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as2421

Messages
4
Hi to all,
Seeking your advice here - a very long back story to get you well informed:

I am a complete DIY and plumbing novice with very little knowledge or aptitude, located in Australia.

We have a small two-storey home, with a bathroom on each level.
The house is about 80 years old while the bathrooms were both rebuilt and fully renovated 10 years ago (downstairs bathroom renovated, upstairs bathroom built from scratch)
The shower in both bathrooms has been used daily during these past 10 years.

About 2 years ago, the shower head in our ground floor bathroom would heavily drip for about 30 seconds, beginning roughly 1-2 minutes after the shower had been used and turned off.
For the first 8 years, the shower head did not drip after a shower.

I didn't think much of it at the time, other than needing to put a bucket under the shower head to catch the excess drips.
~6 months on and the drips from the shower head decreased a little after each shower, however I noticed the shower's mixer tap began having a small drip that would occur about 3-5 mins after each shower, then stop after a few minutes.

A few weeks later the shower's mixer tap would be dripping sporadically throughout the day, often occurring when, or just after, other areas of the house had been using water, such as the ground floor's bathroom sink or toilet, as well as the upstairs shower and sink taps.
Our ground floor bathroom also has a standalone bath (which is very rarely used), yet in the last few months, the mixer tap for the bath has also developed a drip – albeit very minimal; approx 2-3 drips per day into a small container catching the excess drips.

A few months back, we stopped using the ground floor shower (only showering in the upstairs bathroom), to see if that would have any impact on the dripping mixer tap - it did not.

What may or may not be relevant, over the last few months since we have all been using the upstairs shower, that shower has now also started to have a brief drip from the shower head at the conclusion of each shower. Thankfully this upstairs shower head only drips briefly after a shower and not throughout the day.
____________________________________________

Last week I went about replacing the cartridge in the downstairs shower.
I turned off the mains water supply and then went back into the bathroom to turn on the shower to get the last of the water out of the system.
Turning on the shower, the water first came out as a normal stream lasting about 1 second before easing into a steady drip as it should have.
30+ seconds later, the shower tap was still dripping which was odd.
I went over to the bathroom sink and turned the tap on - no water came out of there as expected.
I then went to the upstairs bathroom and heard water passing into or through the cistern of the toilet.

That was a surprising find as it had now been about 3-4 minutes since I had shut off the mains water.
The toilet had not been flushed during this time, so I have no idea why (or how) there would be water passing into the cistern.
I had a quick look into the toilet bowl, but didn't notice any overflow water running into the bowl from the cistern.

I turned off the toilet's shut off valve, the water sound in the cistern stopped and when I went back to the downstairs bathroom, the slight, but continuous, dripping from the shower tap had stopped as well.

After replacing the shower's mixer tap cartridge, I turned on the mains water supply and then went back to the upstairs toilet and turned the shut off valve back on (open).

Since replacing the cartridge 5 days ago, the shower's mixer tap has not dripped at all.
However, we have not yet used the downstairs shower in this time, as we have remained showering in the upstairs bathroom.
What has happened though is that the mixer tap of the bath (in the downstairs bathroom) now drips alot more, after someone has had a shower in the upstairs bathroom (2-3 drips per day now upto 100-200 drips per shower).
When the upstairs shower is not in use, the bath's tap still produces it's normal 2-3 drips per day.

As a test, I turned off the shut off valve on the upstairs toilet prior to my last shower.
I had the shower, then went and checked the container under the bath's mixer tap and found that there had seemingly been no drips during the shower. I went back and turned on the upstairs toilet's valve and came back to the bathroom to find the bath tap slowly dripping (presumably the build up from the shower). The dripping stopped after a few minutes.
_______________________________________________

My questions;
1) Why is the upstairs toilet's shut off valve having such an impact on the drips in the downstairs bathroom?

2) Should I simply replace the bath's mixer tap cartridge and see if that fixes the problem, or is it clear that our property may have a more complex problem such as water pressure issues that requires a plumbers attention rather than a DIY job?

Thank you.
 

king of pipes

Esteemed
Plumber
Gas Engineer
Messages
5,354
How is your hotwater supplied ? Via a hotwater cylinder fed from a cold water storage tank in a loft area ? or directly from the mains to a form of unvented ?. are the hot and cold supplies of equal pressure ? Regards Kop
 

as2421

Messages
4
How is your hotwater supplied ? Via a hotwater cylinder fed from a cold water storage tank in a loft area ? or directly from the mains to a form of unvented ?. are the hot and cold supplies of equal pressure ? Regards Kop
Thanks for your reply Kop.
I'll have to embarrass myself here with my ignorance as I am not 100% certain - we have a hot water 'unit' (about 6ft tall) outside the house which I believe is gas fired. No storage tanks on our property to the best of my knowledge, so I am fairly certain the water runs direct from the mains, but not sure where it gets diverted to the hot water unit then into the house.
I am still currently trying to research and understand how to test the water pressure accurately.
Although based on sight alone, both hot & cold seem to provide similar pressures in the showers, where as the hotwater is a little weaker in the laundry and kitchen sink taps compared to the cold water.

(then again water 'pressure' and water 'flow' are not the same, is that correct?)
 

as2421

Messages
4
This is the hot water service unit.
 

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