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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We had a leaky cold water supply faucet in our laundry room that spawned some mold and mildew, and to be certain that we don't have any lasting effects from the moisture, my wife tore out the sheetrock to expose the studs and sprayed everything down with Bactroban.

Now we have the task of repairing the wall, which is not a major challenge since my wife is pretty handy with drywall repair. One thing that we would like to do is "update" the appearance of that area, because the previous owners simply left a square hole between the studs where the faucets and drain were accessible. I fixed that up a couple of years ago by making a "frame" of sorts that a little panel slid down over the hoses. It wasn't pretty, but it was better. Unfortunately, it didn't encase the pipes so there was always the possibility of "guests" getting into the walls through that location.

I looked up the plastic boxes that are used in laundry room installations, and it doesn't lok like those are an option for us because of the way the faucets are connected. Both the hot and cold are screwed onto the third leg of a three way connector that appears to be sweated on the other two legs (effectively tapping into a line that continues on to other points.

Most boxes appear to be designed to allow connections that terminate in the box. Some have top knockouts, but that would require having a plumber come out and disconnect the T connections so the box could be fitted and then reattach them.

Can any of you come up with an idea for making a "clean" solution to enclose the connectors while still making them accessible?

Steve
 

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We had a leaky cold water supply faucet in our laundry room that spawned some mold and mildew.........Both the hot and cold are screwed onto the third leg of a three way connector that appears to be sweated on the other two legs (effectively tapping into a line that continues on to other points.......
I think I would unscrew the 2 valves and screw in some short sections and elbows to get the plumbing outside the wall. Then attach a single-point shut-off valve.

The single-point shut-off is easy to use, which usually means that it will be regularly used. Which in turn means that you shouldn’t have any problems from the washer flex hoses blowing out when unattended. And by keeping all flex plumbing outside the wall, any leaks can easily be seen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think I would unscrew the 2 valves and screw in some short sections and elbows to get the plumbing outside the wall. Then attach a single-point shut-off valve.
Hmm. What about the drain pipe? Wouldn't an elbow at the top of that pipe be a potential backflow problem during the draining process?
 

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I would defently stub them out to the outside of the wall, and put in a new one lever valve. they are real nice, and as was said, you tend to use it all the time becouse its easy.
 

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Steve,

I recommend that whatever you do, replace those rubber hoses with braided stainless lines. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK. I've taking all of this under advisement. Can anyone post a link to one of the single handle valves? I tried Googling and checking HD, and came up empty. I'll definitely look at the braided hoses.

What about my followup question from yesterday? Right now, the drain hose from the washer is just resting in the drain pipe which goes straight down through the bottom plate. If I come off of that with any sort of angle, will it generate backflow problems?

There's no vent for the drain pipe, and I can't swear there's a p-trap (if there is, it's below the floor). Out here in the country, washing machines are frequently drained directly onto the property, not into the septic system, and that's what we found when we moved in.
 

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I wouldn't see a problem in using two 45* elbows to make an offset to get outside the wall. A short piece of pipe may need to be placed in between them to get the offset to come out far enough.
 

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Grainger or McMaster Carr should have any valve you need. They are industrial supply comapanies.

the trap should be down near the floor. You can put it sideways in the wall. Just put a 22.5 degree fitting and extend it up through the wall.

The inserts they make to go in the wall work very well. Plumging is very, very simple.

You can go to a hardware store and have any galvanised pipe cut and threaded to length. If you have copper it is very easy to swet the joints. You can find how to do that on line.

If you have galvanised pipe in the wall I would run copper to the out lets form the galvanised.
* NOTE that if you make a change that you need to get special fittings. Copper can not touch the galvanised pipe. It will cause electrolysis and cause a major leak. The fittings urn about $3 each. You can take a little hand torch and swet the joints together. Just use emery paper on the ends of the copper pipe. Use flux on the pipe slip together and heat the bottom side and put the solder on the top. It will suck itself around with no extra work. Make a practice piece. It is easy to melt the copper. it does not take long to do. Just do not set the wall on fire. I use a sheet of stainless steel when working in a wall.

It takes no longer than all these post have taken. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'll have to relook at what I have in there. There's a T-fitting that is "sweated" onto the copper that runs past there. The thrid leg of the T is a 1/2 threaded connector. If that is copper as well, I may need to replace the piece that the hardware store sold me, as it is galvanized.

On a related note, I bought a 5-1/2 long pipe nipple to bring the cold water connection out from the wall and I put a 1/4-turn ball joint sillcock to repace the old one. I bought the pieces to do the hot water side as well, but I realized yesterday that there's no shutoff on the outlet from the water heater. Is there a way to "turn off" the hot water pressure short of draining the tank? There is a shutoff to stop cold water from going into the water heater, but no shutoff for the outlet.

I should drain it anyway, but that's another project that may have to wait, and if I have to do both on the same day, so be it. When I do, I may cut the CPVC above the water heater and add a shutoff valve.

Thanks,

Steve
 

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Steve,

No shut off on the outlet of the water heater is not a problem at all. First, shut off the power or gas to the WH and turn off the valve on the cold inlet side. You do not have to drain the entire tank, just relieve the pressure. This is a great time to flush the sediments out of the WH anyway.

After turning off the power/gas and shutting off the water inlet, place a bucket under the bottom drain, or if the heater is not high enough off of the floor, attach a garden hose to the valve and turn it on. Let it run until it runs clear. At this time, shut off the drain valve and check any nearby hot water tap for pressure. If you have no pressure, you're done. If you have pressure, just drain some more out. No problem.

