Fixing my ballcock

A quick DIY post…

Much to our dismay, my ballcock hasn’t been functioning correctly for a couple of weeks now… Luckily the problem is quite common – especially with more mature plumbing like mine – and is easy to fix!

We have a cold water header tank for our hot water cylinder and the old ballcock wasn’t shutting off completely, resulting in some overflow outside our kitchen. One solution is to stick a bend in the float arm to get a bit more pressure on the valve, but ours already made a banana look straight so I decided to replace it.

For around $40 I was able to pick up a new stainless steel ballcock, plastic float and thread tape.

As you can see in the following photo, I’m lucky that I have a tap on the pipe into the tank, meaning I can shut the water off right there to get the job done.

With the header tank inflow turned off, I ran a bit of hot water to lower the tank level for the changeover and also to see the new ballcock would shut off fully once the water was back on. Five minutes in our hot ceiling cavity (temp in the mid-30’s) was enough to get the job done with a spanner and a bit of new thread tape.

The result? So far so good. The plastic float is more buoyant than the old metal one and it’s shutting off a couple of centimetres below the overflow pipe. Fingers crossed there’ll be no more leaky overflow…

Now I dunno what a plumber would charge to do this, but I’d wager it would be a few $ more if not double what I paid to do it myself.