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View Full Version : Water leak, between meter and house (HELP)


rjet
04-02-2009, 09:24 PM
Any plumbing experts on here? :-*
Got my water bill today to the tune of $300. :-*
Went and looked at the meter and it was spinning away. Turned off water at the house and it was still spinning. Dug up where I spliced in to run water to the shed and capped that line off. Turned water back on at the meter and sucker still spinning. So I have around a 100 foot run from the house shutoff to the meter. Any tricks to guess where to start digging? :-* There are no wet spots on the surface. Is there any way the meter could be defective?

Needmo
04-02-2009, 09:28 PM
I manage a water supply company in Clifton. If the meter is turning - water is going through it. Turn it back off and call your plumber.

windwalker
04-02-2009, 09:29 PM
May look for greener grass or weeds along the watter line area.I dout the meter is defective.

bowd up
04-02-2009, 09:31 PM
at least its only 100' not 800 like mine had the same problem 2 times green spots is what 2 look for

rjet
04-02-2009, 09:40 PM
I noticed water in my neighbors ditch the last few weeks. Just the other day I thought he might have a leak. LOL I am on the highest spot here so am guessing the water is running underground and seeping out there. No soggy areas in my yard or noticable green areas.

Wasnt sure if there were any other ways to tell. Guess a smart plan would be to dig a hole next to the pipe every 10 feet and narrow it down from there, make sense?

SaltwaterSlick
04-02-2009, 09:44 PM
Yep. you can do that, but you might also get yourself a piece of steel rod and push it in the ground around and up and down the water line path. There has to be a "soft" spot somewhere. And also if the meter is really spinning and not just moving slowly, you may also be able to hear it by putting your ear to a rod stuck just in the top of the ground. You might be able to tell from the sound when you're close.

Solocam
04-02-2009, 09:48 PM
Yep. you can do that, but you might also get yourself a piece of steel rod and push it in the ground around and up and down the water line path. There has to be a "soft" spot somewhere. And also if the meter is really spinning and not just moving slowly, you may also be able to hear it by putting your ear to a rod stuck just in the top of the ground. You might be able to tell from the sound when you're close.

That is what I was going to suggest as well. If your on higher ground then start digging at the last and highest spot you find soft ground.

jlptexashunter
04-02-2009, 09:52 PM
Divining Rods :)
When I lived in the sticks I had the steel shaft of my old driver for just such occasions. Just poke it in the ground right up the line and you'll find it.

Needmo
04-02-2009, 09:53 PM
Yep. you can do that, but you might also get yourself a piece of steel rod and push it in the ground around and up and down the water line path. There has to be a "soft" spot somewhere. And also if the meter is really spinning and not just moving slowly, you may also be able to hear it by putting your ear to a rod stuck just in the top of the ground. You might be able to tell from the sound when you're close. x3

rjet
04-02-2009, 09:53 PM
Sounds like a good idea, will try that. And yeah, the meter is spinning pretty quick. Meter is showing around a gallon in less than a minute. :eek:

Needmo
04-02-2009, 09:56 PM
Sometimes the water will travel down the original trench next to the pipe, or at least it does here in our rocky soils. If you use a probe to find the "soft spot" the water will usually come to the surface there, especially if the line is under pressure.

rjet
04-02-2009, 10:03 PM
Divining Rods :)
When I lived in the sticks I had the steel shaft of my old driver for just such occasions. Just poke it in the ground right up the line and you'll find it.


I found where I spliced into the line to run to my shed by withching. Is easy to find the line that way but where the ground is saturated will the lines will cross when away from the line? Stupid question but asked anyway, am guessing that whole area should show.

ty729
04-02-2009, 10:04 PM
Us an air compressor and pump air into the water line.

You will need a couple of parts to make this work.

First get a brass female garden hose thread adapter with the other end a 1/4" thread. Then screw on a (I can't remember the proper name ) piece that will allow you to hook up an air hose chuck to it. Kindof like a valve stem....Yea, a valve stem, that's it!

Screw this onto a hydrant somewhere at the house. Probably have a hydrant near where the water main goes into the house near you house shut off valve.

Also will help if you get an air chuck that has a little dealie on it so you can stick it on the valve stem and it will hold itself on. Other wise you will need a helper to hold the air hose on the valve stem.


Turn off the water meter and turn on the air. Listen for the air coming up. May have to crawl along the ground to be able to hear this.

If that doesn't work try soaking the general area that you think the water line runs from the meter to the house.

Then do the air thing again and look for bubbles.

rjet
04-02-2009, 10:04 PM
Sometimes the water will travel down the original trench next to the pipe, or at least it does here in our rocky soils. If you use a probe to find the "soft spot" the water will usually come to the surface there, especially if the line is under pressure.

Lots of shale here pretty shallow, but the area where the meter is at is dry.

rjet
04-02-2009, 10:08 PM
Good idea ty

ty729
04-02-2009, 10:10 PM
I are a plumber!:D

rjet
04-02-2009, 10:15 PM
I are a plumber!:D


Watcha doin tomorrow? :D

Needmo
04-02-2009, 10:16 PM
The leak is probably on the line to the house, with the rain we have had lately it causes the ground to swell and breaks the PVC. Bad thing is if the ground is wet sometimes it takes a day or two to find it. I would walk the line back to the house from the meter and check around the house (AND UNDER IT IF PIER AND BEAM) If the leak is under the house you can usually hear it in the pipes at night when all is quiet.

