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Intermittent flow from hot bath tap

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by DeKerf, 23 Nov 2017.

  1. DeKerf

    DeKerf

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    Location:
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    Hi there.

    Sometimes when we go to turn on the hot water in the bath (mixer tap), we only get a tiny trickle coming out.

    The strange part is that we can then leave it overnight, turn it on again in the morning and it's working a lot better.

    Can anyone help by listing a few possible causes and solutions? All helps gratefully received!

    It is probably only 1 in 10 attempts that we get a trickle, but the flow does seem to vary slightly every time.

    I'm on the verge of trying to replace the whole tap, but would rather not.

    Thank you very much.
     
  2. oldbuffer

    oldbuffer

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    If vented hot water system (cold water cistern in loft, hot water cylinder in airing cupboard), possibly an airlock.
     
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  4. DeKerf

    DeKerf

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    Thank you oldbuffer, that's very helpful.

    I suspected an airlock might be the problem. Yes it is a vented system as you describe.

    So my next question is - how to go about fixing an airlock? Is it a job for a plumber?

    Many thanks again.
     
  5. oldbuffer

    oldbuffer

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    There are two principal methods:

    1. Force mains cold water back up the hot side to clear the air into the tank. If you have a mixer tap in the kitchen, block the spout (hand over it, but water pressure could be fierce), open the hot, then turn on the cold. Don't do it for very long, or the cold goes into the hot cylinder, back up into the cold water cistern and then overflows. If you haven't got a mixer, try a hosepipe held securely over the outlet of a hot tap, open hot, turn on hosepipe tap. Same warning not to do it for very long.

    2. If you have a wet and dry vacuum cleaner, turn each hot outlet on in turn and suck water through each. If you don't have a wet and dry, let the hot go cold, then try sucking it out. Trouble is you may not be able to suck enough to clear it completely and the airlock re-forms.

    If 1. or 2. doesn't do the trick, you'll need to investigate more thoroughly, try and work out where the airlock is (usually a pipe rising rather than falling to outlet, or an inverted loop. Clearing it may be possible by slackening a nearby compression fitting to let air out, followed by water, whereupon you tighten the fitting up again.
     
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