Title photo
frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Sat, 22 Oct 2016

The squeak in the plumbing

There's been a squeak in the plumbing. For about a year. When you turn the water on, "squeak." When you turn it off, "squeak."

The picture gives it away. It was the Zurn pressure-reducing valve. We have super-high water pressure, and we probably need two pressure-reducing valves in series but make due with one.

Anyhow, the squeak has been a mystery. Ilene thought it was the pressure-reducing valve all along. I agreed that we probably needed either a new one, or a rebuild on the old one (there's a kit for that).

But I wasn't sure. The sound was super loud in the shower wall.

I ventured into the spider- (and web-) filled crawlspace under the house to check the pipes while the teenager turned the water on and off. I was looking for things that moved. Things that moved enough to squeak.

I found nothing.

I was planning to venture under the house again. I spent all of my time under the bathroom area and none under the kitchen.

I was worried that the squeak came from pipes that were in a wall (shower or kitchen sink) and would require expensive demo and rebuilding.

But today I decided to take a look at the pressure-reducing valve.

I loosened the locknut and turned it counterclockwise a half-turn. I tried the plumbing.

"Squeak, squeak."

I tried a full turn.

"Squeak, squeak."

Then another turn.

"Squeak, squeak."

I reversed course: Two full turns clockwise, then an additional half-turn.

I tried the water again.

I heard water sounds.

No squeaks.

I tightened the locknut and thanked the plumbing gods.