4 new entries added after 7/22/08
After looking through some online newsgroups I received several tips for my air in the pipes issue. The one thing I found out was that the expansion tank should be empty. I am not sure if I buy that since I have also heard that it is supposed to be half filled. So I shut off the valve to the tank and drained it. Seemed like quite a lot was in there. I closed it back up and went out to dinner. I decided not to open up the valve right away in case it was going to leak.
So I got home and watched some tv and thought I'd go downstairs and check on the tank. This is the point where I found the basement flooded. The pressure release valve was dumping out water. Apparently I should have opened that valve back up. Steve helped me vacuum up all the water. In the past I was able to use the washing machine to pump water out of the basement. Now however I have a front end loading washer so I can only do a little at a time. We went to the old bucket carrying technique. Once the floor was taken care of we tried to sort out the pressure problem. When we had the water working into the pipes we tried getting the pressure up. The pressure release valve started leaking again.
We put a bucket under the spout which was very low to the ground. The problem with that was if you pulled the bucket out it would dump. So we had to continue with the vacuuming and hauling of water. To make it even more frustrating the bucket took about 20 minutes to fill. So one of us had to be there to dump it every 20 minutes. Did I mention it was midnight on a saturday and no one in the county would come out to look at it?
We swapped to a larger (40 minute) bucket. I kept looking at the internet to find a solution and Steve helped me to get rid of the water. Here we were.. two degrees a piece and we couldn't make the stupid thing stop!!!
Around 2 Steve called it a night. I thought through the entire process and ended up draining the tank once more. I pulled on the release valve to see if it would blow out any debris that could have been in there. It still came out. I did it once more and it was just a drip... One more time and only a drop came out every 15 seconds or so. 4am I went to bed and set an alarm for 40 minutes. I reluctantly woke up and went downstairs to check. Things were holding up. Back to bed and another alarm. Still good.
Around 7am I received two calls from the '24 hour' plumbers checking to see what I needed. Thanks a lot guys. I didn't wake up for them. I called a plumber and had him come out for monday. He said that things were 'ok' for now. I might have him come out and replace the valve. I haven't decided if I trust his judgment though. From what I have heard from a few people some of his suggestions were out of line. I really wish I knew how to do this stuff on my own.