Ballvalve not working

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Ballvalve not working

Post  Chris`I on Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:27 am

Hi All,

Just come to change the heat exchanger on our Boilermate III and noticed that the ballvalve in the expansion/header tank doesnt appear to work. Firstly it looks like the isolater valve on the water feed looks to have been turned off. British Gas were the last people to touch it, but they were only meant to be working on the PCB's, nothing to do with water side of it. Even when the isolator is turned on, when you push the ball valve float down no water is entering the tank.

Is this a common problem? I wouldnt expect this to fail closed and stop water entering the tank. Is this a servicable part? If so what are the steps to service it?

Also when changing the heat exchanger do you need to replace the drain valve washer? I have seen this mentioned around the net. When I ordered the heat exchanger from Gledhill, they said all washers were included, but this turned out only to be the 4 for the heat exhanger itself, hence the query.

Thanks
Chris

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Re: Ballvalve not working

Post  Mike the Boilerman on Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:58 am

Chris,

Yes the float valve is well known for jamming closed. This happens because it never gets used! It can be dismantled and cleaned and reassembled if you have a few hours of spare time ;-) or just abandon it and top up the header tanks with a kettle or saucepan once in a while.

Or buy a new one and fit it instead. They have a special short arm so a standard float valve will not fit. You can probably buy one from www.segel.co.uk

Yes the drain valve washer often needs replacing. Surprisingly hard to buy them, right now I'm Googling for a source for them myself! They are 14mm diameter, 4mm hole in the centre, 3mm thick. Usually easier just to buy a whole new drain cock and fit that instead.

Hope that helps,
Mike

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Re: Ballvalve not working

Post  Chris`I on Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:54 pm

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the reply. In the end I just cracked on today and got the heat exchanger changed.

Only problem I have now is that the drain valve is leaking. Its dripping at a scientific 2 drops a second, so not an insignificant amount. Yesterday I managed to do it up again so that it didnt drip but today it refuses to stop.

What part do I need to order? I cant seem to find it on the Gledhill spares site.

I'm in a bit of strife with the other half now having a bit of hose pipe hanging out the airing cupboard into a bucket! Alternatively is there any chance you could come out this coming week to swap it over if required? I'm in Basingstoke and dont mind paying the milage/time.

Thanks
Chris

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Re: Ballvalve not working

Post  Mike the Boilerman on Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:51 am

Chris,

You need to go to any proper trade plumbers merchant and ask for a "1/2" BSP threaded drain cock". This is a standard plumbing fitting widely available anywhere, which is probably why it is not listed by Gledhill. Alternatively buy on the net, this one on eBay for example: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WESTC-1-2-TYPE-BRASS-DRAIN-OFF-COCK-DRAIN-DOWN-VALVE-/400200490996?pt=UK_DIY_Materials_Plumbing_MJ&hash=item5d2dcedff4

But while you wait for it to be delivered, tighten the one you have good and hard, and have patience. They tend to eventually stop dripping spontaneously as microscopic waterborne debris gets caught in the hole. Give it a day or two and you will probably see the drip slow then eventually stop. If not then contact me again and I'll come and fix it for you. I'll probably change the drain cock for a new one live rather than drain down and re-fill. Not a procedure for the feint-hearted!

Cheers, Mike

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Re: Ballvalve not working

Post  Chris`I on Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:11 pm

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the reply. We need this sorting before next weekend really, so I think I'll give you a call tomorrow to arrange to get it fixed. I'm intrigued how you change the valve "live"! The dripping has slowed to maybe one drip a second, so its still enough to make quite a puddle if left unattended, and I'm not convinced it will stop as it did before.

As with these lovely pieces of hardware, I think there may be a few other things playing up so best get it all checked out by a pro to make sure its all working as it should.

Chris

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Re: Ballvalve not working

Post  Chris`I on Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:55 am

Actually, found the bit I need at B&Q/Screwfix I think. They dont list they are BSP but I assume they are. I'll give this ago tonight and if that fails then I'll give you a call to get the cavalry in

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