Heavily dripping external overflow pipe - more advice needed


Postby handywoman » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:52 pm

Thank you to each who have offered advice, me being a novice at plumbing, can you tell me if the ballcock should be under or above the water? Also, if I take off the ballcock arm completely, as well as turning off the main cold water supply to go and buy a new cysten ballcock and arm, will I cause the water tank to flood my airing cupboard. I am on a budget and the thought of a call out charge and plumbers costs worry me. If this is something that a novice can do, I am willing to have a go with some detailed directions - I look forward to hearing your advice and directions.

Handywoman (not so handy in the plumbing department at the moment) :roll:
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Postby htg engineer » Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:43 pm

If you turn the cold water to the tank off - then it it cant flood.

The ball should be half in and half out of the water, should not touch the sides, the water level should be about 1 - 1.5 inches below the overflow.
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Postby Skids » Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:10 pm

Hi Handywomen

Just a question, you mention the airing cupboard (AC), is the tank with the faulty ball valve (BV) in the AC or in the loft?

Q. is the faulty BV on a cistern that has a ‘hot water cylinder’ with a ‘cold water tank’ on top ? which would be a ‘Combination Storage System.

Or, is it on a big black plastic tank? which would be the Cold Water Storage Cistern (CWSC).

Or, is it a small black plastic tank? which would be the Feed & Expansion Cistern (F&E) for the CH.

If the BV is an older brass type, just remove it and fit a new one (£5 or £6) if its been in the tank for more that 5 years its not worth repairing.

There might be an isolating valve on the cold feed pipe before it enters the cistern (tank) if so isolate the water there, if not turn off the mains water supply stop valve (stopcock) which should be under the kitchen sink. Which ever, you must isolate the cold feed before you start to remove the BV!

If the water level is high, run some of the cold water off until the level in the water level in the cistern is more manageable.

All ball valves in CWSC should be fitted so that the water level is 25mm below the overflow pipe.

The water level in a F&E must be lower; this is to accommodate the expansion of the Central Heating system contents under heating (4% of the system volume)

The water level in the tank must be below the inlet of the BV !!

Regards

Skids
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Postby rosebery » Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:05 pm

I would have thought it's most likely to be the HP cone or washer inside the valve rather than the arm and ball float.

They come apart relatively easily but it's a only a few quid to buy a whole new valve including lever and arm. A single connection to the feedpipe at the tank connector.

Cheers
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Postby chris_on_tour2002 » Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:08 am

if the float on the ball valve is below the water then it has been ruptured and is letting in water which is why it has dropped below the surface of the water. this would explain why the overflow is dripping, as the float is not rising up enough to close the valve.
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Postby rosebery » Tue Apr 29, 2008 4:55 pm

"if the float on the ball valve is below the water then it has been ruptured and is letting in water which is why it has dropped below the surface of the water. this would explain why the overflow is dripping, as the float is not rising up enough to close the valve."

Not necessarily so. If the cone and or the washer has failed the unruptured ball can still be submerged because the arm may well be on the stops and unable to go any higher.

Whatever - still say the simple solution is to replace the whole assembly as they are not expensive.

Cheers
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Postby nitro23456 » Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:34 pm

I agree with all of the above.....

also though, if the arm that the ball sits on is metal (kind of like a wire coat hanger) you can just try bending it down at the ball end to achieve the correct level as a temporary fix.

You could turn the water off under the sink, and then run off water from the tank by opening the taps in the bathroom until the water level drops to ~25mm below the overflow outlet. Then adjust the arm as above and turn the water back on.

If this doesnt work than you DEFINATELY need a new valve.

This is assuming that its not your central heating tank.
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Postby chris_on_tour2002 » Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:52 pm

of course rosebery is right, a submerged ball float is not necessarily ruptured, it could be the valve.

but if it does turn out that the ball has in fact taken on water and submerged then it might not be necessary to change the whole valve assembly at all. most of the floats just unscrew from the arm and a new one screwed back on. they cost only a couple of quid and takes seconds to do.

its worth establishing this first save unneeded expense and hassle.
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