6 Replies Latest reply on Feb 16, 2015 10:27 AM by TroutBum

    plumber put in valves with little 1/4-turn knobs


      This is about clothes washing machine - and aging.

      We were forty years of age when we purchased this house.

      To operate the shut-off valve(s) for the clothes washing machine has required a large pipe wrench (set).

      Those paid for themselves in our early married life when my spouse lost her contact lens down the sink drain.

      I removed the trap and rescued the lens. We have had the pipe wrenches ever since (along with my millions of other tools).

      Once after we moved into this house, our hose burst (the house water seemed to have inordinately high pressure).

      We are on county-wide water system.

      Fortunately we were here and I grabbed the wrench, turned off the flooding power burst of water.

      Today (about 31 years later) we had the plumber replace those totally inoperable cut off and machine hose connector

      (one cold, one hot) with a little quarter turn (easy as "pie") cut off.

      The plumber also replaced the two hoses with woven metal (look quite heavy duty).

      The hoses that I had used to replace the oldest ones seemed to have worked fine so far

      except that I did not open the water valves far due to fear of what seemed very high pressure.

      We do not have and have not installed any house-wide pressure-reduction.

      When you are not running your clothes washing machine (ours is top loading, very old-fashioned)

      do you - turn off both your water feeds? then turn them on each laundry day?

      Homeowner's insurance does not cover water flooding.

        • Re: plumber put in valves with little 1/4-turn knobs

          Good practice, may save you a serious flooding problem.  Changing the hoses about every 7 years is probably a good idea also.

          • Re: plumber put in valves with little 1/4-turn knobs

            Sounds like you need to install a pressure reducing valve at the house water feed. We live out and we have this. Of course, like your hoses, it too can fail as we often wonder when pressure goes down. More than likely though, our issues are with the farming operations around us. When we moved in, the pressure seemed low so we had a plumber adjust the regulator out at the water meter.


            We have replaced the hot/cold feed hoses on our washer. A good set of stainless reinforced hoses costs maybe $30 at Lowe's and they should last a fairly long time. Get good ones that are pressure and temperature-rated.


            We just replaced our 10-year+ old washer and dryer with some slick high-efficiency ones. The spouse's evaluation was more like "YUCK!". The EPA is getting so tied up with saving on hot water and electricity that some soiled clothing doesn't get washed well. Although it carefully measures the amount of water used by the amount of clothes in the load, the washer seems to refuse to run the water at hot even when the water heater input is at least 120 degrees. Sticking a thermometer in the tub after it fills will frequently show a sub-100 degree temperature even when you have selected hot. I kid the spouse that she is entertaining herself by constantly watching all of those washer starts and stops and fill some more actions along with the pretty music it plays.


            We even had a repair guy out to see why our washer wasn't working. He was an old-time straight-arrow type of guy and told us that these new washers don't ever get to "hot" water. So the spouse got on the Internet and found some repair guy up in Canada that told how to buy another hose and two y-valves which cost about $30 and basically turn off the cold water and feed hot water by switching the cold water y-valve bypass valves when the washer tries to add in cold instead of hot water as it fills. Even the old repair guy was thankful for this solution and I am sure he is telling others how to get hot washes.  (For the curious, add a y-valve at the hot water wall feed and add another hose over to the cold water inlet on the washer. Add another y-valve there with the cold water inlet feed AND the new hot water feed. Now with the switch of the y-valve the cold water washer inlet can be flipped from cold to hot. When you want a true hot water wash, just flip the cold water y-valve from cold in to hot in. Walla! The washer has nothing but hot water even when it thinks that it is adding that energy-efficient cold water to the tub. I am not certain, but, should your washer get fancy and monitor the tub temperature, you may have an insurmountable problem.)


            How stupid is it when the EPA gets so tied up in cutting energy use that those big expensive machines no longer perform their job? It used to be that you could never get an EPA-rated Energy Star dryer. I just heard that there are rated models coming out as we speak. So maybe we can soon have washers that don't wash and dryers that don't dry but we'll be energy efficient, right? Kind of reminds me of those recommendations to plug all of your electronics into a common surge protector that you can turn off when not using the electronics. Of course, removing the power probably deletes all of those fancy settings in the electronics when you are trying to save pennies every month. How annoying must that be?

              • Re: plumber put in valves with little 1/4-turn knobs

                The plumber put in stainless reinforced hoses - in addition to the quarter-turn shut off controls.

                No more dragging out the heavy pipe wrench(es) here. It was a hose we had moved here with in 1984 the (long ago) burst.

                Fortunately we were right at the clothes washing machine when that happened (once).

                These are the second set of hoses - from the time of that catastrophe.

                • Re: plumber put in valves with little 1/4-turn knobs

                  EPA, oh my goodness, they know everything about your appliances.   They are watching and monitoring you.  At my last place of employment, the EPA made us put in the very low water flush toilets and the minimum flow faucets.  Our water and sewer consumption rose dynamically, not to mention calling in the sewer cleaning company many times to unclog the pipes.  Another brilliant idea.  People hated them and vandalism and  graffiti  increase three fold.  Some people brought in their own jug so they could wash their hands properly.  There seems to be a lacking of common sense.  I’m all for saving electricity and water, but at I don’t think the EPA takes other things into consideration.  Next thing, a BM meter.

                    • Re: plumber put in valves with little 1/4-turn knobs

                      You will like my story about communicating with the large appliance maker about this issue of no hot wash. Somebody I could barely understand, and I have worked with many immigrants, asked me to push some buttons and then place my phone next to the washer. In a few seconds, the washer communicated directly to this support person. So what. It didn't give us any solution! That's the way they designed it!


                      Before condemning all regulation I recommend reading a book that describes appropriate "regulation":


                      Saving Energy, Growing Jobs: How Environmental Protection Promotes Economic Growth, Competition, Profitability and Innovation (Paperback)
                      by David B. Goldstein


                      In this book is the story of how the EPA told the A/C sector that they must get higher efficiency from these energy hogs. The gist of any such regulation and even the computer systems I designed is for the requester to tell the designers what they want and NOT how to get it. In the case of A/C after all the companies with control of the industry and huge vested interests swore up and down that it couldn't be done, GE stepped back and asked if there was a way to do it, not necessarily the way everybody was doing it at the time. After redesigning the coolant and equipment changes, they actually came up with a way to do it AND it actually would  be CHEAPER!


                      The solution to many, many problems or inefficiencies is to redesign the process. So just like Bo decided to block the records his program read from one to 250 and thus reducing the very time consuming tape read process, he got an incredible decrease in the time to process. Bo, programmers are usually quite intelligent, but they like most people they just go with the flow without re-thinking the way they do things so that they can achieve remarkable things. Well  OK, I'll say it. They ARE lazy and just "doing my job"!  :-)))

                  • Re: plumber put in valves with little 1/4-turn knobs

                    Regarding the 1/4 turn valves - ball valves - I like them. They don't collect a coating of minerals from the water that cause them to fail like gate valves do.


                    Regarding low flow toilets, I hate them. I like to save water but don't like some of what comes with it. Water is what keeps solids flowing through sewer lines. When you reduce the amount of water, it allows the solids to accumulate in drains so clogging is bound to happen. To compound the problem, well meaning folks trying to save water sometimes subscribe to the, "If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down" idea. One problem is that more paper builds up between flushes and, with less water to move it, clogs occur. As a college maintenance manager I get really tired of hearing that the plumbers didn't do a good job, when the real problem is people with good intentions but poor advise.