. (It's inside the house, under the stairs.)

After replacing the washer, I turned the main water back on by turning the main lever back to horizontal position.

Everything was fine. We took showers, used the kitchen sink to do dishes, used the toilet flush, etc.

We went out to do some errands and got back late in the afternoon. I drank water from our water dispenser then washed the cup I drank from in the kitchen sink. So everything is still fine.

Then after about 30 minutes, I used the toilet faucet but no water came out. I checked the whole house but there was no water in any of the faucets.

I checked the main water lever under the stairs and it's in the horizontal -- open -- position. I turned the lever to vertical then turned to horizontal but I cannot hear water running in the pipes.

I called my town (which supplies our water) but it's closed for business. Recording says call the police for emergencies. I did. Police told me they'll call the town's water company and I'll get a call back.

I'm presently waiting for the call back.

Should I call a plumber?

Thanks a lot.

(Police said there's not reported outage in the area.)
 
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Old 06-29-18, 04:27 PM
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1st a quarter turn vale would normally be in the off mode when in the horizontal position and on when in the vertical position. The length of the handle indicates the flow of the water. If the handle is in line with the pipe then water is flowing through the valve. If horizontal to the pipe it's in the off (or blocking) position.

As far as lack of water flow, could be several things. Possibly an air lock, but I doubt it. Turn all your valves to the vertical position (handle in line with pipe). Then flush the toilet. Turn on all faucets.

Make sure you water main is in fact open. If it's a gate or globe valve you will turn it in the counter clock wise rotation to open. If it's a lever, quarter turn, then it will be in-line with the direction of the pipe.
 
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Old 06-29-18, 04:53 PM
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Thank you, Norm201. Yes -- I meant "horizontal" is parallel to the pipe when on, and "vertical" when 90 degrees to the pipe.

Just spoke with our town's water dept who said it sounds like our main valve broke on account of I did some work and our neighbors have water.

So I called a plumber and just waiting for him to call back.
 
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Old 06-29-18, 05:04 PM
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sounds like our main valve broke on account of I did some work
I doubt is was because you did some work. But when you say the main valve do you mean the main valve in house under your stairs? Or the main valve outside your house?

If it was the valve in the house then perhaps the valve stem broke. This can happen if a valve is never or hardly ever turned on and off over many years. They get corroded and the packing can get brittle and even the stems can break. Take off the handle and using a water pump pliers or a wrench try turning the stem without the handle. You should be able to tell if the stem just kind of spins with little of no resistance.

If it's the inside valve, you (or maybe the town), should be able to turn off the supply at the street or the front lawn. Then you can replace the inside main valve.

If it's the outside (street or lawn) then a plumber is needed.
 

Last edited by Norm201; 06-29-18 at 05:10 PM. Reason: corrected meaning in third paragraph
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Old 06-29-18, 06:15 PM
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It's the valve inside the house. I walked around our front lawn but can't find the valve outside the house. Our water meter is just a meter attached to the outside wall of our house -- I don't see a valve there.

When I turn the valve inside the house, I hear a very faint clicking sound.

I'll see if I can remove the valve handle and try that.


I called the town water dept again and they said they'll come first thing tomorrow morning. I'll hold off calling a plumber until then.
 
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Old 06-29-18, 06:39 PM
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can't find the valve outside the house.
It will be buried. Usually found in the middle of your lawn with a cap over it. Takes a special key on a long steel rod. If not then the town will need to turn off water from the street.
 
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Old 06-30-18, 12:02 AM
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This may sound silly, but check to make sure that the handle of the valve is actually turning the valve stem. Is the handle actuating the valve or does it feel like it's loose?

If it doesn't feel tight, take the handle off and turn the stem 90 with a pair of pliers. If the stem has broken off of the ball, you'll have to replace the valve.
 
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Old 06-30-18, 04:03 AM
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I was able to remove the handle and can turn the stem with a wrench.

I hear a faint clicking sound -- two soft clicks in succession, actually -- when I turn the handle but can't place where it's coming from. It feels like it's coming from the left side of the valve.

I'm still waiting for the town water dept. to arrive.

I took some photos.

http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/...psmgtsbyoo.jpg



 

Last edited by vcsolit; 06-30-18 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 06-30-18, 04:08 AM
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no pic coming through.

Sounds like your valve stem broke from the ball.
 
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Old 06-30-18, 04:45 AM
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Thank you, Norm201. I just edited -- hopefully the pics show now.

The town water dept came and had a look at the valve but can't find anything. He doubts it's the valve but just said it could happen. He also bypassed our water softener so it's not that, he said. He suspects it could be the "things" -- I can't remember the terminology he used -- on the left of the valve around the meter. So I'm calling a plumber now.
 
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Old 06-30-18, 07:48 AM
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Problem solved. It was the pressure reducing valve. The plumber came and loosened it and water started running.

He said when I turned off the water, I probably just turned it back on quickly after I was done with my plumbing work (replacing the faucet washer).

He said when turning water back on, I should do it slowly and not just jerk the lever back to horizontal (parallel to the pipe) position. Turning it on slowly will allow tiny solid particles (which is normal) inside the pipe to flow through instead of blocking the pressure reducing valve.

He showed me how to loosen the pressure reducing valve it in case it happens again.

All in all we're happy. Seems like a good plumbing company, too.

Thank you, Norm201 and steve_gro all for your responses.
 
 

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