Installing individual shut-off valves in condo building

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by mckern, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. mckern

    mckern New Member

    Feb 22, 2008
    I own a condo in a 6 unit/3 story 1920 building. Due to issues associated with shutting off the building water supply (shifting grit in the galvanized pipes that causes water pressure issues—which you all helped me with a couple of days ago), the board is considering having individual shut-off valves installed for each unit. While “nothing is impossible,†given the existing plumbing—and our budget, it seems obvious to me that this project tests that limit.

    All plumbing repairs are on hold until the board decides how to address this. Given that the last water off/on knocked out the hot water in one of my showers and seriously compromised water pressure in the other, I would prefer that they not spend time investigating unrealistic solutions. I would like to offer some alternatives.

    The existing plumbing visible in the basement: There is a pipe running from the main supply line to risers near the middle of the building (under the first bath) and another pipe from the main to risers toward the back (under the second bath/kitchen/laundry). I’m assuming that we share the risers (is this a reasonable assumption?). Also, we share the hot water heater. BTW, the galvanized pipe in the basement was replaced with copper sometime in the last 8-10 years.

    While I can appreciate the advantages of this arrangement, it seems like an over-the-top solution for the problem—e.g., for what this would cost, we could pay for a whole lot of individual plumbing service calls to fix problems following a water shut-off, which is an infrequent occurrence. For that matter, wouldn’t replacing the galvanized risers basically take care of the problem?

    Thank you
  2. krow

    krow Plumber

    Feb 11, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    Normally the risers are shared for the units on top of each other. In other words, you would share a riser with the unit above you and or below you. You would probably share the same hot water heater for a building that size, unless each unit has their own water tank.

    Replace it with copper and mostly everything would be solved. It may take a little while for all the sediments of the galvanized piping to get completely flushed out of the fixtures
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