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Water Fluctuation in Condominium - help

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  • Water Fluctuation in Condominium - help

    Hello,
    We are the managers of a highrise Tridel condominium in Richmond Hill (198 units, approx. 20 years old). We are having an ongoing problem with water fluctuation in the spare bathrooms in all suites on the '25 & '26 lines in the building. This has been ongoing for approximately 4 months.
    When using their spare bathrooms, both the sink & the shower, the water fluctuates between normal temperatures, to scalding hot, to lukewarm, to cold - at varying times of the day/night. Some residents have had to jump out of their showers as the water turned very quickly.
    We have had 2 different plumbers into the building and an HVAC technician for the hot water boiler. The HVAC technician said the boiler was in perfect working condition. Both plumbers have flushed the recirculation line (a total of 4 times), we changed a shower cartridge in one suite to see if a cartridge was the problem, but the water continued to fluctuate. We have tried a few other things, but nothing has worked.
    We are at our wits end and have no idea what could be causing this situation, and the plumbers have no further suggestions. We'd really appreciate any assitance you might be able to offer.
    Thanks very much for any help offered!

  • #2
    Re: Water Fluctuation in Condominium - help

    i would have said the cartridge but maybe you might have to install a pressure balancing valve.... or maybe a tempering valve from the boiler room. Sending tempered water to the building may help in decreaseing such a drastic change in temps.... and a the pressure balancing valve should also work on the same principal. When you flush the toilet and someone is gets scaled in the shower. that was the old way but now the shower valves have a temp and or pressure balanceing valve built in. Hopefully this may point you in a closer direction towards the solution
    if u cant bedazzle em with briliance, baffle em with bulls&*t

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Water Fluctuation in Condominium - help

      If you have Moen 1225 B cartridges they are all going to need to be changed. At least the ones tied into that part of the system. In the long run you will be better off having everyone change there shower valves with new pressure balancing valves. The new valves are code now in most areas for this reason. Until you can get this fixed , you should lower the temperature as to avoid any accidents ( kids being burned , law suits ). Its not cheap but in the long run the best thing to do.
      Last edited by Crappy days; 02-22-2008, 12:58 AM.
      THE GLASS IS ALWAYS HALF FULL

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Water Fluctuation in Condominium - help

        Originally posted by Crappy days View Post
        If you have Moen 1225 B cartridges they are all going to need to be changed. At least the ones tied into that part of the system. In the long run you will be better off having everyone change there shower valves with new pressure balancing valves. The new valves are code now in most areas for this reason. Until you can get this fixed , you should lower the temperature as to avoid any accidents ( kids being burned , law suits ). Its not cheap but in the long run the best thing to do.
        I'm trying to understand how this affects the matter of fluctuation.Can you explain.I don't see crossover unless the valve is open.I'm fairly confident I could trouble shoot the building.But if it had these cartridges why would another unit scald if it was closed.What am I missing.Sorry,I need help with this one.Thanks

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Water Fluctuation in Condominium - help

          Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
          I'm trying to understand how this affects the matter of fluctuation.Can you explain.I don't see crossover unless the valve is open.I'm fairly confident I could trouble shoot the building.But if it had these cartridges why would another unit scald if it was closed.What am I missing.Sorry,I need help with this one.Thanks
          The old Moen 1225 b cartridge is notorious for bleeding as they get older thus fluctuation in temperature. Imagine taking a shower and the water turns warm next you adjust the temp hotter next thing you know the temp goes back to normal at the higher adjustment . Or the neighbores unit is bleeding on the hot over to the cold , your temp is running fine and then a hot burst. Most new construction guys are never going to run into this. It takes time for the cartridge to go bad (usually).
          THE GLASS IS ALWAYS HALF FULL

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Water Fluctuation in Condominium - help

            the brass 1200 moen cartridge is a potential issue. not the 1225 plastic magnum cartridge. the plastic cartridge can't cross over. only the brass cartridge can cross without leaking.

            personally it's a pressure issue. on a building of this size. you have at least 3 or 4 pressure zones. if the cold system and the hot system are not at the same static pressure or the regulators are failing, you will have an issue.

            i am working in a 27 story residential building tomorrow and it's this configuration. i've worked there since the building was new and this was an issue there too. now it's all ok

            rick.

            now after reading some more and talking to adam, it doesn't sound like a pressure issue. it sounds like a possible cross. either a valve or a direct cross from a divertor valve. a pressure issue should affect the entire suite and not just 1 area.

