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Old 04-15-2012, 06:37 PM   #1
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water damage from high pressure


I am searching for an explanation to an issue which resulted in water damage to my hardwood floor. When I left my home 3 weeks ago I shut the valve on my main water line at the street. When I returned home 2days ago I opened the valve and noticed that the city had installed a new water meter. When I entered my home I discovered the rug on the floor in front of my dishwasher was damp and damage to my hardwood floor in that area. I opened my dishwasher to find water in the bottem.
Soon after I also noticed water in my cloths washer. I have since run both
appliances and they seem to be fine and there is no leakage in the fittings. (I did not leave either appliance on when I left the home)
So what happened? Is there a connection to the installation of the new water meter? Is it possible that the water pressure was too high and somehow caused the valves on these appliances to release water into them? Has anyone had this experience?
thanks for the help

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Old 04-15-2012, 07:16 PM   #2
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water damage from high pressure


Where is the water meter?

Do you have a main shutoff inside the house?

Does the shutoff at the street have an ordinary handle or lever for the homeowner to use or does it require a wrench or T-handle that only the water company is supposed to use?

Yes it is possible for overpressure in the water line to force the inlet valves of dishwashers and washing machines open.

Because the dishwasher is connected using a rigid pipe, it is not customary to turn off its under-sink shutoff but washing machine water should be turned off whenever the machine is not in use. Burst washing machine hoses are a frequent cause of flooding insurance claims.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 04-15-2012 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:24 PM   #3
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water damage from high pressure


Where is the water meter?

Do you have a main shutoff inside the house?

Yes it is possible for overpressure in the water line to force the inlet valves of dishwashers and washing machines open.

Because the dishwasher is connected using a rigid pipe, it is not customary to turn off its under-sink shutoff but washing machine water should be turned off whenever the machine is not in use. Burst washing machine hoses are a frequent cause of flooding insurance claims.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:48 PM   #4
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water damage from high pressure


the water meter is at the street...500feet from my home. the meter is on the home side of the shut off valve. I can shut the valve off using a small wrench. I do have another shut off valve just before the water line enters the home....which I did not shut when I left 3 weeks ago.
thank a you for this information.....is there possibly a documented resorce that you are aware of that I might access?
thank you Allan
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:54 PM   #5
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water damage from high pressure


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Originally Posted by aeldien View Post
I am searching for an explanation to an issue which resulted in water damage to my hardwood floor. When I left my home 3 weeks ago I shut the valve on my main water line at the street. When I returned home 2days ago I opened the valve and noticed that the city had installed a new water meter. When I entered my home I discovered the rug on the floor in front of my dishwasher was damp and damage to my hardwood floor in that area. I opened my dishwasher to find water in the bottem.
Soon after I also noticed water in my cloths washer. I have since run both
appliances and they seem to be fine and there is no leakage in the fittings. (I did not leave either appliance on when I left the home)
So what happened? Is there a connection to the installation of the new water meter? Is it possible that the water pressure was too high and somehow caused the valves on these appliances to release water into them? Has anyone had this experience?
thanks for the help
When you shut the valve on your main water line, did you turn your water heater off? Do you have a thermal expansion tank by your water heater? My guess is that you didn't turn your water heater off and that you don't have an expansion tank installed.

If you didn't turn your water heater off and you don't have an expansion tank installed, that's the reason for the flooding.

When you shut the valve on your main water line, you created a closed system. When the water in your heater heated up, the water expanded. Water cannot be compressed. There was no where for the water to go except find the weakest links in your plumbing and leak out at those points. The leaks can happen from either hot or cold water pipes since the increased water pressure affects your "entire" plumbing system.

With the valve on the main water line open, as it normally is, when water heats up in your water heater, the expanded water can be forced back toward the city's water system. With the main valve closed, that couldn't happen.

If you had an expansion tank installed, the expansion of the heated water could go into the expansion tank and not cause leaks in your system.

If you don't have an expansion tank installed, whenever you shut off your main water line, either turn your water heater off or open any faucet. That will prevent similar leakage from happening again.

HRG

Last edited by Homerepairguy; 04-15-2012 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:16 PM   #6
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water damage from high pressure


I did shut the power to the water heater when I left 3 weeks ago....
I suspect in replacing the meter air got in the line which opened the valves on the appliances when the valve was reopened.
thanks
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by aeldien View Post
I did shut the power to the water heater when I left 3 weeks ago....
I suspect in replacing the meter air got in the line which opened the valves on the appliances when the valve was reopened.
thanks
When you got back home, by chance did you turn on the water heater and "later" open the main water line? Or do you have a solar water heater? Just trying to cover as many bases as possible.

HRG

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Old 04-15-2012, 11:13 PM   #8
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water damage from high pressure


no solar......turned the main water valve on first....then the power to the
water heater
thanks
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:32 AM   #9
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water damage from high pressure


(With the house water supply shut off, expansion of water inside the water heater won't force out enough to overflow the dishwasher and out onto the floor.)
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:21 AM   #10
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water damage from high pressure


Always shut off at the house, not at the meter. When shutting off, drain the lines and leave the faucets open. What happened most likely, is when you turned on the water, the air in the line got pushed through to open valves, which caused the water you saw. As long as you cleaned it up, and it did not continue, write it off to a one time instance. Just don't do it again.

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