No Cold Water to Bathroom

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Jeff_B, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. Jeff_B

    Jeff_B New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Hello,

    I have a problem that just came up this morning. My master bathroom doesn't get cold water at the shower, toilet or two sinks. The hot water is fine. Last night the cold water worked fine. My other bathroom and sinks in the house work fine (I think this bathroom is at the end of my plumbing line). I am not in a cold climate where the pipes freeze. I checked the water meter and water isn't leaking. I don't know what type of piping I have, but I know it isn't plastic. The house was built in 1978.

    Any thoughts on what the problem is? Is this something I can fix myself? It sounds like some sort of clog, can I snake the supply lines?

    Thanks,
    Jeff
  2. MG

    MG New Member

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    160
    Location:
    Illinois - Near St. Louis
    Galvanized pipes maybe?
  3. Jeff_B

    Jeff_B New Member

    Messages:
    6
    I am not certain if it is galvanized. I replaced the shower cartridge about 8 months ago and saw that the piping was metal. I have heard ads about copper pipe replacement solving the hot water issue when toilets are flushed and such. We definitely have that problem, but I don't know if that helps.
  4. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

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    1,347
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    It may be that something has is caught in cold supply to master bath.
    Now here come the ? house on slab,full basement,2nd or 1st fl.
    Probely copper tubbing seperate valves to each bath & kitchen?
    Possibly at valve to master bath.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    22,129
    Location:
    New England
    Does hot water come out the cold, or no water at all out the cold?
  6. Jeff_B

    Jeff_B New Member

    Messages:
    6
    The house is on a slab, no basement, with only 1 story.

    Each sink/toilet has its own valves for the water supply.

    I am unfamiliar with a single valve to the master bath. Where is that typically located?

    The hot water does come out the hot. No water comes out the cold (I can get about 1 teaspoon of water when I turn it on after it has been off for 5+ minutes).
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2008
  7. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,347
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    Can you post a pic of where water comes in and any other valves in utility room as it being on slab your best bet would hae your local plumber take
    a look send pics anyway as I may still be able to help.
  8. Jeff_B

    Jeff_B New Member

    Messages:
    6
    I am not certain what to take a picture of. Based on the layout of the bathroom, I assume the water is coming to my shower first, then the toilet and sinks. But, that is just speculation. I can remove the shower handle and get a picture of the piping there (I will have to take pictures later tonight). Is that helpful?
  9. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,347
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    I ment where your main water comes but pic of bath lay out may help.have to go now will check back later. Clay
  10. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Location:
    Central Florida
    Is your water meter spinning when all fixtures are shut off?
  11. Jeff_B

    Jeff_B New Member

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    6
    The water meter is not spinning at all when the fixtures are off. Also, when the cold water fixture is supposed to be on, the meter doesn't spin.
  12. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,716
    Location:
    Central Florida
    That's a good thing. Now we know you've got a blockage of some kind, not a huge leak. Next job is to come up with a diagram of the cold water plumbing in the house, from the main line coming in to the last fixture group (probably the bathroom in question, as you have guessed). If the house is 30 years old, your building department just might have the plans on file somewhere, but you're getting close to the time most of them throw them away. If you can find out who did the plumbing originally, they might have plans on file or a plumber with a long memory. If all else fails, guess. Then you can determine the last fixture that works OK, and thus narrow down the area where the problem is, almost certainly in the single line between that last good fixture and the master bath group. Sounds like something (crud is the techy term) might have gotten wedged into a fitting or some other restriction in that line after the branch to the last good fixture. Someone with much more experience than I've got may be more helpful, but I don't see how any one fixture could cause the problem.

    A desperation move that comes to mind would be to:
    1. Turn off the water at the main
    2. Disconnect a major cold-water line -- I'd do it at the water heater
    3. Connect a serious shop-vac to that line using lots of duct tape to get a good seal
    4. Open the cold-water faucets in the master bath
    5. Suck like mad and see if anything comes out other than water (clean the shop-vac out first so you can see what you've caught)
    6. (Alternative) blow compressed air into only one open bath fixture while sucking with the shop-vac (you can adapt an air compressor line to the stop valve on most fixtures pretty easily; I do that for pressure-testing new installations)

    I'm sure the pros can come up with something better.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2008
  13. Jeff_B

    Jeff_B New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Thanks Everyone.

    Last night when I got home the cold water worked fine in the entire bathroom. I didn't do anything other than turn on one of the fixtures when I got home. I tested the entire bathroom to see if the blockage "moved", but everything seems to work.

    I am glad things are working, but I am really puzzled now as to what the problem was.

    Perhaps my bathroom is not at the end of the plumbing line and the blockage just moved to some outside fixture.

    I will post updates if I find any reason for the problem.

    If it comes back, does it still sound like a blockage that I should try to suck out?
  14. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,716
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Very curious. You might try opening any hose bibs, etc., to see if anything come out. Otherwise, just make up a good story, tell your wife you fixed it, and reap the rewards! If it comes back, worry about it again...
  15. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
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