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Mike the plumber
Mike the plumber, Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 250
Experience:  Fifteen years in the residential service industry and new construction
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There is suddenly no running water in the house. It was fine

Resolved Question:

There is suddenly no running water in the house. It was fine this morning. The outside hose works, but nothing at all works inside the house.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Mike the plumber replied 3 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Mike the plumber :

Hello I'm Mike. I'll be glad to help you with this issue.

Mike the plumber :

Are you on a water ell or municipal wate?r

Mike the plumber :

Are you on a water well or municipal water?

Customer :

Municipal water, metro Phoenix.

Mike the plumber :

Are the hose faucets on the house, or do they come off the main before the house?

Mike the plumber :

Do you have a separate meter for the irrigation?

Customer :

In the front, the main comes up in an upside down U shape. The faucet is on that, not connected to the house at all. In back, the faucet is connected to the house.

Mike the plumber :

And you have water to both of those faucets...right?

Customer :

Yes.

Mike the plumber :

Have you checked all of the fixtures in the house?

Customer :

Oh, there's only one meter, too. I haven't looked at it yet.

Mike the plumber :

sinks toilets tubs showers?

Customer :

Yes. None have water.

Mike the plumber :

So....water at the front and rear, but nowhere else..... very puzzling.

Mike the plumber :

Can you check the water meter to see if its turning?

Mike the plumber :

Is this a house, apartment, or condo?

Customer :

It's not turning. I turned on the hose, and it started. It stopped again when I turned the hose off. This is a 35-year-old house.

Mike the plumber :

Do you know what type of pipe you have?

Mike the plumber :

For the water?

Mike the plumber :

If the meter isn't turning then we can rule out a leak

Mike the plumber :

It just doesn't make sense that you have water at the faucet in the back of the house

Mike the plumber :

On the water main coming in the house. Does it turn up out the ground, then there is a valve and the faucet then it goes into the house?

Customer :

Copper colored inside, painted white outside but I assume it's copper. The bathroom sink just started to trickle. The wheel on the water meter isn't turning, but the needle is pointing to 8 1/2. It was pointing to 6 1/2 before.

Mike the plumber :

Sounds to me like you may have a slight blockage in the main water feed for the house.

Mike the plumber :

Have you tried unscrewing the aerators on the faucets to see if they are clogged?

Customer :

The pipe coming into the house turns up just outside the garage wall, then continues along the garage wall inside until it gets to the water heater. It splits there, one pipe going into the water heater and the other goes up through the ceiling. Somehow, it's all connected to a water softener, too, but I can't figure out which pipe goes where. There is a blue knob with a wheel on one of those pipes.

Customer :

Yes, the aerators are all clear. We had this happen a little over a week ago, and then it ran slow (very low pressure) for a couple of days, and then it was normal. It's been normal for five days now.

Mike the plumber :

What I'm thinking is you may have a gate valve on the main line. What sometimes happens with a gate valve is over time the stem on the gate valve will come off causing it to fall into the valve and block the flow off water. Best way to recognize a gate valve is it will have a round handle and you have to turn it several rounds to get it to shut off

Mike the plumber :

Full Size Image

Customer :

That looks like what I see behind the water heater.

Mike the plumber :

Full Size Image

Customer :

Yes, but blue, in case that matters.

Mike the plumber :

Is that the valve going to the heater on the cold side?

Mike the plumber :

Or is it behind the heater going somewhere else?

Mike the plumber :

Handle color doesn't matter

Customer :

The pipe from outside splits twice, and one side has this before it goes to the water heater. The pipe splits again before it goes to the water heater, with one side disappearing into the house. Hot, I guess, while cold goes up through the ceiling. There are a lot of splits, and I don't know which ones go in or out.

Mike the plumber :

You have a water softener??

Customer :

Yes.

Mike the plumber :

Try to put it on bypass. The softener may be clogged. Try that and let me know if it helps

Customer :

How do I do that? Turn the knob?

Mike the plumber :

It should have a bypass selection on the control knob

Customer :

I didn't see one. It has a backwash, regenerate, rinse, etc. Will one of those help?

Mike the plumber :

Does it have a bypass line with pipe? It may have a few tees and a valve in the middle that if you turn one valve off and the other valve on it will bypass the water around the softener instead of through it?

Customer :

I turned off the gate valve on the pipe leading to the water softener. The other valve, from the main line, was already on and I left it on. The water inside is now a drip out of the bathroom faucet.

Customer :

The water in the toilet tank turned dark brown. It was clear before. Brown is swirling like food coloring from the flap. The bowl has clear water.

Mike the plumber :

This i'm afraid is one of those problems where I would have to be there to properly diagnose. The best I can tell you without being there is that you either have a blocked valve somewhere or the water softener is plugged. You may want to backwash the softener. If it is plugged then by back washing it you may free up any blockage. If the water is dark brown then thats a good indication the softener is clogged

Mike the plumber :

Try back washing the softener and let me know what you find

Customer :

Thank you so much for your help. I'll try that. If that's my only problem, I'll be very happy.

Mike the plumber, Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 250
Experience: Fifteen years in the residential service industry and new construction
Mike the plumber and other Plumbing Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Mike the plumber replied 3 years ago.
Thank you very much! Glad I could help!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That did the trick. I'm happy to have inside plumbing again!
Expert:  Mike the plumber replied 3 years ago.
Thats great!!! I'm very glad I could help! Thanks for the bonus!

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