Water not coming on after main supply ball valve turned off


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Old 08-07-18, 09:01 AM
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Question Water not coming on after main supply ball valve turned off

I have searched for hours and can't quite find the information I need for my specific issue. We turned off main water supply to the house while swapping out ours for a newer model. The new refrigerator came from my mother's much older house that didn't have a dedicated water supply cut-off at the source. After thinking that cutting off water source for the kitchen was the answer, a huge mess ensued after unhooking the tubes for the ice maker//water dispenser leading to us needing to turn off main water source.

Fast forward to moving that unit to my newer house built in 2010. Wanting to avoid the same issue, we, of course, proceeded to turn off main water source to the house before swapping the units. Having zero experience here, we all laughed as we were hooking up the new unit and noticed that there was indeed a area specific shut-off. Oh well. We are learning. Well...since 8pm last night, I have been researching why the water won't come back on. We have tried turning ball valve on and off again slowly, bleeding lines of water and air etc etc. But over 12 hours later we have very little water dripping from sinks. Showers don't have water at all, and toilets will flush but fill at a snail's pace and once a toilet is flushed, water stops running all together for awhile which makes sense if assuming all available water at the time is flowing to fill toilet. Some faucets were left open overnight.

I did read about tightening certain screws, cooper screw/nut??, doing something with the valve stem, seeing if ball is actually reopening properly etc...but I don't want to make anymore mistakes. The lever connected to valve stem seems to be turning the stem properly. Pipe itself is wrapped with insulation and secured with duct tape at both ends and also in the middle ... I removed middle piece of insulation before picture.
 
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Old 08-07-18, 11:35 AM
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Go outside and open a spigot. Do you have water there? If not leave the spigot open. Try opening and closing the main water shutoff valve a few times. If still no water I would tighten (righty tighty) the screw on your pressure reducing valve (PRV) (the brass thing right above your shutoff. If you still don't have water I would go out to your water meter and make sure the water is not turned off there. If still no water then I'd replace the PRV. They sometimes go bad.
 
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Old 08-07-18, 12:19 PM
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Thank you so much for your response Pilot Dane! I had been tinkering with the nut on the lever a bit and subsequently turned on and off a few times before your message. I was able to get a little water going in various places. But not for very long. I took a trip to the spigot and followed your instructions. Tightened the PRV SLIGHTLY which did enhance flow a bit. I almost got water to come from the showers...just a few drops and some air flow at this point. Faucets that weren't previously working had some flow as well. All toilets are flushing which is a BONUS! Upstairs sink faucets are gurgling but no water yet...with that being said, they did have a little flow earlier but nothing now. I did check the meter reading twice. First time read at 3, second time at 4. So we're making progress! Should I leave the upstairs sink and shower faucets open in order to allow time for water flow to resume? They sound like they are trying to work it out!

Again, thank you so very much for your assistance so far. Being the super mom of the household isn't easy 😂 but I'm tenacious. Love to educate myself and get stuff worked out without spending money needed for so many other things!
 
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Old 08-07-18, 04:41 PM
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Whenever there is a mysterious clog like this I do NOT open faucets inside the house. Something is blocking the line. When you break the clog free by working the valve or PRV the clog material will flow through the pipes until it gets caught by something else. You don't want the chunks to get caught in shower faucet balancing valves or dishwasher/clothes washer valves. I leave the outdoor spigot open so everything has a nice clear path to get outside without causing further problems.

If you suspect that debris has been run through the house to other places you can check by removing the aerators on the end of kitchen and bath sink faucets. A few bits are sorta normal but if the screen is packed with chunks then I would leave the aerator off and open the faucet all the way for a minute to flush out the water lines.

If you're still not getting good water flow in the house don't be afraid to crank down on the center bolt of the PRV. In most houses it's a unneeded device and adjusting it to a higher pressure causes no harm as it can't go any higher than the water pressure coming into the house from the city. If you live in a hilly city and you live at the bottom of the hill the PRV might be doing something but in many areas it really doesn't do anything except fail and cause you to remove or replace it.
 
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Old 08-07-18, 07:44 PM
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My first guess when something like this happens is that a second valve was turned off somewhere and forgotten about. It's rare that valves get clogged... but it does happen.

The ball valve you have is new and a newer style, so there's no nut to tighten or anything like that. It's definitely on in it's current state.

Since you're getting more flow than before, I'd have to go with the idea that something is clogged in your system - and most likely in the PRV. You might need to disassemble it and clean it out. I've never actually seen one get clogged - but again, I'm sure it happens.
 
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Old 08-07-18, 09:53 PM
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Try turning off the ball valve, open a few faucets to relieve the pressure, then open the ball valve very slowly.

Also note that to increase the pressure, you loosen the locking nut and turn the screw in on a PRV. In the image it looks like it's almost all the way out.
 
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Old 08-08-18, 09:15 AM
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Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!

Last night, I took your advice and tightened down the PRV another 3 full turns (about 7 in total over the day), turned on the outdoor spigot and retired to the couch to watch a movie and chill for a few hours after a long, frustrating day. Before bed, I checked the spigot and found it to have very good flow so I turned it off and went to bed. This morning, I returned to the spigot and let in run for about 10 minutes. Great, continuous flow! Therefore, I went throughout the house happily turning on faucets and showers and found they are ALL back to normal. I let the shower run for 10 minutes or so as well.

I can't thank you enough. It all seems so simple now but it took a day and a half to get there...and I must have gone up and down the stairs at least 50 times! All the while, EVERYONE (husband, handyman friend, brother, sister, mother, husband again and againg and again) was like...just call a plumber for Pete's sake! Nawwwww... I got this! DIY rules!

PS...it did appear that the PRV was out way too far! I might go in for some more tightening. I actually had a plumber out many years ago because water pressure in kitchen and upstairs was so bad. He did his thing and left saying that was all he could do for us...which wasn't much better. That was BEFORE my love of DIY.
 

Last edited by reneep90; 08-08-18 at 09:20 AM. Reason: Add on
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Old 08-08-18, 10:17 AM
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Glad you figured it out!!!

When you have some time, I would get a pressure gauge and install it on a faucet after the PRV. Many houses don't really need them, but some do - and you want to be sure your pressure is below 80psi. Anything over that can damage fixtures and is more likely to cause a leak.

It's a good $8 investment in my opinion
 
 

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