On Tue, 03 Feb 2004 14:35:59 GMT, Horatio Hornblower
::Horatio Hornblower wrote:
::> :Horatio Hornblower wrote:
::> :> I'm installing a washing machine in my old house (1910). The laundry
::> :> room has the water heater and has the plumbing for a washer, but that
::> :> plumbing hasn't been used for probably 25 years or more. I hooked it up
::> :> and turned on the valves and wasn't shocked to find them leaking. I
::> :> replaced them but see that the cold water pipe has strangely low
::> :> pressure.
::> :> The hot water spigot puts out around 5 gallons/minute, but the cold one
::> :> is delivering a bit less than 1 gallon/minute. At first, the cold one's
::> :> water was rusty, but that cleared up in a few seconds. However, it
::> :> continues to be very low pressure. I figure there must be a lot of rust
::> :> somewhere in the last 3 or 4 feet, because it splits just before that,
::> :> one branch going to the washer, the other to an outdoor faucet, which
::> :> has good pressure.
::> :> I figure the problem's probably in the elbows and not the 3 foot
::> :> straight, and I can just swap out the elbows and it'll be OK.
::> :> It's funny, though. There are TWO spigots for the hot and TWO spigots
::> :> for the cold! Each pair has one with a threaded spigot (you can screw on
::> :> a threaded hose to it), and one that's not threaded. What's the purpose
::> :> of those? I figure maybe they used to have systems which you connected
::> :> by pressure (clamps) and not threads. Is that it? Can or should I remove
::> :> those non-thread-ended spigots? I could get some 1/2 inch plugs for
::> :> those.
::> :> Thanks for any advice here. I haven't done a lot of plumbing.
::> :> hh
::> :You're on the right track. In 1910, the piping would have been
::> :galvanized iron. An un-used branch will rapidly get blocked
::> :with corrosion. My bet is that the TEE leading outside is blocked
::> :at the branch outlet. Replacing it or tampering with that century-old
::> :piping is inviting disaster.
::> :Instead, suggest running brand new pipe (copper?) right off the water
::> :heater connections. Less chance of disturbing things plus better
::> :assurance that the clothes won't be rusty.
::> Thanks, Jim. This is the cold water, though. The hot seems OK, at least
::> as far as flow goes. I didn't notice rust coming from the hot, either,
::> for some reason, just the cold. I'm going to launch a whole-house
::> renovation pretty shortly, so I'll leave wholesale replacement of the
::> plumbing (at least the decisions) to my general contractor. Right now I
::> just want to get my washer working. I think I can either replace or
::> clean out that last 3-4 feet that's clearly clogged up. I've always been
::> a DIY guy, so once again I'm looking for a way to do it myself rather
::> than pick up the phone and bring in a professional. I know that
::> mentality has to be tempered sensibly if I'm going to succeed in my
::> whole-house renovation. So much of it is just way over my head and skill
::> I had an interesting idea yesterday, but I sort of doubt it will work:
::> If I shut off the water to the house, open that outside faucet and the
::> washer spigot, and connect a hose to the washer cold water spigot (the
::> one that gets the 1/6 water flow), and run some high pressure water
::> through that hose (I'd have to get permission from my neighbor to hook
::> up a hose to their garden spigot), I might be able to blow out the
::> corrosion that's clogging it up. It's a bit of a long shot, but if
::> gravity has a hand in this, the water flowing down instead of up, may be
::> enough to dislodge whatever's in there and flush it out my outside
::> spigot. Nutty idea, huh?
::turn water off at main valve.. remove the cold water faucet(it is
::catching all the trash-water deposits that were in the pipes.. have a
::bucket of water under the pipe and then turn water back on and the
::trash will fill up the bucket.. and then the water will flow at 100 %
::of flow.. cut off water and put faucet back on and check to see if it
::is running at 100 %....
:Cool idea. I will try that. Thanks!!
Unfortunately, it didn't work. Tomorrow I'll disassemble the last 3-4
feet of pipe going to the washer. I'm sure that's where the jam-up is,
since the branch off to the outside spigot runs free, and that's 4 feet
back. It was too wet and cold today but tomorrow should be about as good
as the weather's gonna get this time of year and I'll get after it.
I bet plumbers have a basic occupational hazard, being elbow tendinitus
and shoulder problems. After removing everything and reaming it out, I
replaced 4 pieces (out of around a dozen). I had to crank on this stuff
pretty hard to stop the leaks entirely after putting it all together. On
some joints I used teflon tape and on others plumbers putty. It seemed
to me that my odds were better with tape on some, with putty on the
others. With enough tightening, I finally stopped the leaks.
I was very very lucky in that the beginning of the run that had the flow
problems didn't leak when I put it back together. I really thought my
odds weren't very good of that happening. If I had a leak there I'd have
had to probably replace the whole assembly and I might have gone with
copper as people suggested. I did replace 4 pieces, being a 12"
straight, 2 female - female short straights and a male - male short
straight. I replaced with all galvanized and it cost me a bit over $5,
and I guess it will all be replaced when the plumbing's upgraded. I just
don't know how soon that will happen. Probably anywhere from 6 months to
4 years. My flow's back to full to near full, and the water's clear and
there's no leaks. I'll wait a few hours or a day to make sure the water
stays clear and there's no leaks and then hook up the washing machine.
Yippee!! Thanks for the help, suggestions, etc.