Toilet shut off valve no longer letting water in after I shut it to do some work

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by mnalep, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. mnalep

    mnalep New Member

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Michigan
    I have a need for some advice.

    I closed the supply line shutoff valve to the toilet this morning. Just wanted to clean the bowl. (I should have just left it alone)

    But when I opened the supply valve back up, no water is filling the tank? I tried several times to open/close/open, and the first few times I opened it I saw/heard a tiny amount of water enter the tank. I also heard a vibration/hum in the pipes if I opened valve just a little, but that is gone now too.

    This had been functioning before I shut the supply valve. (Although the valve always has been a bit noisy, and slow - like 3 - 4 minutes to fill the tank).

    I manually filled the tank back up hoping that might get the supply flowing, but no luck.

    Do I have a bad valve? Air in line? Help?

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  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,761
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Undo the supply line to the tank and see if any water comes out the end.
    If not, then you need a new shutoff.

    If water does come out the end, then it may be the fill valve.

    I'm betting it's the shutoff.
  3. mnalep

    mnalep New Member

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Michigan
    Hi Terry, Guess what. I had to go use the toilet, and without thinking hit the flusher. And now the tank is filling up. I had left the valve open when I posted earlier. Kind of wierd, huh?
  4. mnalep

    mnalep New Member

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Michigan
    I just that realized that this is your forum. Great job! This is really cool! Thanks.
  5. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Messages:
    2,780
    Location:
    USA
    Glad it worked out for you but use this opportunity as a good time to identify a plumber who could replace that shut-off valve and supply line for you. They are both showing signs of wear.
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,300
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Just a tag onto Ian's comment. Replace the valve with a 1/4 turn type and the supply line with a braided stainless seal mesh. Something caused the water not to flow and probably cleared itself temporarily. Not a difficult DIY job. Stay away from the flood guard supply lines, they are trouble waiting to happen.
  7. mnalep

    mnalep New Member

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks guys.

    Is that short piece of copper tubing under the valve and above that 90 degree elbow typical. The elbow is on another copper tube coming out of the wall, and I don't want to disturb that elbow or the line going into it .

    I went into the basement and could not even find where that toilet supply line is coming from. I see the sinks hot and cold supply lines going up into the floor, but not for the toilet.

    Could it be in the wall running out horizontally from the sink's cold water supply line?
  8. Jerome2877

    Jerome2877 In the Trades

    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    BC
    Get rid of that peice of copper, you could get a valve that fits directly on the 90 or take the 90 off and put the valve there. Are you sure the stub out is copper, it looks like it could be galvanized? If thats the case then this could have caused your problem as galvanized can have alot of corosion inside it and when a valve is turned off then on some of it can come loose and get stuck in your valves.
  9. mnalep

    mnalep New Member

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Michigan
    Jerome,

    It's cooper - someone at some point painted the copper lines silver. The lines in the basement are all copper. I even put a magnet on that elbow and the pipe from the wall, and the magnet would not stick. I'll go see if I can find a 1/4 turn valve that would thread onto that elbow.

    Can you tell what size it is from the picture? It looks like the same size nut as is on the flexible line attached to the top of the shut off.
  10. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,300
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    The toilet line may be teed off of the sink line. Jerome is correct, remove the extra fittings. You can get an angled shut off valve and eliminate everything down to the pipe coming out of the wall. It looks like whoever did the installation didn't have the correct parts so he hacked the job with parts he had. It worked, but not a very professional job. If your house is plumbed with galvanized pipe, that is another possible problem and may have to be dealt with soon.
  11. mnalep

    mnalep New Member

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Michigan
    It's all copper. So that 90 angle is soldered on to the copper stub from the wall. I'll look for an inline valve that would thread onto where that short vertical copper pipe is threaded onto the angle.

    I don't want to get into soldering a 90 valve on the copper stub out. I've always had problems trying to solder. I avoid it whenever possible.
  12. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,300
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You can cut the elbow off and use a compression fitting to install a new valve. It would be a be tricky to solder that close to the wall without burning the tile. Possible, but not a what a novice should try. Compression fittings are what most all plumbers use anyway. Cut the pipe square and clean up the burrs on the end of the cut. Compression nut, ferrall and compression 90 degree 1/4 turn valve.
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    If that elbow is threaded onto the section coming out of the wall, unscrew it there. Be careful as that stub might unscrew in the wall. See if you can hold that piece coming out of the wall while unscrewing the elbow with a pair of pliers. While you have it off, pull off that chrome eschution and replace it with a new one, and it will look much nicer, too. Screw a new valve onto that stub.
  14. Jerome2877

    Jerome2877 In the Trades

    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    BC
    OK so what you want then is a 3/8" retro valve, it will have a female to go on that 90 and a compression for your supply to your toilet.
  15. mnalep

    mnalep New Member

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Michigan
    I didn't think you could screw onto a copper pipe?
  16. mnalep

    mnalep New Member

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Michigan
    Why is called 'retro'.
  17. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    It's hard to tell what's coming out of the wall...if it is a threaded connection, a screw-on shutoff should work. If that elbow is soldered, then that won't work. If there's enough sticking out (doesn't look like, it), you could cut it off and put a compression valve on that stub. Otherwise, a compression on that copper stub that is vertical, or it if has a threaded adapter soldered onto it, a new threaded shut off there.
  18. Jerome2877

    Jerome2877 In the Trades

    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    BC
    ret·ro·fit definition

    To install or fit (a device or system, for example) for use in or on an existing structure, especially an older dwelling.

    They are made to attach on top of a failed valve but would be perfect for your situation.
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