No cold water in laundry closet

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by mrideout, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. mrideout

    mrideout New Member

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    Location:
    San Diego
    Hi everyone,

    I'm stumped by this problem. 2nd story apartment with a laundry closet. Cold water hook up is fed up through the sill plate in the floor (see picture). Hot water comes in from the ceiling where it eventually makes its way to the water heater. I have hot water in the laundry closet, but no cold water. All other hook ups in the unit are functional (toilets, sinks, showers...both hot and cold work).

    Thought the problem might be shared with the unit directly below, but the owner said he has cold water in his laundry closet and sees no evidence of leakage.

    You guys got any ideas before I call out a plumber?

    Thanks in advance, -marc
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Bothell, Washington
    It looks good from here. It may be beyond what we can see. No flow at all out of the cold side?
     
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  4. James Henry

    James Henry In the Trades

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    turn the water supply off. loosen the bonnet nut and unscrew the valve stem. it's possible the rubber washer came off and is plugging the pipe.
     
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    He better be able to shut everything down for that. How many apartments are connected to your common water supply?
    It would be nice if it were simple like that. Then you can install a new valve there. Or at least repair and replace the rubber washer if that's it.
     
  6. James Henry

    James Henry In the Trades

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    my bad.
     
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Hey, he's gotta start somewhere right?

    But sometimes we are just used to doing, and knowing that we will check that is almost an unsaid thing.
    Sometimes I read the CYA words for a lot of instructions and get reminded.

    Careful lifting that, it's heavy.
    This one could hurt.
    Have you thought this one out?
    Did you cover the entire floor with cardboard or a drop cloth?
    Soldering in a wall, any water handy in case you light the house on fire?
    Don't trip on the box of clothes by the doorway.
    Is the dog put away? Or if not, is he friendly?
    Have you eaten lately? I'm about ready to pass out from hunger.
     
  8. mrideout

    mrideout New Member

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    Thanks guys! There are four apartments are connected, mine included. I can shut water off, but it will have to be coordinated with others. There is not a drop of water that comes out that valve stem. The picture that I posted is older; new valve stems were installed in 2012 with quick shutoff style (i.e., 90 degree turn rather than the wheel). I can post another pic tomorrow. This problem was identified because the tenant told me the ice maker (hooked up to the suspect cold line), had stopped working. Could that have anything to do with it? Also, would I be able to see or "feel" if the washer came out? Like maybe with a bent piece of wire?
     
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    If you have replaced the valves, I would be looking somewhere else then. Sorry.
     
    Jeff H Young likes this.
  10. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I think that statement needs some clarification. Are you saying that the ice maker was supplied via the valve in your photo?
     
  12. mrideout

    mrideout New Member

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    Jeff, I'll try the compressed air/blowing.

    Reach 4, After the new valves were installed, a T-(coupling??) was installed that branched off a copper feed tube to the ice maker.
     
  13. mrideout

    mrideout New Member

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    So, there was the new valve stem and then a T-coupling (90 degree offshoot) that supplied the washer and the ice maker. I'll take a few pictures tomorrow
     
  14. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

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    Since that cold line feeds both an ice maker and clothes washer and there is no flow to either, there must be an isolation valve located somewhere before the pipe comes through the sill plate. Perhaps the tenant below shut-off a valve which they thought was for something else.
     
  15. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    Its very possible a plumber turned water off cut pipe installed a valve (closed) and then turned water back on and proceeded with copper work. its really a guessing game. But I cant be sure that a valve exists. The owner or manager should know but might not . renters could have done something theres a whole lot info to guess about. It might just be a self piercing saddle valve for ice maker.
     
  16. mrideout

    mrideout New Member

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    There could be a shutoff below the sill plate, but I'll need to ask the neighbor. I don't know how the water comes in to HIS unit. The only thing I can see is the main shutoff outside of the building.

    I dug up a movie of the work I did in 2012 to install the valve stems. Remembered that I had done some soldering, keeping the same setup, but raising the height of the valve stems to accomodate a new washer. I snapped a couple of screen shots. My thought, while watching the video, is that maybe the ball inside the valve stem has broken loose from the handle?? Is that common? I'm going to check it out today; seems like it would be easy to verify.

    Screen Shot 2020-07-17 at 8.58.28 AM.jpg Screen Shot 2020-07-17 at 9.00.36 AM.jpg
     
  17. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

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    Since the ball within the valve can be clearly seen through the garden hose connection opening while no hose is connected, you should be able to observe the ball turning until an opening appears when the valve handle is turned to the open position.

    My earlier comment about there must be an isolation valve elsewhere is because you said the icemaker plumbed into the same cold line is also not receiving water. If the issue is a defective laundry valve, that will not affect flow to the ice machine. The water flow is apparently stopped before the ice maker connection, but as cold water continues to flow to other faucets in the building and within your unit, then the issue is not the main valve but somewhere after the feed line to your laundry and ice maker branches off from the main plumbing line.

    Since it seems you had performed the plumbing modifications yourself in 2012, how did you shut off the water to that laundry feed? I assume the cold laundry faucet and ice machine had been working after the modifications were performed, but water flow has only recently stopped for no explained reason?
     
  18. mrideout

    mrideout New Member

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    I shut off the water at the main outside of the building. Ice machine may actually be a completely unrelated issue, but I haven't been able to test it since I haven't been able to get water flowing past the valve stem. I'm going there now and will take a pic of the setup and post it. And yes, the tenant used the laundry on the 3rd of July and it was fine, so the stoppage is for no identifiable reason.
     
  19. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

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    Are you saying the ice machine is not plumbed from the same cold line before the laundry valve, but the IM obtains water from the laundry valve using a flexible hose?

    Because the laundry valve's internal ball can be observed through the hose connection opening, you can verify if the ball will rotate while the handle is turned.
     
  20. mrideout

    mrideout New Member

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    OK, so I found the problem. When I removed the T-split I could observe the ball and it is definitely not turning.

    So my question to you guys: can I remove that valve and replace it without opening the bonnet and wall? I'm not sure if you guys know, but I though I would ask. But I don't remember how I got those hook ups attached, but it looks like there is a hex wrench fitting on the valve stem (image attached). I'm hoping I can just shut off the water, pull the old valve off (probably both of them (hot and cold) at this point, and put a new one one.

    Thanks again, and in advance, for helping me noodle through this!

    If not, then maybe there is a way to break the existing ball free? IMG_20200717_103837.jpg IMG_20200717_103846.jpg
     
  21. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    We had thought that you were saying the no-cold symptom occurred with both the old and new valves.

    What is a T-split? Something like this? [​IMG]
     
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