Plumbing Help

Discussion in 'Other Repairs' started by Cyclops01, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. Cyclops01

    Cyclops01 New Member

    Messages:
    578
    State:
    Eden, NC.
    I'm loosing about 10,000 gallons of water a month. I shut off the main supply valve in the house and the meter flow guage is still spinning. I have no doubt that there is a break in the line between the meter and the house.

    The line run is about 35 feet. I can't find ANY clues of a break. The meter pit is dry. There's no wet wall problems in the basement and there's no "swamp" or olympic sized pool in my yard.

    Before I toss $200.00 into renting a trac-hoe for four hours, I'd kinda like to narrow down on my dig site. I'm looking for a (cheap) way to test, to get me close as possible to the break location.

    This running out to the meter with a curb key a couple times a day is getting real old...LOL

    Mike
     
  2. Itch2Scratch

    Itch2Scratch New Member

    Messages:
    1,662
    State:
    Ivy Bend on LOZ, Missouri
    Well Mike, if your not seeing a wet spot on the ground along the route of your water pipe, your either really deep or your waterline snapped on the outside of your basement wall..had that happen and never saw anything, just heard it running constantly. Hope this helps locate the problem, good luck.
     

  3. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    I had this happen and it was where it came out of the house and made a curve, there was a fitting there that was leaking. If you have a straight run from the meter and than a curve to go in the house I would start there.
     
  4. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    Mike you live up north in cold country so I don't know if this will work.
    Take you a round wooden stick about three or four foot long and if you have an idea where the line is at just shut your main feed off to the house and leave the water on at the meeter walk the line with the stick to the ground.
    Placeing the stick every few inches until you hear it running.


    Put your ear right on the end of the stick and you can hear the sound of the water when you get close to it. It will let you feel the viberatation from it to. Its kinda like a dr stetscope effect.
    Hope this made sense.
     
  5. Cyclops01

    Cyclops01 New Member

    Messages:
    578
    State:
    Eden, NC.
    What makes it tough for me is the area I'm in... not quite north but not quite south either. We have had rain, snow and days warm enough to melt off the snow. There hasn't been a long enough stretch of warm and dry to make a wet area in the yard obvious.

    The line is about three feet deep and almost at the top of a slight grade. According to my water bill, the amount used increase started (by a couple thousand gallons) in October. I figure I'm sitting on a potential sink-hole that's going to take out a couple square miles when she goes... lol

    My thought is, IF I can stay close to the line run, use a probe to the line depth and then look for a "mini gusher" bubbling up in the area near the break. I just don't know if the line pressure is enough to create this if the probe hole isn't dead-bang on the break site.

    Mike
     
  6. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    If you use a line probe it will be a lot softer close to the leak then it will be any where else.
     
  7. Cyclops01

    Cyclops01 New Member

    Messages:
    578
    State:
    Eden, NC.
    I want to thank each of you for replying. I'm feeling confident you have set me on the right track.

    Ya just gotta love this site!!!

    Mike
     
  8. FS Driver

    FS Driver New Member

    Messages:
    2,323
    State:
    swansea,illinoi
    mike
    ATTENTION LOL FIRST OFF HAVE UTILITIES MARKED BEFORE YOU GO DIGGING.
    nicking a phone line can cost you fines and repair bill up in the thousands
    depending on the size of the line.gas and electric line dangers is self explanatory.


    theres a fella here in the metro st louis area that has a system
    that he can run a cable up through your existing service (of course its been disconnected on either end first) and he can remove and reinstall a new line without digging a trench.

    if you are thinking of renting a track hoe and go to that extent check
    some plumbing co. out in your neck of the woods . they might offer that type of service.
    on a 75 foot line this guy wanted about 500 bux.

    i too would start at your house and work my way down a few feet at a time
    never tried bubbakats trick but i bet it would work ive listened for sewer cables like that before.
    good luck man 10,000 gallons geezeloueeze
    yeah id be out there cutting on and off too LOL
     
  9. Cyclops01

    Cyclops01 New Member

    Messages:
    578
    State:
    Eden, NC.
    Thanks Darryl. I darn for sure don't want to go snagging into some other line and make this an even more expensive project... lol

    Mike
     
  10. zappaf19

    zappaf19 New Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    State:
    Monticello,IN
    Start @ the house like suggested and dig down with the water on. You should find mud quick! Follow the stream stream of water to the leak. If you have steel pipe you can get a saddle clamp to clamp over the hole. I use them alot @ work.
    Bill
    Good luck
     
  11. Cattracker16

    Cattracker16 New Member

    Messages:
    356
    State:
    Wilton Iowa
    1st off your leak won't show to top of ground if you have sandy soil, and a tile around your home.. secound reason it's not showing is because you are shutting off the water not given it a chance to show up.. that being my own opinion.. if by chance it's a steel line i would dig the whole darn thing up and replace with copper.. with that being said it is a law here you must have a locate done before digging. other than that good luck and hope you find the leak...
     
  12. Ol Whiskers

    Ol Whiskers New Member

    Messages:
    290
    State:
    Fairfield Township, Ohio
    Mike,

    You're right around the corner from me. If your house is about 10 to 20 years old - I remember about 2 years ago a big effort in the area to replace some kind of plastic water lines (BLUE something?) the contractors were using then. Had a terrible failure rate and everybody in our upper sub was having their yards dug up. You might check with the building inspector's office, or even local plumber just to ask about this in general. There might have been some legal action, but I can't say 'cause I wasn't affected.
     
  13. fwmud

    fwmud New Member

    Messages:
    693
    State:
    Wilson's Mills,nc
    It was used a lot years ago.
    Trade name is "blue poly" similar to "Quest" pipe but different fittings.
    You are right, failure rate was hudge. A company has a special tool that is pulled thru your pipe, splitting it to allow a new line to be pulled back thru. Only 2 small holes are dug to do this.
    I'd suggest digging it up and installing a new PVC line from the house to the meter.
    Just make sure to use the locating services first Mike, they can save you a headache.
    The clamps, couplings and other "jack-leg" repairs are only temperary and WILL come back to haunt you.
    Need any further help/advice? Call, email or PM or post, I'll do my best for ya bro