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Completely puzzled - no water in tub

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 4th, 2019 7:07 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 22, 2007
1769 posts
108 upvotes
Mississauga

Completely puzzled - no water in tub

Background:
About 15 years ago we installed two(2) belanger 4790 single lever faucets in our tubs

4 months ago - we started reno'ing one washroom and removed the faucet

last week when it was really cold, the other washroom that still had this tub faucet stopped working....only a few drops of water would trickle out...hmmm

- heat is always on (23 degrees)
- pipes have never frozen before
- water is always moving in the pipes due to so many people in the house and always using a tap/toilet etc.
- I ruled out frozen pipes

Changed the cartridge with the one that we just removed from the other washroom...and voila...water is running again...

again today...no water at all..just a trickle
hmm...okay it wasn't a new cartridge, it was an old one...lets go get a new one....

removed the old one...flushed the pipes....installed the new cartridge....and NOTHING...no water..just a trickle

I'm beyond confused...i've tried to pull the diverter on the spout thinking water might goto the shower...still nothing...
removed the cartridge and flushed...water shoots out no problem...installed the belanger catridge again (brand new one and even the old one)....nothing....

makes no sense...

any ideas? solutions? advice?
29 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2011
2723 posts
907 upvotes
Did you test the faucet in all directions? full on, hot and cold?

It is possible one of your two supply lines is frozen.
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 22, 2007
1769 posts
108 upvotes
Mississauga
yes tested the handle is all directions....

i don't think the pipes are frozen....i highly doubt it due to the reasons above....water flows fine without cartridge
heat is always on at least 23 degrees
and water taps are always on somewhere in the house that would never allow it to freeze

house is 30 years old...we are the originals...faucets are about 15 years old

the faucet has integrated check/stop valves...and those are both open too
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2011
2723 posts
907 upvotes
what temp is the water pouring out when the cartridge is not installed?
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
Deal Fanatic
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Feb 11, 2007
9657 posts
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Oakville
How can you be 100% sure it's not frozen? If you're pipes run in an exterior wall, you can't be sure it isn't getting cold enough to freeze, especially with the temps right now.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 22, 2007
1769 posts
108 upvotes
Mississauga
fieldhousehandyman wrote:
Jan 30th, 2019 11:25 pm
what temp is the water pouring out when the cartridge is not installed?
i haven't checked...the water shouts out so we just put a bucket in front of it on an angle and aim it down so it keeps going down the drain...i know for a fact there was hot water because I could feel splashes on my fingers

but is there suppose to be an ideal temperature?
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 22, 2007
1769 posts
108 upvotes
Mississauga
engineered wrote:
Jan 30th, 2019 11:35 pm
How can you be 100% sure it's not frozen? If you're pipes run in an exterior wall, you can't be sure it isn't getting cold enough to freeze, especially with the temps right now.
i say that frozen pipes are unlikely due to the following:

our pipes for this washroom (and the other) are about 1 foot away from the exterior wall
heat running
never ever frozen in our whole life at this house
no other faucets are affected
water is constantly moving in our house with all the people
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2011
2723 posts
907 upvotes
pardnme wrote:
Jan 31st, 2019 6:02 am
i haven't checked...the water shouts out so we just put a bucket in front of it on an angle and aim it down so it keeps going down the drain...i know for a fact there was hot water because I could feel splashes on my fingers

but is there suppose to be an ideal temperature?
With the valve uninstalled, and your water supply turned back on, you should get full flow from both the hot and cold lines, resulting in water coming out on the very warm side. If the water coming out is either extremely cold, or extremely hot, it means one of your supply lines is frozen.
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 22, 2007
1769 posts
108 upvotes
Mississauga
i will redo it tonight after work and will report back with the findings.
Deal Addict
Aug 30, 2011
3134 posts
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Ottawa
"Heat running" doesn't mean your pipes won't freeze. Not sure where you are but some parts of Ontario have had record breaking cold recently and a lot of homeowners (including us) ended up with frozen pipes which never happened before.
Deal Addict
Jan 5, 2003
3758 posts
2894 upvotes
Toronto
fieldhousehandyman is on the right track, I think. Shower/tub valves are pressure balanced or thermostatic. If it detects less cold water, it will decrease hot water proportionately to prevent scaling. If your cold water line is frozen, your valve/cartridge will prevent hot water from coming through as well since it detects very little cold water. That may be why there's no water coming through. When you remove the pressure-balanced cartridge/valve, now your're getting full hot water. That's why fieldhousehandyman is asked about the temperatures. If it's boiling hot coming out without the cartridge, likely it's your cold water line that's frozen.

Let it run a good 30 seconds without the cartridge. At that point, is the water boiling hot or just warm (ie. mix of hot and cold)?
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 22, 2007
1769 posts
108 upvotes
Mississauga
i haven't had time to do it today...basement tenants aren't avaiable for us to shut down the water...

will report back tomorrow...

But as i thought about this more and more....I think I agree about the frozen pipe...I just realized that underneath this washroom is the kitchen hood fan....and we recently installed a new exhaust cover/flapper device...I wonder if that is letting in all the cold air and freezing up the pipe that runs to the shower....
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 19, 2008
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Whitby
It does sound like a frozen pipe, be careful as the pipe may already have burst/cracked.....that will show itself as the ice melts.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 22, 2007
1769 posts
108 upvotes
Mississauga
UPDATE:

Turned off main water supply
I closed both integrated shut off valves...removed the catridge
Turned on main water supply
No water coming out (both integrated shuts off work)
Open the hot...water comes out...closed the hot

Open the cold...nothing coming out...

Conclusion...pipe frozen...

What is best now?

I can leave the cartridge out...leave the hot shut off closed and leave the cold shut off open....would this make a difference? (i'm assuming maybe having the air flow and possibly when the pipe thaws out that water will be able to push itself out
Deal Fanatic
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
pardnme wrote:
Feb 1st, 2019 12:06 pm
UPDATE:

Turned off main water supply
I closed both integrated shut off valves...removed the catridge
Turned on main water supply
No water coming out (both integrated shuts off work)
Open the hot...water comes out...closed the hot

Open the cold...nothing coming out...

Conclusion...pipe frozen...

What is best now?

I can leave the cartridge out...leave the hot shut off closed and leave the cold shut off open....would this make a difference? (i'm assuming maybe having the air flow and possibly when the pipe thaws out that water will be able to push itself out
I'd say leave the cold open if your home. Ideally you should raise the temperature in your house to try to thaw it. Try to bow hot air in the wall where the pipe are, or if your pipes are copper, heat them. Maybe a soldering iron or something.

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