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Old 07-29-2011, 06:54 PM   #1
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Leaking Pipe above hot water heater with pics


Unfortunately I do not know much about plumbing and appreciate any guidance I can get. These pipes are about 9 years old and this is in the hot water closet above the hot water heater.

The pipes come out of the wall, down, into this black thing, then back down and back into the wall:






The water is a slow, steady drip. I checked the meter in the front yard and it's not moving at all. It seems like a washer or a seal inside this black thing (what's it called?) malfunctioned or something and is allowing the water to seep out.

The water is warm and the drip is very steady and consistent.

I guess my question is: Is this something I can fix and since this is hot water - I assume the water is shut off valve is somehwere around the hot water heater or around this pipe?

The pipe has me confused because it comes out of the wall and back into it - it doesn't interact with the hot water heater in any way inside the hot water heater closet.

Thanks in advance for any advice

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Old 07-30-2011, 06:46 AM   #2
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Leaking Pipe above hot water heater with pics


That is a pressure regulator.

The cardboard tag suggests that the main shutoff valve is right there.

Sometimes hot water will back out of the water heater and up the cold water
line. Run cold water from any faucet for a minute, then turn it off, and see if
the drip is still warm.

Or maybe the water drips warm because the water heater closet is warm inside.

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Old 07-30-2011, 08:00 AM   #3
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Leaking Pipe above hot water heater with pics


SHUT THAT BALL VALVE handle in the horizontal position SHUT ...in line with pipe OPEN...there is a lockdown nut on that regulators brass threaded shaft there take a small adjustable and see if it is snug onto the bonnet of that black hat when you wrench the nut turn it towards the wall..like mentioned it could be the heat within the room.the valve is your city water coming in and after the regulator it is your adjusted pressure for the house as installed...try the nut ..cut the top off a liter plastic bottle and position it wire/string hang it under the area of the drip it will give you an idea of the rate thru the day
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Old 07-30-2011, 12:24 PM   #4
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Leaking Pipe above hot water heater with pics


Thanks for the responses - is this thing easy to switch out? Would I have to turn the water off at the street or just at the valve? Also - If i decide to switch it out is there a model # somewhere on the valve bc I can't see it with a flashlight. If I just unscrew the big nut there will the until come out?

It seems like a lot of water leaking but i don't really see the meter at the street moving at all. I'd guess it's over a gallon a day of water.

thanks again for all the help.
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Old 07-30-2011, 12:50 PM   #5
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Leaking Pipe above hot water heater with pics


the ball valve the orange tag is wire tied to is your shut off from the street the street is the insulated line coming out of the wall the regulator is on what they call the HOUSE SIDE of the service after the shut off.if you go to HD they might have this regulator and it is ID from the metal tag on that threaded stem where the nut is...the shut off valve should have a diameter stamp on it... so should that regulator it looks like the city pipe in is bigger then the house side...if and when you break the union have a bucket and drain your house riser into it but as long as that BALL VALVE is closed its all dead water from the house draining no big deal but anticipate more then a bucket.....that water regulator is a "female union" connection on both sides if you don't bring it with you..did you snug that nutPS unless the water is shooting across a room your not going to see a meter moving

Last edited by biggles; 07-30-2011 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 07-30-2011, 01:19 PM   #6
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Leaking Pipe above hot water heater with pics


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Originally Posted by biggles View Post
the ball valve the orange tag is wire tied to is your shut off from the street the street is the insulated line coming out of the wall the regulator is on what they call the HOUSE SIDE of the service after the shut off.if you go to HD they might have this regulator and it is ID from the metal tag on that threaded stem where the nut is...the shut off valve should have a diameter stamp on it... so should that regulator it looks like the city pipe in is bigger then the house side...if and when you break the union have a bucket and drain your house riser into it but as long as that BALL VALVE is closed its all dead water from the house draining no big deal but anticipate more then a bucket.....that water regulator is a "female union" connection on both sides if you don't bring it with you..did you snug that nutPS unless the water is shooting across a room your not going to see a meter moving
Biggles, thanks.

The reason I mentioned the water meter moving is in the past when toilets would run from bad flappers, I would see it move.

I've always wondered if there was something wrong with the pressure or something in my house because the house is 9 years old and I have had to replace the flappers in every toilet 2x already- some within a year or 2 of each other.

I am not much of a handy man - I will try to find someone to fix this and not get robbed. I am going to buy the part first but I can feel it coming already: They are going to want to charge me 3x what the part cost and and about 300 an hour to fix it. Ridiculous.
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Old 07-30-2011, 01:57 PM   #7
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Leaking Pipe above hot water heater with pics


just for a large adjustable wrench and to have the arrow on the regulator pointing UP your done just watch that water in CITY,and water OUT to HOUSE looks like 2 different diameters with that union setup on the regulator
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Old 07-30-2011, 02:44 PM   #8
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Leaking Pipe above hot water heater with pics


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Originally Posted by notarock View Post
The water is a slow, steady drip. I checked the meter in the front yard and it's not moving at all.
We had a slow leak in a line under our concrete slab. Looking at our water meter, there is an analog dial with a red hand. The red hand would make half a revolution in 1min 18sec. I called our Board of Water Supply and the rep said the small red hand is a water movement indicator. I wish I had written it down but as I recall, I think he said the red hand makes one revolution for 1/4 gallon of water. If that's the case, then our slow leak rate was 1/8 gallon per 1min 18sec.

Turn on a faucet in your home and look at your water meter. The dials should be spinning like crazy. Reduce the flow to a trickle and see which dial is noticeably spinning and how fast. Close the faucet and note where that dial hand is pointing. In 15 minutes, see if the hand has moved.

HRG
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Old 07-30-2011, 05:09 PM   #9
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Leaking Pipe above hot water heater with pics


my wife thinks I am an idiot but I am about to try and fix it. A few questions:

1) The city water is coming from under the valve right? thats the only think that makes sense since the shut off switch is under the valve.

2) do i need to cut the water off at the street where the meter is or is this shut off valve good enough

3) biggles said this
Quote:
watch that water in CITY,and water OUT to HOUSE looks like 2 different diameters with that union setup on the regulator
I guess/hope that is just the angle of the photograph?

This thing is leaking a lot of water I am gonna take a wrench to it - maybe I just need to cut the water off at the street to be safe?

Home depot has a few different kinds of these things with different unions, etc. A lot of units looked like they were looted as some boxes that were supposed to be the same had the right fittings, some did not
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Old 07-30-2011, 08:29 PM   #10
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Leaking Pipe above hot water heater with pics


the ball valve with the tag ...wire tied to it is your city water shut off... don't need the go outside...when you break the unions you will get water that is above that regulator won't be pressure but might spray a bit open up all the house facets right after you shut that BALL VALVE but before you crack those unions.put the wrench on the union and with your palm give it a good push remember lefty loosy righty tighty..that regulator might be a litlle more then others due to that union connection...and yes it is probably the angle of the pix making that other(between reg and ball valve) looking bigger the reg is staped on the tag or body the pipe size and eye ball that ball valve body for size..just for reference.if HD doesnt have it try Lowes or a plumbing supply house..don't let anybody try to build you one with fittings to fit... it has to be exact replacement..going back in arrow UP on body hand tighten the unions and do the palm push open it up and check for leaks unions are what you touched nothing else should leak...before reinstall just take a rag wipe the tops of the pipe unions .you will see a PSI number stamped on that metal tag on the reg they are set from the factory no need to adjust it should match the old one exact...and if they ask what is it regulating its the incoming house water pressure after the city shut off flip flops and short might be a good idea


Last edited by biggles; 07-30-2011 at 08:33 PM.
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