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Old 07-02-2010, 10:34 AM   #1
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Plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics et al love a clutzy DIYer. We used to joke about them (fondly) when I worked at a VW service center decades ago. Well, I have always been among the clutziest and I proved it once again this morning. A toilet stopped filling so I picked up a new fill valve mechanism. As I finished disconnecting the old one I realized this was the toilet with the shutoff valve that doesn't shut off all the way. I vaguely remembered having problems the last time I repaired this one. Sooo, I struggle to get it installed - the spot where the feed connects to the fill valve is in a corner almost inaccessible and impossible to see when my hands are in there with the wrench. First effort leaks a little -- oh yeah, I needed plumber's tape last time. Second effort with the plumber's tape is better but still leaks a little. The final effort with sufficient cursing to make it fun results in a cross thread and a lot of leaking, even with the shut off as tight as I can get it.

Waiting for the pros now. Maybe I should protect my masculinity by hiding somewhere and having DW say she did it
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:48 AM   #2
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:50 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
Plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics et al love a clutzy DIYer. We used to joke about them (fondly) when I worked at a VW service center decades ago. Well, I have always been among the clutziest and I proved it once again this morning. A toilet stopped filling so I picked up a new fill valve mechanism. As I finished disconnecting the old one I realized this was the toilet with the shutoff valve that doesn't shut off all the way. I vaguely remembered having problems the last time I repaired this one. Sooo, I struggle to get it installed - the spot where the feed connects to the fill valve is in a corner almost inaccessible and impossible to see when my hands are in there with the wrench. First effort leaks a little -- oh yeah, I needed plumber's tape last time. Second effort with the plumber's tape is better but still leaks a little. The final effort with sufficient cursing to make it fun results in a cross thread and a lot of leaking, even with the shut off as tight as I can get it.

Waiting for the pros now. Maybe I should protect my masculinity by hiding somewhere and having DW say she did it
Have a BIL who pulled a toilet because it didn't flush well. Now leaving aside the fact that his trouble shooting fell short of leading to pulling the toilet, when he reinstalled the toilet he got all animal on the two mounting bolts and broke the toilet bowl. Off to Home Depot 15 miles away he went to buy a new bowl. Came back, unbolted the tank from the broken bowl and attached it to the new bowl and installed the toilet. He then managed to drop the tank lid on the tank, breaking that. Back to Home Depot 15 miles away for a new tank. Bolted that on and except for the toilet not flushing well all was good.

Oh, except for one minor detail. The bowl is white and the tank is beige. My sister is just happy to have a toilet that sorta works again after having an out of commission bathroom for 3 days.

Plumbing is that way - I've started with a drip and ended up replacing drain lines all the way into the wall, one new bit at a time.
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:54 AM   #4
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whoa! what a nightmare!

replacing the rack and pinion on my '93 olds went ok. i got the old rack out and new one put in alright. everything got connected up pretty well, except for one of the hydraulic lines. i worked on it for about 3 days. my uncle tried, my cousin tried--nothing was working. finally, i had it towed to a shop who quoted me $130 (w/ towing). they again verified the $130 and went to work. they called a couple days later wanting to charge more. about two weeks later they finally called with it all hooked up. everything worked fine. girl was mad i brought in their 10% off coupon, but that's life. $200 for a new rack and pinion isn't too bad...of course $70 would have been better, along with my 3 day weekend!

hope it doesn't turn into too much of a disaster!
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:17 PM   #5
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Well, the plumber made short work of it. He had a new shutoff valve in and the toilet working fine in about 30 minutes. He also took the time to show me how to do it properly the next time. My big mistake is that you should always replace the feed line when you replace the fill valve. The new feed line makes a good seal with the valve stem.Although he replaced the shutoff valve he showed me a simpler solution for many of us - a simple inline valve you attach to the old shutoff where the feed line would go. You just leave the leak be and add another valve - duh! They use them a lot in condos and apartment buildings where you can't just shut off the main feed.

