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Hot water problems - help please!

Community Veteran
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Hot water problems - help please!

Howdy gang!!!

 

We have hot water problems in the form of a foghorn whenever we use a hot tap for louder than 30 seconds. It's loud, VERY loud.

It stopped months ago when one of numerous plumbers came round to get to the bottom of the cold water not running upstairs and he also bled the system. The loud sound was explained to him and he did more tinkering and it stopped. Miracle!

Anyhow we eventually noticed that the radiator in the downstairs toilet / cloakroom had stopped working. The missus said it never worked, I knew full well it did and when memory finally reminded me one night i grabbed some grips and undid the valve on it and sure enough it started to heat up the toilet again.

Now within a day or two of doing this, we noticed the foghorn is back. Oh dear.

Once the taps are off it takes a minute or two to ease off. A couple of days ago while it was still sounding I went and turned on the shower and noticed the sound stopped instantly. Tested this a few more times and everytime I turn on the shower thats the end of the foghorn.

 

Recap:

It's linked to the radiator in the downstairs toilet being active, stopped by the shower being turned on and is started by using a hot tap (yet they're not going to be taking water from the radiators are they?)

Any ideas?

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22 REPLIES
DS
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Re: Hot water problems - help please!

Sounds like there's air trapped, but where........

I presume your system is gravity fed?

Have you bled all radiators?

Have you gone up in the loft/attic (<- depends how posh you are or where you're from!!) and actually checked the ballcock isn't floating mid air?

Have you tried turning the heating and hot water off, let it cool, turn on the hot tap at the highest point for 15-20 mins

 

No I'm not a plumber, but the above is what I'd do - others are bound to say something elseWink

Community Veteran
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Re: Hot water problems - help please!

Air is what I thought too.. I did previously try bleeding them all but that didn't solve it. I will try again.

Gravity fed, yes.

Can't get in the loft as we have no ladder.

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DS
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Re: Hot water problems - help please!

You could always backfeed the highest hot tap with a cold feed from a hose pipe - though that only really works on older type 'spouty' type taps - warming the end of a hose over a cooker ring (with care) and pushing it over the tap and letting it cool is a good way - then use jubilee clips.

The cold water entering the hot system should push air in to the header tank (you may even hear it 'glug'). From there, if it fills too much the excess water should flow out of the overflow.

(some coulds and shoulds above - you're better off with a few bods keeping an eye and there's a risk watering your carpets and furniture if the overflow is blocked).

Common faults with these systems are 1) lack of maintenance (guilty as charged), 2) a floating ballcock (CHS use about a pint of water per year and the ballcock normally doesn't move. over time it can seize and over time the tank drains)

You really need to look at both tanks - beg, borrow or steal a ladder or steps. Even if they are full, a gentle push down to make sure the ballcocks are free wouldn't do any harmWink

Minivanman
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Re: Hot water problems - help please!

"Can't get in the loft as we have no ladder"

Hmm, as well as what others have said but you need to get into that loft and check the header tank as it sounds to me like it might be half empty thus allowing air into the system.... or whatever. Not knocking plumbers but some are not going to delve to deeply into your problem given their call out charges. 

As well as the above, if it was me I'd check out and bleed each rad in turn. Sometimes find also that a length of plumbing pipe (in that loft perhaps?)   is not full supported with brackets causing them to resonate easily under certain conditions. 

PS. This bit of advice has just cost you £65 plus VAT Wink

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Re: Hot water problems - help please!

If you have a cold water tank, the ball [-Censored-] [male chicken] valve and float may need replacing. I had that once.

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Re: Hot water problems - help please!


7up wrote:

Howdy gang!!!

 

 

 

Recap:

It's linked to the radiator in the downstairs toilet being active, stopped by the shower being turned on and is started by using a hot tap (yet they're not going to be taking water from the radiators are they?)

Any ideas?


