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Author Topic: [Plumbing] No hot water from only one faucet in the entire house  (Read 18024 times)
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Crux
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« on: December 21, 2009, 10:44:45 PM »

It is as the title says. Given plumbers cost a fricking fortune I thought I'd throw it out there to the GT hivemind first. It is the downstairs kitchen faucet. We have hot water everywhere in the house but at that one faucet. When I say no hot water, I mean if I turn on pure hot water and zero cold water, no water comes out of the faucet at all. Turning on the cold water leads to water as usual. It had hot water a few days ago. Previously the hot water had stopped coming out of that faucet for a few hours a couple of times before. But, it had then started working again.

I checked underneath the sink and as far as I can see all of the valves etc are open and set to what they should be.

Any ideas?
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Blackjack
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2009, 10:49:50 PM »

I'm no plumber (I finally found a plumbing company I trust, and give them all my business because they do things right the first time, not because they're cheap  icon_smile).

However, couple questions:
*Is your water heater gas or electric?
*Do you have any water pipes that are exposed to the elements? (meaning could they freeze up in some parts of your home?). I'm just wondering if maybe a key hot water pipe is freezing up (might explain why you get nothing sometimes). Of course, that wouldn't explain why the cold water is always working.  icon_confused
*I assume no leaks or wet spots under any water pipes that you can see?
====================
It's not similar to your case per se, but I recently had to turn up my gas heater's temperature dial just one notch cause I wasn't consistently getting hot water (often just lukewarm, and just barely hot enough to shower with) anymore. I think may I have some sediment building up in the bottom of it, and maybe that's making it tougher for it to heat up (it's about 9 years old).
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 10:52:06 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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Crux
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2009, 10:51:38 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on December 21, 2009, 10:49:50 PM

I'm no plumber (I finally found a plumbing company I trust, and give them all my business because they do things right the first time, not because they're cheap  icon_smile).

However, couple questions:
*Is your water heater gas or electric?
*Do you have any water pipes that are exposed to the elements? (meaning could they freeze up in some parts of your home?).
====================
It's not similar to your case per se, but I recently had to turn up my gas heater's temperature dial just one notch cause I wasn't consistently getting hot water (often just lukewarm, and just barely hot enough to shower with) anymore. I think may I have some sediment building up in the bottom of it, and maybe that's making it tougher for it to heat up (it's about 9 years old).

Gas water heater. Nothing between the heater and that faucet that should even come close to freezing up. It is all indoors.
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2009, 10:53:22 PM »

Although I leave it to the professionals, I bought a pretty helpful Ortho (something like that) home fix-it book. I'll check it when I get home, and see if it gives any suggestions.

Speaking of which, I better hit the road soon. We had 2 feet of snow and the side roads where I live are gonna be an icy nightmare tonight.
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2009, 10:57:47 PM »

The hot water pipe leading to the valve beneath the sink should be warm if the water inside is warm.  If it isn't, the problem is further back.  If the pipe is warm up to the valve itself, but no water comes out, then your problem is the valve.

Edit:  No wait.  That'll only be true if water is moving through the pipe.  Guaranteed your pipe is cold regardless of where the problem lies.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 11:01:35 PM by DonD » Logged

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Wargus
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2009, 12:01:16 AM »

This isn't the water heater or you wouldn't have hot water anywhere else.

I assume you used to have hot water at this sink? 

It might be a bad valve (probably) and replacign it will fix the issue. The pipe behind it may not be hot because with no flow the hot water won't get to that point (the natural cooling off the pipes might be more than heat transmission down the line).

You also might have sediment in the pipe at a constriction or bend.  In any case, the problem is going to be between that sink and wherever the next junction in the pipe is. 
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2009, 12:16:42 AM »

Quote from: Wargus on December 22, 2009, 12:01:16 AM

This isn't the water heater or you wouldn't have hot water anywhere else.

I assume you used to have hot water at this sink? 

It might be a bad valve (probably) and replacign it will fix the issue. The pipe behind it may not be hot because with no flow the hot water won't get to that point (the natural cooling off the pipes might be more than heat transmission down the line).

You also might have sediment in the pipe at a constriction or bend.  In any case, the problem is going to be between that sink and wherever the next junction in the pipe is. 

