Fix Leak where Water enters house

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by soonerbrink, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. soonerbrink

    soonerbrink New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    New to the forum. This looks to be a great place with a lot of resources!

    I noticed a leak. Cleaned up the mess. Now have a plastic tub catching the drips.

    Trying to figure out what needs to be done to fix it, but would like input before I attempt anything. Appears to be dripping when the water is on in the house. Probably get a couple ounces a day in the plastic tub underneath it. (not shown in pic)

    The parts that leaks is the black piece (connector or valve that has the brass screw running horizontally out of it)

    Thanks for the input!

    1.jpg

    photo.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2014
  2. ankhseeker

    ankhseeker Member

    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    California
    I am no expert, but it looks like you need to repair/replace your pressure regulator.
  3. soonerbrink

    soonerbrink New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Ah, a pressure regulator is what its called. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I will looking into why it might have failed and how to fix/replace it. FYI: House is 10 years old.
  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,227
    Location:
    IL
    What does the blue tag on the brass screw say?

    Do you have an expansion tank, and, if so, what is the air pressure at the schrader valve with the water off and a faucet opened for a minute?
    You can use a tire pressure gauge.
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,347
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Given that you did not recognize the pressure regulator valve (PRV) I suspect you have little knowledge of plumbing. That's not a crime, but it indicates that you need a licensed plumber to replace the PRV, set it to the proper pressure, and evaluate the rest of your plumbing. As noted, you should also have an expansion tank and that should be pressurized to match the PRV. These are not highly technical tasks, but they do require a pressure gauge and knowledge of how to use it. Might be a bit daunting for a novice.
  6. Smooky

    Smooky Member

    Messages:
    620
    Location:
    NC
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,614
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; o you have an expansion tank, and, if so, what is the air pressure at the schrader valve with the water off and a faucet opened for a minute?
    You can use a tire pressure gauge.

    And what dos that have to do with the pressure regulator leaking? And, the faucet has to be opened until the water stops flowing, not for "just a minute". The PRV has failed and the most economical thing to do is replace it, rather than try to repair it. Whoever installed that one did NOT do you any favors. They are 'supposed" to be installed with at least one union, preferably two, but NEVER without any union. You have to cut the piping then put it back together after you install the new valve, hopefully using the union that comes with it.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,227
    Location:
    IL
    Not much, except that the pressure tank or a pressure relief is a necessary part of a system that includes a regulator
    Your point is that if the pressure tank is extra big or the faucet is extra small, the tank may not be empty after a minute? If the faucet is still dripping or even just dropped to a small trickle, that should not interfere with the pressure measurement. The proper result is the air pressure pretty much matches the regulator setting. One abnormal result is that the pressure is near zero at that point. Another is that water comes out. And the ultimate is that there is no tank.

    Getting the pressure tank fixed at the same time will be efficient if it is deficient.
  9. soonerbrink

    soonerbrink New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Thanks for all the replies. Didn't respond sooner because I didn't get the e-mail notification like I did after the first reply.

    To answer the questions:

    1. I am not attempting to tackle this project on my own. A relative will be able to help, who has replaced water heaters and a few other minor plumbing projects. I am doing the research and getting as much information as possible before we decide to attempt.

    2. I attached a picture of the tag as requested.

    3. I don't know anything about an expansion tank or where it might be located.

    4. I don't see where a tire pressure gauge would attach to check pressure. I have seen the videos were the gauges were screwed on the faucets, but I don't have one of those at this time.


    Other observations: A few weeks ago, my shower water pressure had slowly reduced to a trickle over time.
    I cleaned the mineral deposits out of the screen on this and every other faucet in the house. Water pressure was a world of difference. It went from a trickle to high pressure.

    There has been a lot of pressure when turning on faucets for the first few seconds, then the pressure returns to normal.

    Hot water seems to be getting hotter, which is how I discovered the leak when turning down the water heater.

    On the videos used to replace the regulator, almost all of them have copper pipes. Not exactly sure what method was used to install mine, or exactly where it is supposed to separate when being removed.


    Tag:

    photo.jpg

    Mineral build up remove from shower head:

    IMG_4622.JPG
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2014
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,227
    Location:
    IL
    2. http://www.watts.com/pages/_products_details.asp?pid=3429 What is stamped in teh SZ and MODEL fields. It looks like there are two parts to a repair kit. Searching around, there seem to be some happy users of the repair kit.

