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Plumbing Mystery Help?

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  • #16
    Re: Plumbing Mystery Help?

    Originally posted by rookie plumber View Post
    Do you have isolation valves on both sides of the new pump as recommended by most pump manufacturers? Are you absolutely sure that when you purged the line you were not pulling from the bottom of the tank? When you did purge the line, the return piping was hot? If so I am leaning towards a check valve or flow issue between the pump and the heater.

    I told you wrong
    . The maintenance person purged the line today and said it never got hot. I thought otherwise. My bad.

    Isolation valves-yes.

    I'm leaning more and more towards the dropped gate on the entry of the water heater.

    By the way, thanks for all help & questions to try and get to this working right. Hope I help others as much.

    J.C.

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    • #17
      Re: Plumbing Mystery Help?

      You'll get it figured out so easily once you get on site.Too bad you were tied up elsewhere or you would've gotten it today.

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      • #18
        Re: Plumbing Mystery Help?

        Originally posted by drtyhands View Post
        You'll get it figured out so easily once you get on site.Too bad you were tied up elsewhere or you would've gotten it today.
        Thanks. I try real hard not to ask things like this here as I think I should know the solution.

        I just hope it does't "accidentally" right itself. I need to know what's going on if you know what I mean.

        J.C.

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Plumbing Mystery Help?

          Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
          Thanks. I try real hard not to ask things like this here as I think I should know the solution.

          I just hope it does't "accidentally" right itself. I need to know what's going on if you know what I mean.

          J.C.
          J.C.
          I have many,many years in this.I make mistakes and do not know everything.Everone here makes mistakes and has questions.Even if they don't post them.I've seen it.
          Don't worry about it.We're here to make things easier for each other.

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Plumbing Mystery Help?

            Today:

            Maintenance person calls about 9:30 a.m.-no hot water.

            Leave a job and get there. Walk into the main heater room on the bottom floor. Put my hand on the recirc line. Hot.

            Start checking faucets. Real hot. Run into the maintenance person and he tells me that he went to the top floor and turned on a faucet and got "alot of air" out, then water, then hot water.

            I'm gonna' check every faucet anyway. So I start checking every one of them. Top, third, second (one sink), bottom. All hot, all good. Then check the recirc pump & line. Good & hot too.

            So I start checking the rest of the second floors sinks. This is the floor with the independent water heater that I replaced at their request. Didn't do much troubleshooting on the old one-they just requested a larger one. The water is warm, cool, lukewarm, just all over the place. I check the water heater and it acts as if it's not heating at all. Hot pipe just barely warm. Pull the panels and get the meter out. Start troubleshooting down the tree-no problems anywhere on the heater. Elements, thermostats, main power are all good. But the heater's interior tank is not even lukewarm at the bottom as I touch it with my finger to check. And there has not been high hot water turnover. Don't think it's impossible I was there. I head to the first floor......

            I want to get into the ceiling below the heater as I start to think someone has cross connected something at some point and noone knows or is telling me. Fortunately it's a dropped ceiling.

            While I'm all the way back down I go into the main heater room and check the recirc line. Hot. All good.
            I get up in the ceiling and trace the line going into the second floor water heater and coming out all the way to the last fixture. No cross connection anywhere.

            Whle I'm here I go check sinks on the ground floor. Hot hot. Good. Go back to the second floor and look under all of the sinks. All of them (6) have point of use temp controls & checkvalves under them. Hmmmmm......
            The heater is beginning to get warmer on the outlet pipe now although I have done nothing to the heater. Check a few sinks. Warm, cool, erratic.

            I shut the water off to the heater. Still get water out of every sink on the hotside. I'm thinking crossover at the temp controls/check valve. Which sink?

            I decide to go to the third floor and check the hot water there coming off the ground floor heater with recirc line. Real hot, all good at every sink. I go to the top floor and do the same thing. Real hot, all good. Just want to constantly be doublechecking as this thing is driving me a little nuts.

            Go to the second floor just to check that the heater is working. It is coming to temperature.

            Go to the first floor and put in all of the ceiling tiles. Check the sinks, heater, recirc line. All hot, all good.

            I tell the maintenance person that I think there is a crossover on the second floor at one of the sinks that's causing all of the temperature fluctuations and everything to act the it does on that floor. We agree to scope it out and correct it in the next few days. I have to go to the next call about 12 miles away. Get about 10 miles from there and the phone rings. No hot water anywhere.