            how many bathrooms are an issue?

            what brand of fixtures are installed?

            shutting off an isolation valve will affect what floors?

            i think we need a little more info as there can be a variety of issues and it's not a simple answer sight unseen.

            maybe a field trip is the answer?
            Last edited by PLUMBER RICK; 02-22-2008, 01:42 AM. Reason: update.
            phoebe it is

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Water Fluctuation in Condominium - help

              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
              the brass 1200 moen cartridge is a potential issue. not the 1225 plastic magnum cartridge. the plastic cartridge can't cross over. only the brass cartridge can cross without leaking.

              personally it's a pressure issue. on a building of this size. you have at least 3 or 4 pressure zones. if the cold system and the hot system are not at the same static pressure or the regulators are failing, you will have an issue.

              i am working in a 27 story residential building tomorrow and it's this configuration. i've worked there since the building was new and this was an issue there too. now it's all ok

              rick.
              Had a building two years ago that had been change out to the plastic cartridge. Once the rear inner O ring goes it can happen . And of course there are those home owners and tenants who allow them to leak for months before they repair them. This could be one of several problems I would look at dealing with.
              Last edited by Crappy days; 02-22-2008, 02:54 AM.
              THE GLASS IS ALWAYS HALF FULL

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Water Fluctuation in Condominium - help

                Originally posted by Crappy days View Post
                The old Moen 1225 b cartridge is notorious for bleeding as they get older thus fluctuation in temperature. Imagine taking a shower and the water turns warm next you adjust the temp hotter next thing you know the temp goes back to normal at the higher adjustment . Or the neighbores unit is bleeding on the hot over to the cold , your temp is running fine and then a hot burst. Most new construction guys are never going to run into this. It takes time for the cartridge to go bad (usually).
                Thanks Crappy.My network has a lot of people that have existing homes.For instance a so and so that we are building a house for also has a mansion in another city 20 miles away that could be well over 20 years old.So we are periodically troubleshooting and problem solving.Got to try and make em all happy....You Know

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Water Fluctuation in Condominium - help

                  Hiya
                  The water is being affected in 30 suites (15 suites per line) and it's only affecting their "spare" bathrooms - not the main bathrooms in each suite. And the water in both the sink and the shower are doing this.

                  The fixtures are Symmons Temptrol S-96-2.

                  There's a shutoff valve in each unit and a shut-off valve for each riser. It will shut off all suites if we shut off the riser.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Water Fluctuation in Condominium - help

                    i'm not a big symmons fan. i would contact symmons and find out if this particular valve is capable of crossing without leaking out of the fixture.

                    i know that the valve cartridge is capable of leaking from the packing nut even with the valve off. and the seats are a pain to replace without a proper symmons seat wrench.

                    trying to picture the seat assy, without looking in my truck. i believe that it has an o-ring assy. not 100% sure if the o-ring failure will cause a cross and not a leak.

                    is it practical to shut off the shower valves at each unit and test for a cross.

                    there should be isolation/ service stops on these valves. it also gives you a chance to check the suites for a possible cross on a divertor valve.

                    you should be able to shut either the hot, cold , or both. if it's crossing, you will hear it as you open or close the stops.

                    still not sure about the pressure zones as i'm not sure how your building is designed. are the pressures even on both the hot and cold side?

                    rick.
                    phoebe it is

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Water Fluctuation in Condominium - help

                      What were the plumbers hoping to find by flushing the recirc line 4 times?

                      Let's just keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results?

                      It could be a dozen different things causing this problem or a combination of several. Some of which have been mentioned here. A good plumber would have checked these items already and not shrugged his shoulders and walked away.

                      Condo buildings of this size should not have a complicated layout but have the plumber review the 'as built' drawings for possible problems. Isolating and finding the source of a crossover shouldn't take too long.

                      Keep in mind that a condo building is a tight knit community and mass hysteria can easily breakout. Mrs. Magillicutty from #2B mentions having a shower problem while in the elevator and .....

                      Check the records for any plumbing work that was done when this all started. Some work may not have had the boards approval so this may be harder to find out.

                      At 20 years old, some parts of the plumbing system may be beginning to fail. As mentioned, shower valves are a good starting place. Balancing valves, pumps, washing machines selonoid failures are not uncommon at this age.

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