Hot water in toilets and urinals - commercial bldg.

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I work in a 4 story building with standard commercial toilets and urinals. For some reason when the valve for the spray arm is left on in the kitchen the toilets and urinals get supplied with hot water. Kitchen is on the 2nd floor and the warm toilets affect at a minimum floors 1 through 3. The building has circulator pumps in the basement.
Could this possibly be by design?
No this is not in WV. It is in NJ in a building less than 10 years old.
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Sounds like a huge screw-up to me. Maybe the lowest bidder got the job.
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Limp Arbor wrote:

b) No
a) My conjecture would be there's a recirculating valve for the hot water that has failed allowing crossover.
In a large building there's always the outside chance that a supply line got crossed somewhere but the indication here that's not the issue is the correlation w/ the spray arm not all the time.
--
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. . Like the case quite a few years back where the oxygen lines in a hospital got crossed with another gas supply. Apparently the 'acceptance' tests did not include 'actually breathing' from the oxygen equipment! It all seems rather basic, after the fact! For example. Does the electricity work? Plug something in and see if it works; eh? If the electrical item dies or doesn't work .................... !
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Limp Arbor wrote:

Never underestimate stupidity!
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You either haver a bad check valve in the recirc line, or you need to add one.
HTH Lefty.
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I don't know where check valves would normally be in a system like this, but what's happening is that when this valve is left on, it creates a path between the hot side and the cold side without allowing the water to exit when the sprayer is not in use. Also, the recirculating pump must be supplying greater pressure to the hot side than the cold. You could install check valves at that sink...or remove the sprayer so people don't leave it on...
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To be clear, you would need the check valve on the cold side at the sink, although it wouldn't hurt to put them on both sides.
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Do you mean remove the squeeze valve from the sprayer?
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Christopher A. Young
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On Sep 15, 5:35pm, "Stormin Mormon"

Sorry, what I meant was that one option would be to remove the whole sprayer mechanism (including the valve) which might mean replacing the faucet. If the sprayer gets used a lot, that might not be a good option. Or maybe they could get a sprayer without a lever on it. That way they are forced to turn off the faucet...
If they like the sprayer, adding check valves under the sink would probably be a better option, which should take someone with a little plumbing experience 5 minutes if you can find check valves with the same thread size as the faucet lines (and if there are cutoff valves at the sink).
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Larry in dead-on about this...if you put a valve (sprayer) after a mixing valve it allows a back-feed when there is a demand on the cold...water passes through the mixer from hot to cold. HTMS
bob_v
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My father had a similar problem in a residence, with a temperature control mixing valve. He ended up buying two check valves, and install them. End of problem.
Many stores, their sprayer has a squeeze valve, and it's possible to leave hot and cold turned on at the mixing faucet. The syptomatic thing is to have the restaurant put check valves under their sink.
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On Sep 15, 5:34pm, "Stormin Mormon"

I finally went to the kitchen and took a look. What is happening is the H&C faucets are being left on and because of the circulator pumps keeping the hot side pressurized whenever someone goes to a water fountain or flushes a toilet the hot is crossing through the faucet into the cold water.
Weird that a check valve is not required in this situation or the inspector missed it.
Thanks.
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Good detective work. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us, always good to learn.
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Very common for these check valves to wear out - normal maintenance item to keep them functioning. If you don't have one on at least the cold line, the plumber either didn't know or took a short cut.
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First thing I wondered was how do you know this?!
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How was the hot water discovered????
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wrote:

It was deep too...
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I had a similar (and intermittent) problem in my house, but the warm water was supplied to *all* cold fixtures, basically "reversing" what came out of all of my faucets, showers, toilets, etc. Warm from cold taps, cold from warm.
We finally tracked it down to the "Y" hose on the spigot outside the garage. I have both a hot water and cold water spigot by the garage. The cold supply is before the pressure reducer, thus at street pressure. The hot supply, which obviously comes from the WH, is after the pressure reducer.
If we leave the spigots open, with a hose attached and the spray nozzle closed, the higher pressure cold will force it's way into the hot water line, back to the WH and force HW up through the cold water pipes.
This puzzled us for many years, since it only happened on rare occasions. One day I noticed it happening as my son was washing his car and a few simple tests confirmed the cause.
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On Thu, 17 Sep 2009 10:06:04 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

This is a very good examply of why vacuum breakers on hose bibbs (a form of check valve) aren't just nuisance code, but are a good idea -- here you were just feeding your potable water through a bit of Y hose; maybe a health issue, maybe not, but imagine the same hose sitting in the kids' wading pool (after they've used it for whatever kids do), or the muddy pool of much near the garden. All it takes is a low pressure event (within your house or from a neighbor or fire hydrant etc), and that dirty water is sucked into your house plumbing, into your next glass of "fresh" water.
I couldn't stand the vacuum breakers our builder installed because they sprayed water at you every time you turned off the faucet, but after replacing the whole hose bibb because they were crap and leaking elsewhere, I found that the new ones work great without spraying.
Josh
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