Nice to have a plumber who likes to explain things. Of course that simply guarantees him an even bigger mess next time
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:28 PM   #6
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Well, the plumber made short work of it. He had a new shutoff valve in and the toilet working fine in about 30 minutes. He also took the time to show me how to do it properly the next time. My big mistake is that you should always replace the feed line when you replace the fill valve. The new feed line makes a good seal with the valve stem.Although he replaced the shutoff valve he showed me a simpler solution for many of us - a simple inline valve you attach to the old shutoff where the feed line would go. You just leave the leak be and add another valve - duh! They use them a lot in condos and apartment buildings where you can't just shut off the main feed.

Nice to have a plumber who likes to explain things. Of course that simply guarantees him an even bigger mess next time
Don - You have my interest big time! Do you have a name or part number or can you take a picture? We have more than one shutoff valve that doesn't and I hate to pull valves close to a wall on old galvanized pipe with the need to do a building water shutoff. Having done so you MUST get it working again fast. No excuses.

********After a call to my local plumbing supply - it's a straight through valve with a 3/8" compression fitting on one end and a 3/8" male on the other for hose attachment. Cost ~ $6 from them, and they are high. Thanks Don for putting me on the trail - great low buck pro fix.*********
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:53 PM   #7
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********After a call to my local plumbing supply - it's a straight through valve with a 3/8" compression fitting on one end and a 3/8" male on the other for hose attachment. Cost ~ $6 from them, and they are high. Thanks Don for putting me on the trail - great low buck pro fix.*********
Can you post a link? I'm having trouble picturing this - sounds like a good thing to buy and throw in my box of plumbing odds-ands-ends, just in case.

-ERD50
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:15 PM   #8
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Don - You have my interest big time! Do you have a name or part number or can you take a picture? We have more than one shutoff valve that doesn't and I hate to pull valves close to a wall on old galvanized pipe with the need to do a building water shutoff. Having done so you MUST get it working again fast. No excuses.

********After a call to my local plumbing supply - it's a straight through valve with a 3/8" compression fitting on one end and a 3/8" male on the other for hose attachment. Cost ~ $6 from them, and they are high. Thanks Don for putting me on the trail - great low buck pro fix.*********
I can't take a picture because he didn't install the device he showed me. He installed a new shutoff valve. He was suggesting this other route for me for future use.

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Can you post a link? I'm having trouble picturing this - sounds like a good thing to buy and throw in my box of plumbing odds-ands-ends, just in case.

-ERD50
I didn't bother with the name since, once I saw it, it was a no-brainer. He said they are available at Home Depot or any similar outfit. It has a fitting on one side to connect where the filler hose normally connects to the shutoff and then a new fitting (male?) on the other side for the hose to connect to. I suppose you could use this to put an auxiliary shutoff valve in a more accesible place by finding a hose that connects to the original shutoff and has a male connector (what do you call these fittings in plumbing speak?) on the other end that you could connect the new shutoff valve to.
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:38 PM   #9
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donheff, thanks, I get you now. When you said the old valve leaked, I thought you meant to the 'outside', but I see now you meant it didn't shut off completely ('leaking' water through the valve). So yes, you can add another valve and just leave that one open.

-ERD50
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:22 PM   #10
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This is an angle stop, but think it's the kind of thing suggested - thinking the brass collet would go between the two valves and compress, hose on other side & discard compression nut.
Angle Valve, 3/8" x 3/8" # PBQT-100 by Anderson-Barrows Metals

Hmm - note it says FIP - so maybe it just screws on w/ teflon tape. or this isn't it.
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:49 PM   #11
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almost inaccessible and impossible to see when my hands are in there with the wrench.
This is what I don't like about plumbing jobs. It's almost always like this.

And you know what I don't like about electrical jobs? There's never enough room in the junction box.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:16 PM   #12
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Found the valve at Lowes: Quarter turn straight valve, item # 90656 (K2072pc) inlet - captured nut 3/8" comp. female swivel, outlet 3/8" OD.

They charged $8.64, but a worthwhile addition to the bag O' tricks. The captured nut is the trick that makes it work.