It's almost certainly the rubber disc that sits in the cistern ball valve housing. They get perished and as the ball valve drops when water is drawn off it resonates like the clappers. Running the shower will stop it because it's taking the water level in the cistern below the resonating level. The hot water tap will start it because I bet you run it from a no-noise condition, and that will take it into resonance. If you keep running the hot tap on full (or maybe two of them) the noise will stop because the cistern water level once again goes below the resonating level.

Either...   fit a new disc (about 10p), or bend the ball float arm down so that there is more force on the disc, or both. Try the latter first.

You WILL need to get in the loft.

I doubt it's anything to do with the radiator unless your system is "piped up" incorrectly!

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Re: Hot water problems - help please!

Before you do this you need to find the highest and lowest taps you have in your house.

Start by shutting off the mains water supply, then open the cold tap in the highest part of the house, then go and open the lowest tap and drain off all the water.

Once the water’s drained turn the tap off in the lowest part of the house and turn the water main back on. Go to the highest tap in the house and leave it running until it flows without coughing or spluttering. Job done.

Marketman
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Re: Hot water problems - help please!

Might be worth replacing the tap washer (if your tap has one - some new taps use a ceramic core which are nearly impossible to replace), the reason I say this is that we get a loud 'foghorn' noise regularly when using our Hot tap, it is the washer (rubber gone hard) vibrating within the tap, I will get round to replacing ours one day!

Minivanman
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Re: Hot water problems - help please!

After a few weeks in a house I'd just bought @AlaricAdair, the water would not longer heat up and on checking I convinced myself that the pump had packed up because I could not feel or hear it running, and the inlet and outlet were both cold so......  Anyway, splashed out on a new and expensive pump, changed it, and no difference. Grrr

Bit of head scratching and an ex CORGI mate of mine came round to have a quick look (he was only half interested after years in the game) and as an aside said "do you have any water in your header tank?". Thinking he was as daft as a bog brush I went up into the loft to check only to find it was empty because the previous owner had tied up the valve gubbings to stop more water coming in - which meant the system had dried up. Rather puzzled I untied it and allowed the tank to fill up after which the pipes started to get warm as the water flowed. Sorted, or so I thought.

Four in the morning and my son woke me up to say that water was running down his bedroom walls! Climbed up into the loft again only to find that the tank was overflowing because that valve arm was not lifting to shut off the water once it was nearly full - which was why the previous owner had tied it up! 

As it happened he called in that following week about some paperwork, and did I give him an ear bashing for not telling me about it. "Sorry mate, I forgot"  Yeah right. Knuppel  

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Re: Hot water problems - help please!

Excellent advice in the above posts plus if you get a ladder for the loft you have more space to store stuff ?

@Minivanman

Not sure why you had water coming down the wall, I thought all tanks had an overflow pipe to prevent water pouring out of the top ?

On a more general note I thought I read somewhere that air could be forced out of the system if you used a pipe to connect the hot and cold water pipes together ? Anyone know more about that ?

@7up

Once in the loft a quick squirt of WD40 on that valve might give you a bit of temporary relief from the problem whilst also confirming that is the problem but don't get any in the water.

Be interested to know how you get on

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Re: Hot water problems - help please!

@7up....   Probably a tap washer that needs replacing.... good thing you are not in the Army though.....

 

http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/our-region/portsmouth/soldiers-have-finally-have-hot-water-after-army-ag...

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Re: Hot water problems - help please!

@gleneagles - I’m assuming @Minivanman meant the outside wall via the overflow. Also I’d not recommend spraying WD40 near my water supply in case of contamination. Smiley

Minivanman
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Re: Hot water problems - help please!

@gleneagles

"Not sure why you had water coming down the wall, I thought all tanks had an overflow pipe to prevent water pouring out of the top?"

Because the water coming in was faster than the water going out?

Either way, it was a bloody nightmare as I'd not long finished decorating the boys room. As an aside, both our bath and the kitchen sink will overflow if the tap/s are left full on despite those overflow pipes which in my experience are never able to cope.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEYy3osi8Gs

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Minivanman
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Re: Hot water problems - help please!

@Mook

Nope, inside wall Crazy2

 

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