I think you've hit it. We had hot water coming out just a few days ago. About two weeks ago, the hot water on that same faucet went out for about 12 hours then came back. We were having water pressure issues at the time so it didn't stand out so much. I'll start fiddling and see what comes up!

Thanks smile
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2009, 04:11:46 AM »

Water pressure problems earlier mean garbage in the line. I would take the valvestem out and look for a chunk of debris.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2009, 04:20:43 AM »

Could be just a bad faucet. Id turn the water off to the hot side under the sink then remove the handle to the hot water and open it up to inspect the washer and stuff in the hot side.
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2009, 11:50:16 AM »

Well, the good news is I accidentally fixed it. I had my bucket ready, was going to take out the feeder line to the hot water for that faucet and see if it was supplying water to the actual faucet or not. I turned the valve off, only to discover that I didn't have a spanner quite big enough to fit around one of the fittings. Just for kicks I turned the valve back on again and voila... water.
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2009, 01:13:51 PM »

Not sure where you live Crux, but I've had similar symptoms and it was caused by the hot water supply pipe freezing.  The pipe ran down an exterior wall and there was about 2 feet of it that was not insulated.  It would freeze over night, not work in the morning, but start working by mid-day.  It was never freezing enough to rupture just enough to stop working and then defrost when the sun came out.  Obviously this isn't your problem if you don't have below freezing temperatures.
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dbt1949
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2009, 01:33:00 PM »

voila means water? I always thought that was a musical instrument in an orchestra.
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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2009, 02:01:59 PM »

Quote from: DonD on December 21, 2009, 10:57:47 PM

The hot water pipe leading to the valve beneath the sink should be warm if the water inside is warm.  If it isn't, the problem is further back.  If the pipe is warm up to the valve itself, but no water comes out, then your problem is the valve.

Edit:  No wait.  That'll only be true if water is moving through the pipe.  Guaranteed your pipe is cold regardless of where the problem lies.

here's a diagram:



TANK
 |
 |
 |
 |-------bathroom faucet
 |
 |
 |
  ------non-working hot water.


The second segment may be cold initially, but if you run the bathroom faucet, it may well warm up the pipes as the cold water gets circulated. If it does NOT, then turn off the house water supply, and drain ALL your lines (hot and cold)  by opening every single water output line at the same time. The only thing with water in it should be the hot water tank. Then turn on the house water and refill the lines and see if the suspect line goes hot.

Tell me, do you have a dishwasher in your kitchen? I'd see if it can produce hot water as it likely ties into the same line. The other thing you could do is disconnect the water line from the tap (after shutting off the house water) and swap it with the cold water. This will identify if it's a problem with the tap or the line. Your "cold" should now run hot, and the "hot" shouldn't produce anything.

Just make sure you have some teflon tape (aka plumbers tape) handy. When re-threading the connection, put at least 3 or 4 layers of teflon tape on the clean, dry threads.

Life is easier if your faucet is connected with braided steel hoses... if it's soldered with copper, then I'd suggest turning off your house water, and disassembling the faucet from the top. (One of) The cartridge(s) may be shot. If you have a decent tap that can be replaced.

If you could provide some digital photos of the underside of your sink, as well as the faucet and any junctions going back to the tank, it would help in understanding where the problem is.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 02:07:11 PM by Purge » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2009, 02:16:51 PM »

I had the diagnosis until you said it stopped after working only 12 hrs previously.

In our old house we had a bathroom shower that never got used and over time if you don't use the hot water it can 'lock up' from lack of use. The remedy was to beat on the knob with a wrench until it loosened back up and bam we had hot water again.
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« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2009, 02:33:42 PM »

Quote from: Crux on December 22, 2009, 11:50:16 AM

Well, the good news is I accidentally fixed it. I had my bucket ready, was going to take out the feeder line to the hot water for that faucet and see if it was supplying water to the actual faucet or not. I turned the valve off, only to discover that I didn't have a spanner quite big enough to fit around one of the fittings. Just for kicks I turned the valve back on again and voila... water.

Glad it is working now but the problem is probably still there.  It sounds like it must be gunk in the pipes so a good snaking of the pipe would be a good idea.