Thanks DonHeff!
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:20 PM   #13
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Found the valve at Lowes: Quarter turn straight valve, item # 90656 (K2072pc) inlet - captured nut 3/8" comp. female swivel, outlet 3/8" OD.
Here's a photo for those (like me) who are interested:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 046224018827lg.jpg (7.4 KB, 177 views)
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:40 PM   #14
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Well, the plumber made short work of it. He had a new shutoff valve in and the toilet working fine in about 30 minutes. He also took the time to show me how to do it properly the next time. My big mistake is that you should always replace the feed line when you replace the fill valve. The new feed line makes a good seal with the valve stem.Although he replaced the shutoff valve he showed me a simpler solution for many of us - a simple inline valve you attach to the old shutoff where the feed line would go. You just leave the leak be and add another valve - duh! They use them a lot in condos and apartment buildings where you can't just shut off the main feed.

Nice to have a plumber who likes to explain things. Of course that simply guarantees him an even bigger mess next time
That is all well and dandy unless you have one of those really cheap valves with the flex pipe as part of the valve.... you CAN NOT just put on a second valve OR replace the hose... and those sucker want to tear at the flexi part just to spite you....

Then you have the valve frozen to the pipe coming out the wall... since it is hidden back there... you can not get any force on it.... but that is good because it is stuck so tight that you would flip your house upside down before that seal broke...

Other than that... everything is good.....
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Old 07-03-2010, 06:30 AM   #15
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That is all well and dandy unless you have one of those really cheap valves with the flex pipe as part of the valve.... you CAN NOT just put on a second valve OR replace the hose... and those sucker want to tear at the flexi part just to spite you....

Then you have the valve frozen to the pipe coming out the wall... since it is hidden back there... you can not get any force on it.... but that is good because it is stuck so tight that you would flip your house upside down before that seal broke...

Other than that... everything is good.....
Well I wouldn't even debate that one - call a bonded professional. Maybe now before a problem develops.
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Old 07-03-2010, 06:57 AM   #16
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The most important thing about DIY plumbing is to never start even the simplest repair project when the local Home Depot, Lowes, Menards are closed.
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Old 07-03-2010, 07:23 AM   #17
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This is all why I just call a plumber. Painting I can do like a pro, some electrical I can do, but me and plumbing just don't get along.

"A man's gotta know his limitations."
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:21 AM   #18
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This is all why I just call a plumber. Painting I can do like a pro, some electrical I can do, but me and plumbing just don't get along.

"A man's gotta know his limitations."
I m surprised that anyone can paint like a pro, even a pro, I must be the world's worst painter. When we renovated our house over 20 years ago I painted two rooms so we could move back in and hired a pro to do the rest of the house. He said he would repaint the two rooms I did for free so no one would think he had done them !!
I worked as an electricians helper for several summers in college. What I see in houses can be really scary. we have a switch box with 3 switches on three different circuits. That was done by a pro, as was the defective wiring in my prior house.
I have terrible fear of heights, so I can't even go up the ladder when the roofer wants to show me something. I give him a camera and ask him to take a picture.

The trick is to know enough to know that the pro is doing the right job and doing it correctly. Being a stage manager and an engineering technician gave me just enough to be able to watch intelligently and ask reasonable questions.
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:48 AM   #19
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Well, the plumber made short work of it. He had a new shutoff valve in and the toilet working fine in about 30 minutes. He also took the time to show me how to do it properly the next time. My big mistake is that you should always replace the feed line when you replace the fill valve. The new feed line makes a good seal with the valve stem.Although he replaced the shutoff valve he showed me a simpler solution for many of us - a simple inline valve you attach to the old shutoff where the feed line would go. You just leave the leak be and add another valve - duh! They use them a lot in condos and apartment buildings where you can't just shut off the main feed.

Nice to have a plumber who likes to explain things. Of course that simply guarantees him an even bigger mess next time
Great plumber! I wish he was available around here. If you find a someone in a skilled trade this generous with advice, never let them go!

Audrey
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:51 AM   #20
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I m surprised that anyone can paint like a pro, even a pro, I must be the world's worst painter. When we renovated our house over 20 years ago I painted two rooms so we could move back in and hired a pro to do the rest of the house. He said he would repaint the two rooms I did for free so no one would think he had done them !!


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