When I decided to write an entry on fixing my water valve, my beloved commented that it was lame. However, she is looking forward to my post, so here it is.
Last Friday, when I stepped into my bathroom, undressed, and turned the water valve knob, nothing happened! Yes, NOTHING HAPPENED! The water was supposed to flow through the valve, then into the heater, then heated water will come out of the shower head. But nothing happened!
However, since it was already almost midnight, I had to bear with the cold water from the tub, bathing in a cool weather as it was raining heavily that night, something that I have not experienced since taking that COLD shower during MID-WINTER in Melbourne a few years ago.
Therefore, I was determined to find the problem and fix it, and the next day I started by getting the spanner from the tool box and do some plumbing.
The first thing I would do is to remove the valve knob as the water has been dripping from that place when I realised that the shower is not working.
Happily with the spanner in my hand I proceed to remove the knob. The next thing that happened, is that I got wet… BECAUSE I HAVE FORGOTTEN TO TURN OFF THE MAIN WATER SUPPLY!!! So before proceeding to removing any pipes or valves, please remember to turn off the main water supply. Usually, it is found in the front yard of the house.
So, remember to TURN OFF THE MAIN WATER SUPPLY before doing any plumbing work! Another thing to remember, some water pipes are connected to the water tank located on the roof of the house, and the valve is different from the one at the front of the house. Remember to turn that off too!
After removing the valve and inspected it, I found that the rubber of the valve that stops the water from flowing to the heater has deformed and was not able to effectively stop the water flow even when the valve has been securely tightened.
The following picture illustrates how the water are supposed to flow from the main water supply (where the green arrow is pointing at) to the hole in the middle (where the red arrow is pointing at) and into the water heater. The valve, with its rubber, is supposed to stop the water from flowing into the hole. However, since the rubber is deformed, water can freely flow through thus rendering the valve knob useless.
Armed with the useless valve knob, I set out to find a replacement valve knob. Since it looks kinda old, I began to feel a little worried if I can find any replacement that can just fit in without having to remove the whole piping. If, unfortunately, that is the case, I would have to call in the REAL plumber and I have failed to Do-It-MYself. Luckily, I found one in the hardware shop and happily paid RM5 for it.
The new valve knob is a perfect fit and without further hesitation I started wrapping the white water-piping-tape around the teeth of the valve knob to avoid water from leaking from the gaps.
Before fixing the valve knob back, remember to unwind the lever (where the rubber is) to the end (widest gap allowed for water to flow through), so that when screwing the knob back in place, the rubber will not be deformed again. Remember to close the valve knob after securely fastened it, because we have to turn on the main water supply. After doing so, I happily went to turn on the main water supply, got back to the bathroom, and turned on the water tap. Nothing happened. NOTHING HAPPENED. N-o-t-h-i-n-g h-a-p-p-e-n-e-d ! ! ! Being disappointed, I tried a few steps to find out what the problem is until I read something written on the water heater.
It says: Clean filter unit regularly. Which I do not think was the case. And that was why the water heater is not working. Because the filter was blocked and water cannot flow through it! It was a bit ironic when the part that I have fixed was to stop water from flowing through yet the problem with the water heater is that water CANNOT GET INSIDE THE HEATER!!! While laughing at the sacarsm of the situation, I began removing the filter and clean it. A lot of pebble-like dirt was removed, both from the filter and the inlet of the water heater. At the same time, I also cleaned the shower head. As my hands got so dirty, I was not able to capture any images of that.
After fixing all parts back to their original places, and with my fingers crossed, I turned knob and as soon as I see water coming out from the shower head, I can almost see celebrations going on in my head! Since the filters and shower head has been cleaned, the water flow appeared stronger than before, and I am so happy that I get to use the water heater again! (It has been raining heavily for the past few days and the water temperature was so low at night.)
And this concludes the post for DIY – Fixing a broken water valve. The lesson learnt is that I do not have to commission a plumber to fix trivial things and waste money on their services. The money spent to fix the water valve is RM5, plus the petrol cost. Also, I learnt new things and had quite some fun!