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  • Water supply leak in house, can't locate

    Good morning,

    Home is single-level, ranch style home, built in mid-90's, on a slab.
    All supply pipes appear to be copper buried in the ground. One shower was added in a remodel and is PEX in the attic.

    The sound of running water can be heard through the pipes, been that way for 2 weeks.

    Already verified:
    swamp water line
    water heater lines & relief valve
    all outside hose bibs
    fridge water line
    fridge water dispenser & ice maker
    no water softener on this home
    no hot water recirculation on this home
    clothes washing machine
    large tub sink in laundry room
    all faucets in the house
    dishwasher (checked underneath and inside machine)
    all stools, no leaking water (visual and did dye test)
    outside sprinkler system, completely shutoff and verified
    went into attic, checked plastic supply pipes to a shower that was added during remodel
    No green vegitation around home, no visible moisture around foundation, no musty smells.


    Shutoff supply line to home, and noise is gone. Leave supply line off for a few minutes, turn it back on, and the meter rushes for a second to repressurize. There's definitely a leak somewhere.

    I need help.

    Under the foundation?
    How do I find it?

    Other ideas of what it might be?

    KRS

  • #2
    Re: Water supply leak in house, can't locate

    Hire a locating company.

    Mark
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Water supply leak in house, can't locate

      if you shut off the water to the heater, does the noise and meter stop running?

      if it's a hot water leak, you typically can home in with a warm floor. if it's cold water then you can try back feeding the cold with the hot water from your house or a neighbor and feel for a warm floor. or shut off the hot and cold and add air into the cold to make noise/ bubbles.

      we use pipe locators, leak detectors and compressed air to create air bubbles and more sound.

      rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Water supply leak in house, can't locate

        All of what Rick said is good to narrow the hot or cold side. There are private locate companies with special equipment that can pinpoint the leak under the slab. Before you call one of those companies, check with your local water utility provider. Some utility companies also have this same equipment and will come out to locate it for you free of charge or for very little. If your area does not provide such service then you will need to hire someone.

        If you do find the leak is in the hot water side of the system, there is one other trick I have heard of. Borrow a cat for a few days! Cats like to lay in warm areas and it's possible the cat will begin to lay down in the same spot on top of the leak.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Water supply leak in house, can't locate

          I used a long screwdriver as a stethescope and put it on every hot and cold tap in the house, the cold is much much louder. Also, the propane water heater isn't cycling on and off a bunch; so I'm fairly certain it's a cold water leak.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Water supply leak in house, can't locate

            Locate where the main water line enters the home and install a stop valve there,if there is one already turn it off and make sure it works! If you still have a leak its between the meter and your main stop valve.

            If its a cold water leak under the slab and there are no leak location companies in your area you can reverse your system if you have an alternate cold water source like a neighbor's hose faucet. Move the dip tube in the water heater to the hot side. Remove the hot side washing machine hose from the washing machine and connect a sanitary garden hose from the w.m. hose to your neighbors outside hose faucet.

            Fire the water heater off on the hottest setting with the valve closed on the cold side which you have now converted to hot. When the tank heats up and the thermostat is satisfied open the valve and allow the hot water to flow. Hopefully the floor will heat up. It may take several cycles of turning the valve off and allowing the water heater to recover.

            Make sure the toilets are turned off and do not let anyone get burned. I've located many with this method. Goodluck.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Water supply leak in house, can't locate

              You can pick up stethescope's really cheap on ebay, less than ten bucks. I have one I carry in the truck but paid a little more for mine. If you can hear it in the pipes then you should have no trouble finding it on the floor with a little crawling around and knowing about where the pipes run. In fact you can pretty much pin point the leak with it. Just take your time, you'll find it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Water supply leak in house, can't locate

                Thank you for the advice and help; located the house shut-off, it requires a mirror to see. It's literally buried behind the water heater with zero clearance to get to . Nice.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Water supply leak in house, can't locate

                  Originally posted by KKRRSS View Post
                  Thank you for the advice and help; located the house shut-off, it requires a mirror to see. It's literally buried behind the water heater with zero clearance to get to . Nice.
                  Yup..
                  Unskilled labor.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Water supply leak in house, can't locate

                    Originally posted by Jones Mechanicals View Post
                    All of what Rick said is good to narrow the hot or cold side. There are private locate companies with special equipment that can pinpoint the leak under the slab. Before you call one of those companies, check with your local water utility provider. Some utility companies also have this same equipment and will come out to locate it for you free of charge or for very little. If your area does not provide such service then you will need to hire someone.

                    If you do find the leak is in the hot water side of the system, there is one other trick I have heard of. Borrow a cat for a few days! Cats like to lay in warm areas and it's possible the cat will begin to lay down in the same spot on top of the leak.
                    KATS ARE TROUBLE! Most of My neighbors wouldn't trust Me with their Cat! Finally Ralph relented, I took "Jake the snake Kat." Wouldn't sleep on the floor! Slept soundly on My chest all nite, I didn't. Then He crapped in My closet! Brought him Home By His tale!
                    Arm looks like a strawberry Patch! BAD IDEA JONSEY!
                    I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Water supply leak in house, can't locate

                      Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
                      KATS ARE TROUBLE! Most of My neighbors wouldn't trust Me with their Cat! Finally Ralph relented, I took "Jake the snake Kat." Wouldn't sleep on the floor! Slept soundly on My chest all nite, I didn't. Then He crapped in My closet! Brought him Home By His tale!
                      Arm looks like a strawberry Patch! BAD IDEA JONSEY!
                      I just said I have heard of this. Never have seen it or attempted it in real life. Although I am a cat and dog person and own both. It's a regular Tom and Jerry atmosphere watching those 2 go at it daily.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Water supply leak in house, can't locate

                        Love My ray tech temp gun. I have a 1958 slab on grade Eichler with radiant heat. 3/8" copper 12" O.C. With the boiler cranked Up, It
                        Finds the lines 6 degree difference on the concrete. Mark Twain " A Man that carries a cat by it's tale,will learn a valuable lesson,
                        He can learn No other way " Sad ,We don't have any more like Him !
                        I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Water supply leak in house, can't locate

                          Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
                          Love My ray tech temp gun. I have a 1958 slab on grade Eichler with radiant heat. 3/8" copper 12" O.C. With the boiler cranked Up, It
                          Finds the lines 6 degree difference on the concrete. Mark Twain " A Man that carries a cat by it's tale,will learn a valuable lesson,
                          He can learn No other way " Sad ,We don't have any more like Him !
                          Sure we do.
                          We have Plumber Rick


                          Name one man to compare to this vertuoso.
                          In all of your's and Utah's years I'll bet the two of you's put together can't.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Water supply leak in house, can't locate

                            Good point Adam! In fact the whole family is "INCREDIBLE" Rick is "Mr. Incredible" , "Joey is Elastigirl", "Phoebe is Violet" All they're
                            Missing is " JACK JACK N DASH ! Phoebe needs some buds !
                            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Water supply leak in house, can't locate

                              Called in a leak detection guy, $280.
                              He narrowed it down to the corner of the kitchen where the cabinets begin. He couldn't get right to the leak because of the cabinets.
                              This is the same corner where the supply line comes into the house, the water heater is, and the manifold is.

                              He's found many in this area and even said he's gone back and located subsequent leaks after repair. The pipes were all eroded from the inside out.

                              He recommends a repipe with PEX.

                              I'm considering it.

                              KRS

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