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Author Topic: Basic Plumbing help needed..  (Read 153 times)

StoneRhino

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Basic Plumbing help needed..
« on: 17 September 2019, 08:46:51 »
I have been looking online and have been getting mixed information and I am hoping that someone with some experience can help clarify what I have been seeing.

The problem: A toilet is no longer filling. I have the replacement fill valve which also came with a new flapper. While the replacement is straight forward, it is complicated by a messed up shut off valve. The shut off valve is dripping to make things more annoying. The shut off valve no longer shuts off the water, instead it freely spins in both directions.

My main issue is having zero experience with plumbing as I am unsure how to go about shutting off the water. I know where to shut it off outside, but I am unsure about what I need to do regarding the water heater as some vids and articles have suggested that one switch it to pilot, where others suggest having to unplug it 30 ways till sunday and draining the water or preventing it from draining while the water is shut off. I believe that I should be able to replace the fill valve inside the toilet without to much trouble if I can shut off the water to the house and addressing the water heater properly. The shut off valve behind the toilet is another issue that has


The shut off valve behind the toilet is, according to the vids i have watched, the older type that you must turn several times. I believe the newer type is called a ball valve and requires just one twist. The current valve is no longer working properly. At one point I had to turn it off and twisted it to one point where the valve popped out about a quarter of an inch and now spins freely with no effect to the flow of water. At that point in time it started to drip, but a few weeks later it stopped and was ignored.

This leaves me with the problem of having to replace the shut off valve as I have no idea how compromised it is and having to dump out a bowl of water a few times a day is a waste. The valve is likely from when the house was built, which was in the 70s. I have no idea how hard it will be to remove. Seeing a video that suggested that one might need to use a saw to cut through it did not boost my confidence.


I am finding this rather frustrating as it is just one more thing in a series of issues that have been popping up. Whatever problems I can fix on my own would go a long way towards saving money that could be used to help resolve other issues.

Thanks

grimlock1

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Re: Basic Plumbing help needed..
« Reply #1 on: 17 September 2019, 09:58:01 »
If I'm tracking, the toilet shut off is completely useless, correct?

In which case, you will need to shut off the water somewhere "upstream," probably at the main shut off for the house. As to the hot water heater, I wouldn't worry about it. Your heater spends most of the day sitting there, full of hot water, occasionally turning on to keep it hot.  It doesn't really matter if you open or close a valve at the water main, or at the faucet, there's no water flowing through the tank.

As to replacing the valve, I've had good luck with Shark Bite fittings. Saves having to sweat a new valve into place. As too removing the valve, a pipe cutter should do just fine. If there are clearance problems, look for a low profile pipe cutter. The low profile ones do take a bit more hand strength to use and only work on one size of pipe but they are dang tiny.   One thing that SharkBite doesn't respond well to are burrs on the pipe. A pipe cutter like the above shouldn't leave any exterior burrs but ask about a deburring tool.

One very good piece of advice I got was to buy a SharkBite Cap, and removal tool in every size pipe you might find yourself using. This way you can hit PAUSE on a project, restore water to the rest of the house and run out for parts, or stop for dinner.  Also, look in the tool box/parts organizer section for a small container to hold the caps and removal tools. I like zipper pouches, but that's just me.

Hope this helps.
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NeonKnight

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Re: Basic Plumbing help needed..
« Reply #2 on: 17 September 2019, 10:45:48 »
It's not your flapper per se.



Assuming the tank looks the above image the FLOAT is what sets where the water shuts off. Lift the top of the tank and pull up on the float.

If possible, can you post a pic of the inside of your toilet. I've replaced many a toilet/floater, etc in my homes over the past year or so, so I'm willing to help you and help keep yer costs low.

As to the valve shut off for the toilet, depending on what that looks like, you may need an actual plumber if it involves any soldering etc.
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Cache

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Re: Basic Plumbing help needed..
« Reply #3 on: 17 September 2019, 16:38:12 »
Attach pics if you can. It'll help a lot with the advice.

Cache

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Re: Basic Plumbing help needed..
« Reply #4 on: 17 September 2019, 17:01:07 »
You only shut off the water heater (is yours electric or gas?) if you drain it, and you shouldn't need to drain it. It's hot water and you'll be working on a cold water line. Even if it was hot water, I've replaced every fixture in my bathroom without touching the water heater. Shutting off the water main was enough.

Do  you have a basement? What level is the broken toilet on?

I believe the newer type is called a ball valve and requires just one twist.
The old valve sounds like a gate valve. They suck for anything other than metering (adjusting the flow), in my opinion.
The new valve sounds like a 1/4 (quarter)-turn ball valve. You can only turn it 90-degrees and it's for on/off, not metering.

I have no idea how hard it will be to remove. Seeing a video that suggested that one might need to use a saw to cut through it did not boost my confidence.
Deal with the shut-off valve first. Attach a pic if you can't tell what type of connection it is (screw-on, soldered, something else). Once the valve is replaced you can turn on the water main and just isolate the toilet. Other occupants of your house will be happier.