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Old 08-08-2008, 11:04 PM   #1
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Water flowing into emergency drain


Hello,
First things first...I am absolutely and utterly hopeless when it comes to plumbing (as you'll soon find out. )

Ok, so we got that out of the way.

Earlier today (around 11:45 AM) I had a Rainsoft RO water filtration system installed in my home. It was installed under the sink, and no modifications to my "main" line where made. When the installer turned my water back on (not at the main line in the street, but the line inside the house) there was a sudden and excessive flow of water out of a pipe that empties into an emergency drain of some type. I thought at first that it might have something to do with my water softener, but that drains through a different set of tubing/pipes. Anyway, when the water was still coursing through the pipe and into the drain at 8:45 PM, I finally just shut it off. I've attached a pic for reference...do any of you know what might be wrong?

Pipes

Thanks in advance for your assistance...I've browsed the forums for a bit trying to find someone with a similar problem but was unsuccessful.

--Chris

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Old 08-09-2008, 12:19 AM   #2
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Water flowing into emergency drain


Well, the emergency drain is probably an overflow from one of a couple different things. Your laundry area probably has an overflow drain pan if it is not located on a slab. Your water heater might also have on if situated above the basement. These drains exist to drain excess water from overflows or leaks to a conspicuous location that won't cause much (or any) property damage.

There's a chance that turning off the water service to the house could have caused a leak at one of these two appliances when the pressure was restored. Water hammer can occur, which might have forced a leak.


The first place I'd look would be those two appliances. Shut the water off to the laundry at the valve and rule it out first, then look to the water heater.

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Old 08-09-2008, 08:58 AM   #3
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Water flowing into emergency drain


Thanks for the suggestions/explanations, thekctermite. I tried turning off the laundry valve as well as the hot water heater, and still have the problem.

One thing I forgot to mention is that water pressure has not been affected by this at all. I took a shower this morning and noticed absolutely no difference in pressure, which is really strange to me based on how fast the water is flowing out of the "overflow pipe."

Another thing that might help is I live in a home without a basement, I'm on city water/sewer, and the house was built in 1991 (I think the plumbing is all original.) I've also got a water softener something like this. I tried pushing the override plunger to rule that out, and overriding the softener had no impact on the problem.

Again, thanks to anyone who looks at this for me...sorry if I'm being too vague or confusing.

--Chris

Last edited by MetalChris; 08-09-2008 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:34 AM   #4
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Water flowing into emergency drain


Does anyone else see what looks like a big old relief valve on the hot line? What's the deal with that thing? That could be the problem.
It's really hard to tell what's going on in that picture.

Last edited by Marlin; 08-09-2008 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:35 AM   #5
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Water flowing into emergency drain


I'll never be confused with being a plumber, but from looking at the pic, it seems that by opening those two valves, you are draining the system, I could be way off base, wondering if when the installer finished up, he opened those valves along with the main water valve. Of course if he hadn't turned them off to start with, he'd most likely not open them. Just guessing here, hope it works out for you.
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:35 AM   #6
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Water flowing into emergency drain


Water flowing for 8 hours? that's long! Must come from a direct source.

With a direct source of water, it seems to me that you wouldn't see a difference in the water pressure in your shower because you have 3/4" pipes and even with water flow from somewhere else, you wouldn't notice it...

The entire right hand side of your picture is, IMO the outlet side, with pipes running from the hot water heater, down the drain. The pipe you label as "coming from the hot water heater" is a discharge tube.

But follow the water as it comes into your house. On the left, it comes from the LHS valve with the yellow tag and goes straight up where you labelled "cold water". It also turns right, past the blue valve you labelled "valve closed". IF that valve is open, the water will pass that valve, turn down and out the drain. IMO it should be closed. The hot water heater will be fed from somewhere not seen in the photo.

IMO the middle valve should be closed. Tell us what happens when that is so...or can you tell if closed or open?
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:39 AM   #7
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Water flowing into emergency drain


Marlin: I see no problem with that, it is an emergency discharge from the hot water heater down the drain...that whole side is outflowing. I think...

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Old 08-09-2008, 05:17 PM   #8
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Water flowing into emergency drain


The line that says coming from hot water heater. You're sure that's coming from the heater and not going to it? You're getting hot water from it in other words right? If that's the case you have your hot and cold sides tied together with that middle valve open and it should be closed. I can't see what the top one is for.

ccarlise: I'm not saying it's necessirially a problem it's setup like that (though I've never seen it done that way before). Is it possible that relief valve has gone bad though?

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Last edited by Marlin; 08-09-2008 at 05:19 PM.
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