Water leaks at home.

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by JOhnH, Apr 4, 2021.

  1. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I noticed my water bill was a little bigger than I expected, three months in a row. I checked the meter and I was losing around 3gph. I checked all faucets and toilets and nothing obvious.

    I called a leak detection company and they found a leak under the slab where the water main goes in the house. They can only find 1 leak at a time.

    I called a plumber and he had to bust the concrete below the slab and reach in to fix a PVC leak. He then cemented the hole back up.

    Cost so far: $325 for the leak detector and $460 for the plumber.

    I still had a leak of about 1.5 gph. Plumber came back out for free to check his work. Looked good, so I had the leak detector come back out. He found another leak in the supply line outside the house. Then the plumber comes and fixes that.

    Another $750 for a running total of $1,535.

    According to my meter, I am still losing about .09 gph (or 21.6 gal per day).

    The leak detector is coming back out tomorrow, but I'm wondering if 22 gallons per day is worth spending another $750 or more. I'm thinking is is something I need to do since its the damage that is most worrying and not just the cost of the water.

    I'm open to suggestions, but mostly I'm just venting.
     
  2. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I would at least want to know where the water is leaking. I think it’s worth investigating, as the result down the road could be significantly more expensive if you wind up with some water damage someplace.
    How much will the cumulative expenses end up being over time? Might as well nip it now.
     
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  3. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    True, and that's what I'm planning.

    I am guessing that I did not develop 3 leaks at once. The 3rd one probably just brought it to my attention.
     
  4. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    I think the overall issue is leaks grow over time. What may be 20 GPD today will be 21 tomorrow and so on.
     
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  5. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    A leak can cause entrainment of the surrounding soil during periods of higher flow.

    The leak can also get worse over time.

    That’s 8k gallons per year. The water has to go somewhere. It may cause issues elsewhere on the property later.
     
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  6. FORANE

    FORANE En-Route

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    Do you have a cutoff at the water entrance to your house? If so you could locate the leak inside or outside. If it's outside and your main supply line is adequate size you might be able to feed a pex hose through the existing pipe and bypass the leak.
     
  7. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

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    Those prices are absurdly cheap these days. Most contractors are charging F-you prices to everyone since it is all big NYC money pouring in around here. An extra 20k to every bill does not seem to bother enough customers to stop the contractors.
     
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  8. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    "20k"? sounds pretty expensive ;-)
     
  9. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I actually have two water entrances to the house. One feeds the back two bathrooms and the other feeds the rest of the house. I did have one whole house cut off installed when I bought the place. I found with that valve open I saw the 3+gph leak. If I closed that valve, the leak slowed. The plumber installed a new cut-off to one of the entrances. I have been closing valves and measuring the leakage most of the day. I'll know a little more later to tell the leak detector guy where to look.
     
  10. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

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    And that’s assuming that you can find a contractor with any availability. Luckily I built everything on my property myself by hand.

    But it is literally the fastest growing housing sales market in the country. Prices are up 125% from 2020 in some of the towns. Houses sell in 3 days max significantly above asking with an envelope of cash. Every sale means a ton of renovations, plus lots of renovations for all the second homes that are now primary homes for ex-city-ites. Plus stimulus checks, etc.
     
  11. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The leak will get bigger if you don't fix it. You may just be paying to patch up a pipe that needs to be replaced, time will tell.
     
  12. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    Here the meters are in the basement. Any leak in the service line to the house would not be detected until it bubbles out of the ground.
     
  13. Jeff Oslick

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    0.09 gph could just be a slightly leaky toilet tank seal, or more than one slightly leaky toilet.
     
  14. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ah, you meant adding 20 percent to the bill, not 20k. (I'm not being snarky)
     
  15. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Sinkhole!
    Fix that leak!
     
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  16. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The leak finder guy will be here somewhere between 10 & 12 tomorrow morning.
    With luck, I will save $20/month in water/sewer bills. It will pay me back in a mere 112 months in water bill savings alone.
     
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  17. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    The math doesn't seem quite right here.

    Yeah but it will also get easier to find as it gets bigger.
     
  18. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

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    Copper pipe, no doubt.....only a matter of time.....some locales worse than others depending upon the “aggressiveness” (per my plumbers) of the water.
    Jackhammered through our slab twice before biting the bullet and bringing PVC above grade.....PITA.
     