    3. Find it, or get one installed. I also suggest that you get a pressure gauge that will let you monitor the water pressure in your house.
    This can be a gauge that screws onto a faucet such as you might have on your laundry tub, a garden hose bib, or a washing machine hose connection.

    4. That would be on the pressure tank that you need to either find or install. The pressure needs to be off the plumbing to check and set the precharge. There is an alternative to that tank: there is a relief valve that releases water to a drain if the pressure gets to some excessive amount-- maybe 90 PSI? The pressure tank is the more common solution to allow for the water to safely expand when heated.
  11. soonerbrink

    soonerbrink New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Thanks for the link to the repair parts. I found a lot of information on the second one listed, and numerous people said that fixed the problem. I didn't see any useful information on the first part "Repair Kit N45B/EZ-N55B M1 RK 1" 0006960 EPDM diaphragm, stainless steel strainer" , and it didn't seem readily available for sale. Might just try the second part and see if that solves it.

    I looked for the expansion tank and didn't have any luck. I did take pics of what I found.
    One is a drain off the water heater, and these cylinder shaped items split off the lines on the top of the water heater. By chance do these serve a similar purpose, or are they for something else? I also reviewed the Oklahoma Plumbing code and I didn't come across expansion tanks as a requirement, just the valve that is already in place.

    We have had a cold winter in Oklahoma this year. Could this have anything to do with it? I used the faucets daily, but someone mentioned to me that it isn't necessary to let my faucets drip since I have a newer home and don't have older type pipe.

    photo 1.JPG photo 2.JPG photo 3.JPG
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,227
    Location:
    IL
    Even PEX pipe should not be allowed to freeze with water in it. See http://www.terrylove.com/forums/sho...r-Line-1-2-quot-Water-Line-Split-12-quot-long

    Regarding the OK code, I expect that it references another code and only has the exceptions in the local code. Do you understand the reason to use an expansion tank if you have a PRV?

    Regarding the parts, good luck. Maybe take pictures as you go and post them for others.
  13. soonerbrink

    soonerbrink New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I acquired a pressure checker and the pressure seems to be normal for a working valve. All of the information I acquired showed really high pressure on failed valves.

    First pic is at the faucet with all faucets off. Second pic is with 4 faucets on. So it looks like it drops from 82-65 (which doesn't seem to exhibit a failed valve)



    photo 2.JPG photo 3.JPG
  14. soonerbrink

    soonerbrink New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I turned off water to one of the faucets that occasionally drips. Pressure increased and the valve started leaking. Going to contact the manufacturer to get an idea of it can be repaired or not, and then get some quotes on repairing/replacing the unit.
  15. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,227
    Location:
    IL
  16. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,993
    Location:
    New England
    YOu need to replace (preferred) or repair your PRV. And, if you do not have an expansion tank in your cold water plumbing near the water heater, you need to add one as well. The ET should be between the cold inlet and the shutoff to the WH. The better gauge to have bought was one with a peak reading tattle tale hand. But, what it is showing is WP higher than should be in the house (NGT 80psi), and your symptoms of a rush of pressure then dropping back down is likely caused by a couple of things: the malfunctioning PRV, and the fact you have pex in the house that will expand slightly when the pressure gets higher. Just like a garden hose with a nozzle on the end that can shut off. Turn it off at the house, then go back and open the nozzle...the hose will still feel hard because of the pressure, now open the nozzle - you'll get a good initial flow, then immediately as the hose returns to it's normal size, the flow will go to a dribble.
  17. soonerbrink

    soonerbrink New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Can anyone tell me what the cylinder shaped item is in the second picture I posted on march 10th? I would post it again, but I can't figure out how to in mobile.
  18. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,227
    Location:
    IL
    Are you referring to the picture of crud in your shower head? Or are you referring to the second picture in your next post that day? [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 1, 2014
  19. soonerbrink

    soonerbrink New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I am referring to the pic you posted. Thanks for confirming and look forward to figuring out what it is.
  20. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,227
    Location:
    IL
    It looks like a water hammer arrestor. Normally those are placed near the supply for quick-operating valves. I suspect they thought they could use it instead of a pressure tank. It is unlikely to be sufficient.
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