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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Plumbing Mystery

    I just inspected a Townhouse built in 1999 and was supposed to be de-winterized. The 3rd floor bathroom included a jetted tub and a vanity cabinet with basin. At the tub, I turned the jets downward and turned on the water (single knob diverter). A little water comes out then stops. I left the diverter open. Checking the basin, no water either. Shutoff valves closed. Opened the shutoff valves. When the sink faucet was turned on, water came out of the sink spigot AND the tub's. Turning the sink control knob varied the water flow in the tub. Turn off the water at the sink and the tub water shuts off.

    There was one hot and one cold riser in the vanity. nothing coming out (other than the drain). The client and I played with this for some time. Of course, something is wrong and requires a plumber but I was just wondering if any of you bright people could shed any light on it.

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    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Plumbing Mystery

    I'll take a shot
    May be
    Cold water valve is off at the water heater
    Tub has a shower type valve
    When you turn on the water at the sink, cold water backflows into the hot water line into the tub
    The shower type valve (pressure equalizing) does not allow water to flow if pressure is not on hot and cold.

    I probably did a poor job of describing that, and it may not even be what was happening, but I gave it a shot.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Lanham, MD
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Plumbing Mystery

    I was just about to say the same thing as Rick but he beat me to the post by minutes. I've seen this before, precisely as he explained.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
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    3,746

    Default Re: Plumbing Mystery

    Before I pat myself on the back I'll wait for confirmation from others.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
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    885

    Default Re: Plumbing Mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    I just inspected a Townhouse built in 1999 and was supposed to be de-winterized. The 3rd floor bathroom included a jetted tub and a vanity cabinet with basin. At the tub, I turned the jets downward and turned on the water (single knob diverter). A little water comes out then stops. I left the diverter open. Checking the basin, no water either. Shutoff valves closed. Opened the shutoff valves. When the sink faucet was turned on, water came out of the sink spigot AND the tub's. Turning the sink control knob varied the water flow in the tub. Turn off the water at the sink and the tub water shuts off.

    There was one hot and one cold riser in the vanity. nothing coming out (other than the drain). The client and I played with this for some time. Of course, something is wrong and requires a plumber but I was just wondering if any of you bright people could shed any light on it.
    The gas water heater was not on, I lit the pilot and got'er going (another issue, lot's not revisit that). The gate type WH shutoff valve was supposed to be open. I think the valve stem was broken because I could not reach an end point turning it in either direction (again another issue not to go to). After giving water time to heat up some, I was able to get warm water from the rest of the faucets in the house. By the time I got to the 3rd level, I had shut off the WH gas. Whether the supply was turned off or on was not actually known. But I did obtain water from all hot side faucets in the house EXCEPT the tub. Neither Cold or Hot would come out at the tub unless the sink faucet was turned on in any position. I'm not saying it was not the shutoff valve. It may have been open just slightly and there wasn't enough pressure on that side to get to the 3rd level.
    There was NO water at the tub until both the sink shutoff valves and the faucet were turned on.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: Plumbing Mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    The gas water heater was not on, I lit the pilot and got'er going (another issue, lot's not revisit that). The gate type WH shutoff valve was supposed to be open. I think the valve stem was broken because I could not reach an end point turning it in either direction (again another issue not to go to). After giving water time to heat up some, I was able to get warm water from the rest of the faucets in the house. By the time I got to the 3rd level, I had shut off the WH gas. Whether the supply was turned off or on was not actually known. But I did obtain water from all hot side faucets in the house EXCEPT the tub. Neither Cold or Hot would come out at the tub unless the sink faucet was turned on in any position. I'm not saying it was not the shutoff valve. It may have been open just slightly and there wasn't enough pressure on that side to get to the 3rd level.
    There was NO water at the tub until both the sink shutoff valves and the faucet were turned on.

    Stuart,

    Why would you light the water heater or mess with SOV's?