  19. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You are right. I meant 0.9 gph. Not 0.09
     
  20. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne Final Approach

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    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    I don't know if you're a DIY guy, but I find the easiest way to find buried leaks is to hook an air compressor up to a hose bib and pressurize the system to about 40lbs. If you don't see it, you'll hear it.
     
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  21. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I used to be a DIY guy; >20 years ago. Now, I pay professionals to fix in hours what it would take them days to fix if I tried to fix it first.
     
  22. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    The city water system might not like the potential for backflow.
     
  23. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

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    No, $20,000 tacked on to a bath renovation or kitchen cabinets, or new floors, or siding is chump change to these people. Everyone is so busy is it like pay me in gold bars now or wait a year and I’ll get to you job later.
     
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  24. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ah
     
  25. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    I had to use this method years ago on my mother's home to locate a leak on the supply line under the lawn and her flower gardens. You close off the supply at the curbstop. It's difficult to hold any air pressure on the system if you're still open to the city main.
     
  26. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's one of the methods the leak detector guy used. But he still needed special sonic gear with headphones and a probe to detect a water leak a foot underground.
    And yeah, he turned the water off at the meter to keep the pressure contained on my side.
     
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  27. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route

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    4691D2EA-32FB-4C13-86E2-C57744A11036.jpeg I found the leak. It’s in my basement.
     
  28. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    Easy enough there. Here on the Canadian prairies the pipes are eight feet underground. The frost can go to six feet easy in a long, cold winter. A leaking line can take a long time to show up at the surface, sometimes shows up in the basement first. When they dig up the street they usually need a vacuum truck to come and suck all the mud out of the hole as they dig, then bring in dry fill to replace it.
     
  29. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Where I live, we call basements "indoor swimming pools".
     
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  30. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route

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    Lol. I tell ppl that I have Indians with canoes in mine. It’s about water movement not prevention. My sump pump had a small piece of foam wedge itself between the pump and the float at a bad time.
     
  31. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Years ago I owned a house built on a slab. After repairing the leak under the slab I asked the insurance company if the plumbing could brought into a side wall and fed through the attic. It was a simple single story house and would have been relatively easy to do. They said they would not cover such a change ...
     
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  32. Sac Arrow

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    So what material is your underground plumbing? Type K copper? Sounds like you might have a galvanic corrosion issue, as you seem to have multiple leaks. Sounds like you need a new line. It's too bad they had to put it under the slab, but you could a new one from outside and make the splice inside.
     
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  33. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It seems to be all PVC. As for multiple leaks, I believe I have had one or two since I bought the house and didn't know about it. I think I recently sprung another leak which brought it to my attention, so when I had one fixed I started watching the meter closer and noticed it was still leaking. We found the second leak and had it fixed, but I now have what appears to be a 3rd leak (or one of the other leaks wasn't fixed quite right).

    I just talked to the leak detector guy and he said that he will probably not be able to find a tenth of a gallon an hour leak. He suggested I just keep an eye on it and when it gets worse (about 1gph or more) to call them back.

    So I guess my next job is to dig up where they fixed the other leaks and see if they are still seeping.
     
  34. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    You probably have CPVC. CPVC below grade and under a slab is a poor practice. If the product isn’t a premium CPVC like FlowGuard Gold you are going to have problems no matter where it’s installed. Chlorine can attack CPV, it can get brittle, it has to be properly supported, and the installation has to account for expansion That’s why you need a premium CPVC and a quality installer if it’s going to be used.

    I suspect you are going to be chasing leaks until you decide to tear it out and replace it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
  35. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I suspect you are right. It looks like that will be the route I wind up going. The leak detector guy told me today that leaks as slow as the one I now have are practically impossible to find and that I should wait till (not if) it gets worse. Then he should be able to find it. I'll probably have the line replaced before that.
     
  36. Let'sgoflying!

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    JOhn? you still ok?


    JohnsHome.jpg
     
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  37. NealRomeoGolf

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    CPVC seems like such an oxymoron. Chlorinated PVC. PVC already has chlorine in it. Chemistry is weird (says the son of a chemical engineer).
     
  38. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And even more so when connected to a public water supply system.
     
  39. wsuffa

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    Still better than Orangeburg pipe.