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Discuss Outside Tap Not Working.. in the Plumbing Forum | Plumbing Advice area at PlumbersForums.net

Sam01722

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Hi,

I have recently bought my first house and am trying to sort this out myself but I have absolutely no idea where to go next, so thought I would try asking here on the off chance someone might be able to guide me in the right direction!

We moved into the house about 3 months ago and the outside tap has been working just fine.
I tried to use the tap at the weekend and got nothing from it, not even a few drips. I took the tap apart and could see some stagnant water in the body of the tap. I have since taken the tap completely off and still nothing.

As far as I can tell (and please bear with me as I am definitely NOT a plumber), the plumbing is connected to the same pipework as the dishwasher which works absolutely fine and gets water, so I am completely stumped as to what I can do to try and fix this.

I have uploaded some pictures here to try and help explain:
IMG-5683
IMG-5684
IMG-5685
IMG-5686

The 1st 3rd and 4th pictures show the plumbing to the outside tap, and the 2nd picture shows the dishwasher connected.

If there is ANY advice at all you can give it would be really appreciated.

Sam
 

DuncanM

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When you had the tap off did you open the valve before it to see if water came out of the pipe without the tap on it?
Water the same as it was elsewhere?
 
OP
Sam01722

Sam01722

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I had the valve closed initially, but then when the tap was completely off I turned it back to open and it has stayed open since, with nothing coming out..
 

DuncanM

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Then that valve has failed. Close the main off and swap it out. If using old nuts and olive wrap ptfe or paste around olive to make sure of no leaks. Wrap ptfe the direction you would be tightening the nut.
 

scott_d

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The silver valve with black handle looks like the outside tap supply
Have you used it?
 
OP
Sam01722

Sam01722

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The silver valve with black handle looks like the outside tap supply
Have you used it?
I closed it when I was taking the tap off and it was very stiff, I then opened it again when the tap was off.
 

Stigster

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As Duncan suggests, it's likely that the silver coloured valve (double check valve with isolater) has failed and is jammed closed. However it could also be the pressure reducing valve with the pressure gauge attached has become completely blocked. I would be surprised if it is blocked badly enough to completely stop flow but it is possible I suppose.

It'd be worth checking the strainer in the pressure reducing valve. Turn off that stopcock first! The grey head unscrews anti-clockwise, using a spanner on the flats, and pulls out. It has a strainer on it which can be removed and rinsed under a tap if it is clogged up. Use running water and an old toothbrush to clean it if needed. Reassemble in reverse order, screwing it back on tight but don't go mad as it seals on an O-ring so needs to be snug but not white-knuckle tight.

Turn the water back on and test the outside tap. If it still doesn't work (or the strainer in the PRV was clear) it points to the double check valve with isolator being jammed closed in which case that will need replacing.

Finally, does the tap itself have check valves built in? They can be seen both at the tap spout and inside the tail of the tap if they are present.
 
OP
Sam01722

Sam01722

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As Duncan suggests, it's likely that the silver coloured valve (double check valve with isolater) has failed and is jammed closed. However it could also be the pressure reducing valve with the pressure gauge attached has become completely blocked. I would be surprised if it is blocked badly enough to completely stop flow but it is possible I suppose.

It'd be worth checking the strainer in the pressure reducing valve. Turn off that stopcock first! The grey head unscrews anti-clockwise, using a spanner on the flats, and pulls out. It has a strainer on it which can be removed and rinsed under a tap if it is clogged up. Use running water and an old toothbrush to clean it if needed. Reassemble in reverse order, screwing it back on tight but don't go mad as it seals on an O-ring so needs to be snug but not white-knuckle tight.

Turn the water back on and test the outside tap. If it still doesn't work (or the strainer in the PRV was clear) it points to the double check valve with isolator being jammed closed in which case that will need replacing.

Finally, does the tap itself have check valves built in? They can be seen both at the tap spout and inside the tail of the tap if they are present.
Thats fantastic thank you I will try cleaning the pressure reducing valve first.
How difficult would it be to replace the double check valve myself, are they all a standard length? It looks like it would be simple enough to unscrew each end pull it out and then fit another....but I may be completely wrong?!
Yes I have just looked at the tap and it does seem to have some kind of valve either end.

Sam
 

Stigster

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Yes that's the correct type. There is no guarantee they will be the exact same length though but it looks close enough.

With regard to the tap, if it also has check valves built in they could also be jammed closed. Open the tap and see if you can blow through it in the same direction the water should flow. If you can then the problem is not with the tap itself. Strictly speaking you only need one double check valve to protect this system and you have a double check inside the house as it should be. The ones installed in the tap are surplus to requirements. If you end up needing a new tap, get one without the check valves built in. With a total of four on the feed it will cause some reduction in flow rates. That said if the tap is fine I'd stick with it.
 
OP
Sam01722

Sam01722

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Yes that's the correct type. There is no guarantee they will be the exact same length though but it looks close enough.

With regard to the tap, if it also has check valves built in they could also be jammed closed. Open the tap and see if you can blow through it in the same direction the water should flow. If you can then the problem is not with the tap itself. Strictly speaking you only need one double check valve to protect this system and you have a double check inside the house as it should be. The ones installed in the tap are surplus to requirements. If you end up needing a new tap, get one without the check valves built in. With a total of four on the feed it will cause some reduction in flow rates. That said if the tap is fine I'd stick with it.
Well I will give it a go...what could possibly go wrong!

I have already taken the tap completely off and there's still no flow so I do not think it is that.

Thank you all so much for your help, I will let you know how I get on..or will let you know how much I spent on an emergency plumber after I break everything haha!

Sam
 

Pickwickpick

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Yep that's what you need, also the Pegler are a good quality choice.

Yes that's the correct type. There is no guarantee they will be the exact same length though but it looks close enough.

With regard to the tap, if it also has check valves built in they could also be jammed closed. Open the tap and see if you can blow through it in the same direction the water should flow. If you can then the problem is not with the tap itself. Strictly speaking you only need one double check valve to protect this system and you have a double check inside the house as it should be. The ones installed in the tap are surplus to requirements. If you end up needing a new tap, get one without the check valves built in. With a total of four on the feed it will cause some reduction in flow rates. That said if the tap is fine I'd stick with it.
He's got no water coming out even with the tap completely removed so the blockage or broken valve must be elsewhere, doesn't hurt to give any checkvalves a clean though whilst everything is off however.
 

DuncanM

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What is the kitchen tap like? Same as before? May be no need to strip down prv. Although not a waste of time to clean it, there may be debris in it.
 

Stigster

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What is the kitchen tap like? Same as before? May be no need to strip down prv. Although not a waste of time to clean it, there may be debris in it.
Ahh, I am daft and didn't notice it went off and fed the kitchen tap as well! It's all pointing towards that double check/isolator valve then.

One possibility is that OP turned that double check/isolator off for some reason and when he opened it again, the head turned but it slipped on the spindle and didn't actually open the valve again. The little black lever is often made of plastic and they get rounded out and don't actually turn the spindle to open the valve, even though the handle moved.

To the OP, fortunately you have a stopcock very close to where you are working so you shouldn't have any actual disasters because you can always turn off the supply and call someone out if it comes to that.
 
OP
Sam01722

Sam01722

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What is the kitchen tap like? Same as before? May be no need to strip down prv. Although not a waste of time to clean it, there may be debris in it.
Kitchen tap is fine and works as it did before. I think I may give it a clean anyway!
 

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