    Corey


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: Plumbing Mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by Corey Friedman View Post
    Stuart,

    Why would you light the water heater or mess with SOV's?
    Corey
    Let's not start those threads again. Some of us do things differently. Depends on the situation at the time.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: Plumbing Mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Brooks View Post
    Let's not start those threads again. Some of us do things differently. Depends on the situation at the time.
    Play, but if you've ever seen a home inspector with burned off hair, eyebrows, and face, you will never feel the urge to light another gas appliance on an inspection ... not starting those threads again - just sayin' ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Plumbing Mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Play, but if you've ever seen a home inspector with burned off hair, eyebrows, and face, you will never feel the urge to light another gas appliance on an inspection ... not starting those threads again - just sayin' ...
    So, just how long did it take for the eyebrows to grow back?

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: Plumbing Mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    So, just how long did it take for the eyebrows to grow back?
    .
    A Verrry Lonnng Time !

    lee press on eyebrows shown in example attachment.
    .
    .

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Holladay, UT
    Posts
    565

    Default Re: Plumbing Mystery

    Jerry, This is totaly off subject but I noticed in your wonderful picture that you carry some kind of over shoulder bag for your inspections. I am looking for the right bag other than my huge main bag to carry my most used tools. I tried the typical carpenters bag but stuff was always falling out of the bag when I was under sinks etc. What do you all use? Thanks and sorry for getting off track here.

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: Plumbing Mystery

    Tom,

    That photo is quite old, probably close to 10 years old, that strap was my camera bag, but the bag I carried was a pilot's bag with zippered pouches on each end. Still have that bag, but don't use it much anymore.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    St. George, UT
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Plumbing Mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Tom,

    That photo is quite old, probably close to 10 years old, that strap was my camera bag, but the bag I carried was a pilot's bag with zippered pouches on each end. Still have that bag, but don't use it much anymore.
    10 year old photo??? I tell ya' what!----that is what we call a "recent" Photo for a real estate agent's business card.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Holladay, UT
    Posts
    565

    Default Re: Plumbing Mystery

    Hey Larry, How's business in St. George?

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    St. George, UT
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Plumbing Mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    Hey Larry, How's business in St. George?
    Better all the time...remind me to send BO a thank you for all the foreclosures
    the one I'm working on now...missing 1 air conditioning unit, 47 light bulbs...one kitchen...that's right the Kitchen...Ironicly...the only thing they didn't take was "the Kitchen sink"....I should post pictures


  16. #16
    Chuck Kaatz's Avatar
    Chuck Kaatz Guest

    Default Re: Plumbing Mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    Jerry, This is totaly off subject but I noticed in your wonderful picture that you carry some kind of over shoulder bag for your inspections. I am looking for the right bag other than my huge main bag to carry my most used tools. I tried the typical carpenters bag but stuff was always falling out of the bag when I was under sinks etc. What do you all use? Thanks and sorry for getting off track here.
    511 push pack
    Made for conceal and carry
    Works great for inspections

    PUSH Pack | Concealed Carry Bags | 5.11 Tactical


  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    St. George, UT
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Plumbing Mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Kaatz View Post
    511 push pack
    Made for conceal and carry
    Works great for inspections

    PUSH Pack | Concealed Carry Bags | 5.11 Tactical
    usually a Blackhawk Serpa for my SAXD .45ACP (open carry most of the time except on inspections) I love Utah?
    Oh' you mean for my other inspection tools...


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Plumbing Mystery

    Damn!! Reading posts and interacting with you guys is like reading a novel in that I have developed an image in my head of how the poster should look based on his/her writings. NOW Jerry P. has ruined my mental picture of him by revealing his identity!

    It's a bit like reading the novel and then seeing the movie. The movie characters just aren't "right" sometimes based on what is mentally developed from the book.

    Of course there's still hope since the pic is 10 years old!

    Beacon Inspection Services
    Proudly Serving the Greater Henderson and Las Vegas Valley Area in Southern Nevada!
    Like Beacon On Facebook

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    South-West Michigan
    Posts
    469

    Post Re: Plumbing Mystery

    I have experienced the same phenomena when checking "de-winterized" properties. In the more recent case, the water heater was shut down because it was leaking water . . . a fact that was found out when it was "back fed" through the bathroom fixtures.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

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