Failing Ball Valves

Control Valves
April 30, 2014
Plastic Pipework
May 4, 2014

Most homes in the UK will have at least three ball valves, one in the toilet cistern, one in the cold water storage tank in the loft and one in the smaller feed and expansion tank, which is also in the loft. The ball valve is a great invention, but eventually all ball valves will fail. To make matters worse, ball valves are not, as a general rule failsafe. In fact they usually fail downright dangerously releasing a huge amount of water into a relatively small tank or cistern. To cope with this, every tank or cistern as an overflow pipe. Willesden Plumbers can check ball valves.

The theory is that when the ball valve fails all the excess water races out of the pipe and is deposited safely outside of the house. Meanwhile, back in reality, it has taken 10 years for the ball valve to fail, during which time everyone has forgotten all about it. The tank it feeds is covered with dust and carpets and the occasional piece of polystyrene. The overflow pipe leading from the tank is now full with spiders webs, dead leaves and other detritus that is best not examine too closely. During the years both the plastic tank and the plastic overflow pipe have expanded and contracted as the weather rages around the house and as a result the pipe is now connected to the tank by nothing more than grit and determination. Eventually the great day arrives on the ball valve fails. The water level quickly rises in the tank until it reaches the overflow pipe. The water starts to run down the overflow pipe but is met by debris, so the water level in the tank starts to rise, and rise, until the tank overflows into the house. And this is the main problem, the overflow from fails at much the same time as the ball valve. A Willesden Plumber fits ball valves.

Some things to do:

Check the state of your various ball valves once a year. It only takes two minutes and can be part of a general ‘spring check’ for the whole house.
If you opt to change the ball valve always check the state of the overflow pipe and change this at the same time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *