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Thread: Attic tank

  1. #1
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    Default Attic tank

    Does anyone still have attic tank supply to any of their their toilets? Our old tank circa 1862 was leaking water into three of our toilets so we shut off the supply to the tank, a beautiful old copper thing way up in the crawl space in the attic. Now what do we do? Fortunately the other toilets in the house are not supplied by This Old Tank.
    Last edited by winthropite; 07-15-2008 at 09:18 AM. Reason: clarification of problem

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Attic tank

    *** cant believe that thing lasted that long... they don't make em like they used to the tank inerds very simple but i believe that anti shiphon ballcocks were invented by then and it was flushed by that head pressure in the attic.. you probably have a 2" lead waste bend coming straight out the wall behind it. The floor and walls would have to be demoed for the drain and vent unless theres a crawl space
    Last edited by djrenek1; 07-16-2008 at 02:28 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Attic tank

    I would expect water has to be plumbed to the fixtures.
    Could the tank just be bypassed with a new supply to feed the existing toilet supplies coming from the attic tank? Possibly, but with pipe that old it may be better to take new water pipe to the toilets.
    I don't see any reason to redo the waste or vents unless they don't meet code.
    Large tanks in attics are usually abandoned in place. With the cost of copper it may be worth it to cut it up & sell it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Attic tank

    Quote Originally Posted by ed21 View Post
    I would expect water has to be plumbed to the fixtures.
    Could the tank just be bypassed with a new supply to feed the existing toilet supplies coming from the attic tank? Possibly, but with pipe that old it may be better to take new water pipe to the toilets.
    I don't see any reason to redo the waste or vents unless they don't meet code.
    Large tanks in attics are usually abandoned in place. With the cost of copper it may be worth it to cut it up & sell it.
    anyting roughed in in the 1800's is not to code sorry! you cant even make it work with modern water closets

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Attic tank

    I guess I wasn't thinking the toilets were that old, just that the tank was part of a gravity feed water supply that was still being used to fill the toilets. Can't say I've seen a toilet pre 20th century. I have seen the tanks up high above the toilet in turn of the century homes.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Attic tank

    Thank you both. Why can't we just replace the supply valve shutoff (is that a valve or just a shutoff? I just turned it, the water stopped running, ) to the attic tank?
    As soon as I crawled up there and shut off that valve, the water stopped leaking into the tank, and then the tank stopped trying to fill the 3 toilets on the floor below.
    So in my ignorance I am thinking, if we first just try something small like that, or is it not so small?
    What am I missing here? I very much appreciate your advice. Thank you.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Attic tank

    Quote Originally Posted by winthropite View Post
    Thank you both. Why can't we just replace the supply valve shutoff (is that a valve or just a shutoff? I just turned it, the water stopped running, ) to the attic tank?
    As soon as I crawled up there and shut off that valve, the water stopped leaking into the tank, and then the tank stopped trying to fill the 3 toilets on the floor below.
    So in my ignorance I am thinking, if we first just try something small like that, or is it not so small?
    What am I missing here? I very much appreciate your advice. Thank you.
    I have a question. Do these 3 toilets need that tank to flush or refill? If they're still functioning without the tank then just leave the old treasure where it is and go on with life.
    Debby in Oklahoma

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Attic tank

    That's a good question. Yes, the 3 toilets need the water from the tank to flush or refill. We have the toilets' tops down and taped with little notes "not to use" on them.
    So here's how it works: The water in the attic tank flows into each toilet when we open the shutoff at the toilet. then when we close the shutoff at each toilet, the water stops running into that toilet. The supply to the tank is regulated with a ball that rises just like in your regular toilets; so it refills that way, then stops. Come to think of it, I guess that's a real water saving thing isn't it, in that you can regulate how much water to use for a flush, not just push a lever.
    I wonder if we just need to replace the arm/ball now that I think of it. Again, I appreciate all your input.
    I assume you know that once the water flows into the toilet, it flushes until you stop letting the water flow in.
    And one more thing, the tank itself is tight, it's the water that flows out of the tank through the pipes into the toilets that was constantly running.
    I apologize for not being very clear on this.
    So then I thought, maybe the shutoffs at one of the toilets is the problem.
    Last edited by winthropite; 07-17-2008 at 06:19 PM. Reason: last paragraph for clarification

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Attic tank

    i think you just answered your own question. there is lots of plumbing outside of the united states that doesn't even approach code. who has ever seen a graviety feed building with a water heater on the roof with steam coming out of it since there is not t & p valve? the same applies here. you have 3 toilets feed by a single tank that is "flushed" by the water control knob. simply and effective.
    Last edited by misfitter; 07-17-2008 at 08:51 PM. Reason: ms
    Process of elimination. Good luck.

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