I thought we were done with this. When we moved into the basement, we were finally using the new plumbing exclusively. The old galvanized pipe was completely disconnected and I assumed that meant our random plumbing issues were behind us. Unfortunately, that turned out not to be the case, and the cause was one we’ve become quite familiar with: freezing. All our pipes are in the basement, which is heated, so here again, I thought our frozen pipe problems were in the past as well. Of course, there’s an exception: the washer and dryer are on the unheated first floor. Our original plan was to fit them into the basement while we are living down here, but we didn’t have much room and we opted instead for our dishwasher.

The plumbing lines that goes up the first floor is new copper, and it has a quarter-turn valve about 18 inches above the floor level in the wet wall. We’ve been shutting off that valve and draining the water past it when it gets really cold so we don’t break our washing machine (again). We noticed water dripping in the mechanical room and investigation revealed that the valve itself had failed, with water dripping from a seam in the valve body. Presumably this is due to freezing.

I went to Home Depot and of course they were out of stock, so I went to Menards and picked up the replacement valve and some sundry other supplies. Then I discovered I was out of flux, so I went back to Home Depot for that, so in other words it was a typical project. I managed to solder in the new valve with a length of pipe and a male adapter so I could connect our temporary PEX washer pipes. I also capped the hot water line, which I’d been meaning to do for a while. Finally, I wrapped all the pipes in the heating cable and covered it in pipe insulation that we had lying around from previous frozen plumbing escapades.

Water is no longer dripping in the mechanical room and hopefully we won’t have any further plumbing mishaps. I’m starting to work through how all the new drain and vent will be run, since I need to remove the remaining old stuff, and we obviously need a functional vent to the roof. I also pulled out the rest of the old supply plumbing from the second floor, so we officially have no more galvanized pipe in the house!

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2 Responses to Unexpected Plumbing, Again

  1. gary says:

    Hello there!!! Just found your site while looking for info on how to “cut-in” a new staircase. I can so identify with you guys! After my wife and I married we purchased a house built in the late 1890’s. It was in awful condition and no bank would give a mortgage on it. The owner financed it. Anyhow, I had zero experience in home repair …… Running out of battery will continue later. Keep the faith!

    – Gary from NJ

  2. Matt says:

    Always happy to hear from a kindred spirit!

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