Leaking Pipe? Need suggestions.

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Submitted by nco on September 29, 2011 - 6:43pm

I think I have a leak, maybe a broken pipe. I checked the toilets, and the sprinkler system - and they seem OK to me. I shut off the water supply to the house, but water was still running through the main water valve, so I then turned off the sprinkler valve, but water was still running through the main water valve (the meter was moving), so finally I turned off the main water valve, and then it finally stopped. Was wondering if anyone has suggestions on how to locate the leak? Can a plumber do that? I haven't noticed any wet dry wall or floors. Thanks.

Submitted by ucodegen on September 29, 2011 - 9:53pm.

Ok.. some quick ones. It almost sounds like a broken pipe, possibly under the foundation. Yes there is a way to locate it, but you probably do not have the tools.

With the water on.. running for about 1 day if checking for moisture near the foundation.

  • Are you on slab or raised floor (most newer houses are on slab)
  • How fast (cu feet/min or gal/min) is the leak?
  • About when was the construction of the house.
  • Is there any water appearing around the foundation, or is ground near an area of the foundation wetter than normal?
  • Hopefully none of the carpet nor walls(check near the bottom of the walls - where they meet the carpet) are getting wet.
  • Is the output side of the hot water heater always hot, even if someone has not taken a bath, done dishes, washed clothes for quite a while (hot water heater may be cycling more often than normal)

    If it is under the slab, a person will have to locate the leak through sound. There is a tool for doing this. They will then have to pull up any carpet over the particular area followed by cutting/jack-hammering through the slab to get to the leak. They then cut out the bad segment followed by replacing the sand, moisture membrane, concrete and then finally sewing together any carpet that they need to.

  • Submitted by evolusd on September 30, 2011 - 8:22am.

    ucodegen wrote:
    Ok.. some quick ones. It almost sounds like a broken pipe, possibly under the foundation. Yes there is a way to locate it, but you probably do not have the tools.

    With the water on.. running for about 1 day if checking for moisture near the foundation.

  • Are you on slab or raised floor (most newer houses are on slab)
  • How fast (cu feet/min or gal/min) is the leak?
  • About when was the construction of the house.
  • Is there any water appearing around the foundation, or is ground near an area of the foundation wetter than normal?
  • Hopefully none of the carpet nor walls(check near the bottom of the walls - where they meet the carpet) are getting wet.
  • Is the output side of the hot water heater always hot, even if someone has not taken a bath, done dishes, washed clothes for quite a while (hot water heater may be cycling more often than normal)

    If it is under the slab, a person will have to locate the leak through sound. There is a tool for doing this. They will then have to pull up any carpet over the particular area followed by cutting/jack-hammering through the slab to get to the leak. They then cut out the bad segment followed by replacing the sand, moisture membrane, concrete and then finally sewing together any carpet that they need to.

  • Sounds expensive! It seems to me that raised floor houses are much easier to fix when things go wrong beneath the floor. Why the trend to mostly slab foundations?

    Submitted by Fearful on September 30, 2011 - 10:48am.

    evolusd wrote:

    Sounds expensive! It seems to me that raised floor houses are much easier to fix when things go wrong beneath the floor. Why the trend to mostly slab foundations?

    More expensive to build a raised wood floor. Also, because the soil is usually left at the same height, the raised floor is 18" above grade, meaning you have to go up steps to get in the house.

    Raised floors are just a cheap evolution from the most desirable, which is a full basement.

    When post tension slabs came into use, the slab became a truly long term viable foundation.

    One partial solution is to run the water and gas supply lines in the space above the first floor.

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