Needmo
04-02-2009, 10:17 PM
Beer doesn't make you fat, it makes you lean....against walls, trees, chairs, tables and ugly girls!

Thats too funny.:D:D

rjet
04-02-2009, 10:29 PM
The leak is probably on the line to the house, with the rain we have had lately it causes the ground to swell and breaks the PVC. Bad thing is if the ground is wet sometimes it takes a day or two to find it. I would walk the line back to the house from the meter and check around the house (AND UNDER IT IF PIER AND BEAM) If the leak is under the house you can usually hear it in the pipes at night when all is quiet.

I know for sure it is not into the house. Have a shutoff valve where water goes into the slab. Shut that off and meter was still spinning. Got lots of good ideas on here, looks like I get out of work tomorrow morning and get to miss the qualifying at TMS. :mad:

SaltwaterSlick
04-02-2009, 10:38 PM
One other thing you might also want to do is contact your water company and show them your normal water bills, and your receipts for whatever you buy to fix it, they might give you a loss credit. They do that in most of the metropolitan areas... might get some of your money back...

JHopson
04-02-2009, 10:38 PM
I like the easy way ... a small steel rod will work. With water use like that you should find mud at the right spot... The air should work also ... I'll bet you can hear it and may even see s bubble just takes some time connecting the parts ... The Plumber is the easer. Place the call open a beer and sit back and watch him work :) Hope you find it soon any way you go about it.

T6driver44
04-02-2009, 10:50 PM
I hope you find your leak, a $300.00 bill is a low month around here. They charge so much for water here it makes my jaw drop every month when I open the bill.

texag93
04-02-2009, 10:51 PM
Funny, how this topic popped up. I got a $200 water bill today. I have a leak at my meter!!!!

rjet
04-02-2009, 11:09 PM
I hope you find your leak, a $300.00 bill is a low month around here. They charge so much for water here it makes my jaw drop every month when I open the bill.

WOW:eek:
We have an aerobic septic so water bill usually isnt too bad compared to those on sewer. Have a 28000 gallon pool and the bill didnt reach $300 when we filled it.
Gonna call city hall tomorrow and see if they will cut me a break, they are pretty good about doing that. They owe us a bit in this neighborhood, we were two years with water pressure well below minimum.

Bill in San Jose
04-03-2009, 02:12 AM
My experience with things breaking, is that they generally break at the ends and at connections. I just helped a friend repair a break where his underground pvc joined to the house's copper outside.

Look for a leak at the ends of the pipe 1st would be my suggestion.

ty729
04-03-2009, 09:43 AM
I know for sure it is not into the house. Have a shutoff valve where water goes into the slab. Shut that off and meter was still spinning. Got lots of good ideas on here, looks like I get out of work tomorrow morning and get to miss the qualifying at TMS. :mad:

Easy there rjet!

What type of shut off valve is at the house end of the line?

If it is a ball valve (1/4 turn) then chances are it is shutting off completely.

If it is a gate valve or compression type valve that you have to turn several times to shut off then it may not be shutting off completely.

Simplest way (my style) is to shut off the valve and then go in the house and turn on a faucet. If the water completely stops coming out of the faucet then you are fine.

If not....

We go out on a ton of high-water-bill type complaints and find many times a running commode or some other source. If it is a peir and beam house take a crawl around down under as well.

Eliminate all of the easy stuff before you start digging. Don't assume anything.

Tmag
04-03-2009, 09:53 AM
Bummer! Must be contagious, my hot water valve went out on my bathtub yesterday and find a replacement is almost impossible.

glen
04-03-2009, 09:55 AM
You will get charged alot if you have it done. It is just labor and not hard to do. Get a witching stick and find out where the actual pipe and mark it. Dig it out and replace it from the meter to the house. Make sure you dig it out good and then put new sand down.

rjet
04-03-2009, 11:05 AM
Eliminate all of the easy stuff before you start digging. Don't assume anything.

Eliminated easy stuff last night. Shutoff valve did shutoff all water to the house, verified when I turned it off. Capped off where I spliced in to run water to shed.

Found soft spot along line this morning, halfway between house and meter.:D

Thanks for all the advice/tips all.

Zookeeper
04-03-2009, 09:53 PM
Yep. you can do that, but you might also get yourself a piece of steel rod and push it in the ground around and up and down the water line path. There has to be a "soft" spot somewhere. And also if the meter is really spinning and not just moving slowly, you may also be able to hear it by putting your ear to a rod stuck just in the top of the ground. You might be able to tell from the sound when you're close.

I used to work for the water Dept and this is how we did it.

rjet
04-06-2009, 11:50 AM
Got the leak fixed. :D Sorry arse plumber who installed that line seemed to have missed gluing one of the couplings. :mad: Sorry arse wont give me a call back. :mad:
Went to city hall this morning and they did drop my water bill down to the normal level. :D

Tmag
04-06-2009, 12:49 PM
Glad you got it fixed.