Water Wierdness

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by WanderingOak, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,287
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    I just had my pressure tank, switch and water heater replaced last fall. At the same time, I had a water softener installed. Ever since then I was having pressure problems. Faucets would slow to a trickle when I flushed, and I couldn't even think about washing dishes while the washing machine was filling. To top it off, the toilet would allways run, wasting water. I called the plumbers back, and they said it was the well and that everything was working as it should. To top it off, I started to get a sulpher smell in the hot water. The pumbers blamed the well again, saying that I would have to replace the elements to make the smell go away. That is the last time I work with those idiots :grump: .

    Anyhow, my water was like this for more than six months. I had written it off as a bad job and was debating calling a different plumber to have him take a look. Then, right in the middle of last Monday's rains, the power went out. I was running around, turning off switches and shutting the computer down before the UPS died. When I was done, I heard a strange noise coming from the bathroom. The toilet had been running, and now it sounded like it was sucking air into the pipe. I pulled up on the float to stop the toilet, and then I heard the sink start to groan. I opened the cold water, and it started sounding like it was sucking air as well. After I closed the faucet, the tub did the same thing. I checked the pressure tank, and the gauge was siting at dead zero. I figured the entire system had drained into my toilet and that I would just have to wait until the power went back on.

    The power came on a bit later when I was in town getting ice for the 'fridge. The water pressure seemed to be considerably higher than it was before. After blowing a bit of air through the pipes, all of the fixtures worked perfectly. Whatever was wrong with the plumbing before the outage had apparently been fixed. The hot water smells sweet, and even the toilet quit running.

    So, what I want to know is what was wrong with my system, and how did completely draining the system fix the problem? I would really like to know how my hot water lost the sulphur smell, because I've been told that is a PITA to fix.
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    Messages:
    7,102
    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    Sounds like you had an air lock, a place in the piping where compressed air could accumulate and effect the flow. This is controled by what is known as an air hammer - a vertical pipe that runs nowhere but up and is capped at its upper end. This gives any air in the line a place to go. As far as the smell goes, just be glad its gone!