 
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« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2009, 02:38:11 PM »

It's aliens.
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Crux
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« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2009, 03:14:32 PM »

Quote from: farley2k on December 22, 2009, 02:33:42 PM

Quote from: Crux on December 22, 2009, 11:50:16 AM

Well, the good news is I accidentally fixed it. I had my bucket ready, was going to take out the feeder line to the hot water for that faucet and see if it was supplying water to the actual faucet or not. I turned the valve off, only to discover that I didn't have a spanner quite big enough to fit around one of the fittings. Just for kicks I turned the valve back on again and voila... water.

Glad it is working now but the problem is probably still there.  It sounds like it must be gunk in the pipes so a good snaking of the pipe would be a good idea.

 

Agreed. This wasn't the first time we had lost water out of that faucet (specifically the hot water), but previously it had started working again after only a short hiatus. The timing was terrible because my wife and her friend had baked a ton of cookies and cupcakes for Christmas presents, and a lot of the baking stuff doesn't fit in the dishwasher. So we had all these dirty dishes and no good way to clean them.

I'll have to get the right-sized wrench and pulll that thing apart to clean it in the next week or two.
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« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2009, 01:39:34 PM »

Quote from: Daehawk on December 22, 2009, 04:20:43 AM

Could be just a bad faucet. Id turn the water off to the hot side under the sink then remove the handle to the hot water and open it up to inspect the washer and stuff in the hot side.



This, everytime our main line breaks ive got to go "knock" the pipes per say, take apart the toilet innards and clean it out, and all of the faucet wire meshes.
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« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2009, 12:20:01 AM »

Quote from: Crux on December 22, 2009, 03:14:32 PM

Quote from: farley2k on December 22, 2009, 02:33:42 PM

Quote from: Crux on December 22, 2009, 11:50:16 AM

Well, the good news is I accidentally fixed it. I had my bucket ready, was going to take out the feeder line to the hot water for that faucet and see if it was supplying water to the actual faucet or not. I turned the valve off, only to discover that I didn't have a spanner quite big enough to fit around one of the fittings. Just for kicks I turned the valve back on again and voila... water.

Glad it is working now but the problem is probably still there.  It sounds like it must be gunk in the pipes so a good snaking of the pipe would be a good idea.

 

Agreed. This wasn't the first time we had lost water out of that faucet (specifically the hot water), but previously it had started working again after only a short hiatus. The timing was terrible because my wife and her friend had baked a ton of cookies and cupcakes for Christmas presents, and a lot of the baking stuff doesn't fit in the dishwasher. So we had all these dirty dishes and no good way to clean them.

I'll have to get the right-sized wrench and pulll that thing apart to clean it in the next week or two.

You know you can clean dishes with cold water as long as you have soap, it just takes a little extra work.
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Crux
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« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2009, 01:33:51 AM »

Quote from: Wargus on December 24, 2009, 12:20:01 AM

Quote from: Crux on December 22, 2009, 03:14:32 PM

Quote from: farley2k on December 22, 2009, 02:33:42 PM

Quote from: Crux on December 22, 2009, 11:50:16 AM

Well, the good news is I accidentally fixed it. I had my bucket ready, was going to take out the feeder line to the hot water for that faucet and see if it was supplying water to the actual faucet or not. I turned the valve off, only to discover that I didn't have a spanner quite big enough to fit around one of the fittings. Just for kicks I turned the valve back on again and voila... water.

Glad it is working now but the problem is probably still there.  It sounds like it must be gunk in the pipes so a good snaking of the pipe would be a good idea.

  

Agreed. This wasn't the first time we had lost water out of that faucet (specifically the hot water), but previously it had started working again after only a short hiatus. The timing was terrible because my wife and her friend had baked a ton of cookies and cupcakes for Christmas presents, and a lot of the baking stuff doesn't fit in the dishwasher. So we had all these dirty dishes and no good way to clean them.

I'll have to get the right-sized wrench and pulll that thing apart to clean it in the next week or two.

You know you can clean dishes with cold water as long as you have soap, it just takes a little extra work.

Sure but given the number and size of some of these dishes and bowls, it was going to be a huge job with cold water. Plus, this was all stuff that will be packed away and not used for a while, so it needed to be very clean.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2009, 01:41:43 AM »

I haven't had hot water in the kitchen in nearly 2 years now. And I can say that well water in the winter HURTS. I either have to boil it or get it from the bathtub.
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