            Go to the next job anyway to make some face time at least. See what I need and head back. Get there and walk into the main water heater room-recirc line hot. Check sinks on the ground floor-hot. I do know this person well and he will not lie to me. So between the time when he called and when I got there things started working again. And I honestly don't believe they have that high of hot water turnover but I don't have a meter on it either. One good size kitchen and 2 people working it. We troubleshoot the main heater and find that one of the elements is down (fuse blown). Replace and troubleshoot every part. Working fine. Recirc line hot and sinks that it serves are hot all the way to the top and down.

            The heater is a 120 gallon 75 amp-three element-single stat controlled electric Rheem heater. Bottom fed, top outlet. It serves a commercial type kitchen but they don't have the turnover that a typical one would have. I was there today while it was in full operation watching. It also serves 1 service sink on the second floor. 4 lavs. on the third floor. And 4 lavs. on the fourth floor. All have very little turnover. I did not run into 1 person using a sink when I wanted to run water to test. And I was up, down, all over the place.

            The other heater on the second (40 gallon upright) floor serves 6 lavs. & a washing machine. It is not piped from the first floor main heater. Don't know why but that's how they did it. Independent hot of everything else. Also, very low turnover. No hot water was ran through the washing machine while I was there checking everything. I checked both hoses twice also while I was trying to figure things out over the 2+ hour period. No crossover there that I could tell.

            Through a little more intense interrogation of one of the workers there I find out that the second floor (40 gallon upright) has been giving problems for a long while.

            But everything else has been fine until. All I did on that system is replace the pump that has been down for I don't know how long. They were thinking that it would improve the second floor problems but noone had traced it out. I told them that replacing the pump may do nothing at all before we did any work and it was up to them whether they wanted to do anything with it or not. They said replace it and now everything has been cursed since.

            Just keeping you posted. All ideas and constructive criticism is welcome.

            Thanks.

            J.C.

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            • #21
              Re: Plumbing Mystery Help?

              O/K times up.

              What's the verdict?

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              • #22
                Re: Plumbing Mystery Help?

                Oh crap,you put the pump in backwards.

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                • #23
                  Re: Plumbing Mystery Help?

                  No.

                  The pump is in correctly as I have been checking it like I have OCD.

                  J.C.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Plumbing Mystery Help?

                    Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                    No.

                    The pump is in correctly as I have been checking it like I have OCD.

                    J.C.
                    sorry...sorry...I mean sorry...I'm really sorry...sorry

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Plumbing Mystery Help?

                      After the interrogation you found out they had trouble with the 2nd water heater for a while ...and all you did ,,realy was start the recirc line again ..it gets hot and cold and the #2 tank has trouble, cold to touch
                      I would keep looking there for some kind of conection

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                      • #26
                        Re: Plumbing Mystery Help?

                        Thanks Del. That is the area I'm concentrating on.

                        Gibson or Epiphone? Jealous either way.

                        J.C.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Plumbing Mystery Help?

                          I installed a Water heater in January. I got done and lit the pilot and burner and all was fine. I went in side to install a W/C. When I finished that we tested the water. It was cold. So I checked the heater. Pilot was on and the burner was working fine. I left the faucet on and investigated at the heater . The cold supply line was hot the hot side was cold.
                          I turned off the recirc pump and closed the ball valve. Immediately the cold side was cold and the hot got hot. I am assuming it was a bad check valve because I had not touched anything else and the customer claimed it had been working for years.
                          How else would water go the wrong way through the pipe?
                          It is a much simpler system than yours but it is all I have.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Plumbing Mystery Help?

                            Thanks Easy. I've explored that some today also. Might need to check further. Good reminder.

                            J.C.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Plumbing Mystery Help?

                              Judging from your post this afternoon it sounds like air is the culprit thwarting your pump. After the third and forth floors were purged the system worked. Then, later it didn't work. I think you've still got a little air in there somewhere that's intermittently causing havoc. How about turning on every faucet and lettin' her rip for a couple of minutes?
                              As for the other heater, I haven't a clue, though your guess that there's a cross connection below one of the sinks sounds possible.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Plumbing Mystery Help?

                                I love a good plumbing mystery, don't you?

                                Your answer lies in the kitchen. Go there, hog tie the staff and make them listen to Celine Dion at full volume. One of them will crack before she finishes the sountrack to Beauty and The Beast, trust me. This method is a little unorthodox but very effective with these types of things.

                                While you're there, check the commercial sprayer on the sink. I'm getting a strong vibe that's where the problem is

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