Draining the sediments out of the WH will extend the life of the unit and it is not hard to do at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, dj2cohen, I suspected as much. I will likely take care of this while we still have this unseasonably cool weather (no A/C in the laundry room).

The longer we live in this house, the more amazed I am at the folks that built it. The copper pipes that the washer hookups tap into were never strapped to any of the studs, and the "drop ear tee" fittings that the pipe nipples screw into were never fastened to anything to support the joint while tightening/loosing the threaded connections. Everything's just hanging loose in the wall.

I don't know how they tightened the original connections without bending the copper.

Steve
 

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Check out 'Watts" website:
http://www.watts.com/pro/_products_sub.asp?catId=64&parCat=279
They have several different styles, including the basic like Ingersoll posted & all the way up to auto shut-off type w/ drain if a line breaks.
You can get any of them at your local plumbing supply store or maybe even Lowes/HD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Copper can not touch the galvanised pipe. It will cause electrolysis and cause a major leak.
OK, upon further inspection, here's what I have in the wall now:


1/2" Copper Drop Ear Tee

I didn't know to ask or mention this at the building supply store. So now I know that screwing a galvanized pipe nipple into this fitting is bad.

What metals won't react adversely with the copper joint?

Brass?
Black Iron?
Chrome Plated?

Or do I need to go with CPVC or Schedule 40?

Thanks,
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK, guys, I need some more help here. I went to a plumbing supply house rather than HD or Lowes. I told them that I wanted two 1/2" x 6" Brass Pipe Nipples to do this work.

The young man told me that he didn't have brass ones longer than 4", but that I could use galvanized. When I asked him about the electrolysis/corrosion problems, he said if it's not right at the water heater, it won't be a problem.

This flies in the face of what I have learned here and elsewhere. Am I wasting my time, or should I insist on getting brass to join with the copper? I'd rather wait a few days to finish and feel comfortable with the job than get the galvanized and cause a problem down the road.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Progress made! Since I posted yeasterday, I just couldn't come to peace with the idea that the copper/galvanized joint might one day leak. I find too many things that were done wrong here and ask "what were they thinking?" and I don't want to be that guy in 20 years!

So I hunted around and believe it or not, Home Depot had the 1/2" x 6" brass pipe nipples I was seeking.

I also worked out a drain solution.

The first pic shows the new sillcocks with the brass extensions in place, but the washer drain hose not in place, so you can see the drain pipe.

The second pic shows my fabricated drain extension. The rubber gasket makes the joint between iron and Schedule 40, then there's a 90 degree street elbow, then a 6 1/4" length of pipe, then another 90 and finally a 4" length of pipe that will accept the hose from the washer. I haven't made it permanent yet. I'll do that on drywall day.

I'll probably put a block under the horizontal section of the drain, so it has some support and isn't relying on the drywall to hold it up.

We are going to drywall over the entire opening, leaving only holes large enough for the plumbing to reach through. Then we can finish it and the holes will be covered up.

So, do you think I should try to find a reducer that will let me clamp the washer drain hose directly to the new drain pipe for a finished look, or just leave it with a "gravity" mount hanging the pipe in?

Steve
 

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Looks good Steve.

I have never clamped a washer hose into the drain line, but it certainly wouldn't hurt anything. I haven't see one come out from the pressure either, but that doesn't mean that it couldn't/wouldn't happen.

Have you tried the drain yet?

The reason that I said to use 45* elbows instead of 90's in an earlier post is that the 45's provide a lot less resistance to the water flowing on down the drain. I am just thinking about the washer pumping out and throwing water pressure against the horizontal section of pipe and blowing the hose out of the pipe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Haven't tried it yet (also haven't glued it yet).

I looked at the 45 option, and I may still go with that. My main reason for not wanting to is I don't have any way to cut the iron pipe, and using 45's will mean I have to bring the top of my finished product up about 6" or so. Right now, the whole thing is still below the horizontal surface of the washing machine top.

I'm going to look too to see if I can find some sort of cap to give a finished look to the top of the drain pipe. Maybe a compression fitting would clean it up. Maybe something that looks like this:



I've decided NOT to clamp the hose to it, as the washer drain is a gravity flow, and there's no vent, so I wouldn't want to force the washing machine pump to fight to get the water out.

My last thing will be to replace the washer drain hose itself. Instead of the black rubber one, I will get a light grey corrugated one (unless someone knows where I could find a braided one to match the hot and cold hoses) :)

My wife is ready to get the drywall done so we can mark this project off the list. She's also threatening to take pictures and post other Honey Do's on MTF so that I'll be forced to start working on them. Can a moderator get language added to the Terms of Service to outlaw that before this nasty idea takes root? :praying:

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Wow, did I mention how much I love plumbing repair?

My wife told me the other day that the hot water sillcock was leaking "just a tiny drop". That tiny drop took 3 hours to fix!

She was right. The exposed threads behind the sillcock were just the tiniest bit wet.

So I started draining the water heater again, relieved the pressure, and removed the sillcock. I retaped the threads, replaced the sillcock and filled the water heater. <drip>

So I started draining the water heater for the third time, relieved the pressure, and removed the sillcock. I retaped the threads, replaced the sillcock and filled the water heater. <drip>

Finally, I started draining the water heater for the fourth time, relieved the pressure, and removed the sillcock and the pipe nipple. I retaped both ends of the pipe nipple, reversed it, replaced the sillcock, screwed the pipe nipple into the Tee and filled the water heater.

I told my wife it will either a) move the drip to the other end, indicating a defect with the pipe nipple, b) keep the drip at the sillcock, indicating a defect of the sillcock, or c) stop the leak entirely.

The answer is C! :bannana:

Now we can move on to the drain attachment and drywall phase.
 
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