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Old 03-24-2013, 11:04 AM   #1
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Main Water Valve shut off, water still running


I live in a 2 story townhouse with an above ground basement. After shutting off the main water valve, water stops running on the top floor but continues to run on the 1st floor and basement.

I understand that back pressure from the water heater can cause water flow after shutting off the main valve. And I do hear a "hissing" sound around the water heater when water continues to flow with the main valve shut.

For a 50 gallon water heater what amount of time is sufficient to conclude that the continued flow is NOT from back pressure in the water heater and is due to some other issue?

Thanks...

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Old 03-24-2013, 11:53 AM   #2
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Main Water Valve shut off, water still running


Now we get to ask some questions;

Is your main shut off a gate valve or ball valve? How old is town house?

Even though u have gate valve turned all the way off, sometimes they do not close all the way and water is still flowing. This may or may not be the case, I don't know. Have to start troubleshooting. I would start right there at that main valve.

Can u please throw up a couple pics of your main shut off valve and your hwh shut off valve, let's see what u have their? Will let u know what kind of valves u have.


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Old 03-24-2013, 11:58 AM   #3
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Main Water Valve shut off, water still running


You might be siphoning water out of your water heater. Your water heater should have a shot off valve. Close that.

And on your main shut off....if it's not a ball valve (gate valve instead)....when time permits, change it to a ball valve. Gate valves only work the first time...after about a couple years of service....they never close completely...
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:59 AM   #4
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Main Water Valve shut off, water still running


Just open a hot side faucet, pressure should drop right off. If it keeps running then as mentioned you have a leaking gate valve.
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:25 PM   #5
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Main Water Valve shut off, water still running


Couldn't this simply be the OP draining the upstairs lines? It stopped coming out of the second floor but there is still head pressure above the first floor (from pipes going to the second floor) and the basement (1st and second floor pipes)
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:28 PM   #6
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Main Water Valve shut off, water still running


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Couldn't this simply be the OP draining the upstairs lines? It stopped coming out of the second floor but there is still head pressure above the first floor (from pipes going to the second floor) and the basement (1st and second floor pipes)
Possible...very possible.....a lot depends on where the water heater is.....I sort of get the impression that he gave it plenty of time to drain....long enough to hear the 'hissing' from the water heater....

I would do as Joe said...open a hot water tap upstairs....and then turn on the water hose.....if the water starts getting hot....then it's siphoning from the water heater.....if not....and the flow slows down to a small flow....leaky gate valve.
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:33 PM   #7
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Main Water Valve shut off, water still running


If your shutoff is a stop valve the seat washer may be cracked/damaged. Happened to me on an outside water spigot this fall. Could not get it to shutoff. Came to find out is was a damaged seat washer.
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:36 PM   #8
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Main Water Valve shut off, water still running


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Old 03-24-2013, 12:36 PM   #9
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Main Water Valve shut off, water still running


Info2 is correct. Water running back from head pressure. Open all upstairs fixtures and flush toilets. Open valve in basement and let her drain. The water in the hot water heater is not going to "Expand" and run out the fixtures. If the water does not dwindle down and stop pretty quickly, you have a bad gate valve. I hear a lot about bad gate valves on this forum, but I would be willing to bet that most are operator error. The right way with any screw type valve, Globe or Gate is to open fully , then close a half turn so the gate does not freeze to the valve body. Ball valves are supposed to cure all ills, but I have had a couple break after a short time in service. I did buy them at HD or Lowes though, so maybe that was the problem. Can anybody recommend a good make of ball valve made in the USA?
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:40 PM   #10
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Main Water Valve shut off, water still running


Thanks for the great pictures hammer! In the old days you would have looked in there and seen a hex shaped hole for an allen wrench and a removable seat. Once the washer goes on these throwaways, they usually don't seal well, as a tiny fissure has been cut in the seat from flow. Maybe you were lucky. On second thought, since you cut the valve out, I guess you completely replaced it.

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