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Second Water Leak in 3 Months in So. Orange County, California

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  • Second Water Leak in 3 Months in So. Orange County, California

    I live in Orange County, California in a house that was built in 1996. We had a slab leak in 2006, a wall leak 3 months ago and another wall leak yesterday. We don't plan to move for at least 5 years.

    I feel like we live in a ticking time bomb house where we don't know when the next leak will occur. What do the experts think we should do...repipe or just hope that we get lucky that no leaks will occur for a while?

    If re-piping is recommended, what's the current thinking on the best material to use...copper, pex, cpvc or ?

    I appreciate your feedback, this is such a frustrating situation to be in!

  • #2
    Re: Second Water Leak in 3 Months in So. Orange County, California

    What type of pipe is currently installed?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Second Water Leak in 3 Months in So. Orange County, California

      Sorry - meant to include that we currently have copper pipe.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Second Water Leak in 3 Months in So. Orange County, California

        Have you had the water pH tested lately? Also any chances of lightening strikes or electrical current leaking into your water system? Have the leaks been at couplings or middle of pipes?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Second Water Leak in 3 Months in So. Orange County, California

          No...no chance of lightning strikes or electrical current leaking into the water.

          They have been pinhole leaks in the middle of the pipes, not at the couplings. We have not had the pH of the water tested...I thought the water in this area is notoriously corrosive and there's not much that can be done about it. Am I wrong...if the pH is off, what should be done?
          Last edited by OC Resident; 12-05-2012, 02:07 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Second Water Leak in 3 Months in So. Orange County, California

            more importantly, is this both the hot and cold or just the hot? do you have a hot water circulating pump?

            is this a custom home or tract home? how about your neighbors homes. same issues?

            have you kept the samples of the bad pipe cut out?

            my guess is a hot water line with a circ pump.

            1996 should have been non corrosive water soulible flux that was used.

            the slab should have been type "L" soft copper. the walls might have been type "M".

            was the slab leak around a footing as it made a 90 to come up through the floor?

            not too uncommon with copper and hot water circ pumps.

            rick.
            phoebe it is

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Second Water Leak in 3 Months in So. Orange County, California

              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
              more importantly, is this both the hot and cold or just the hot? do you have a hot water circulating pump?

              is this a custom home or tract home? how about your neighbors homes. same issues?

              have you kept the samples of the bad pipe cut out?

              my guess is a hot water line with a circ pump.

              1996 should have been non corrosive water soulible flux that was used.

              the slab should have been type "L" soft copper. the walls might have been type "M".

              was the slab leak around a footing as it made a 90 to come up through the floor?

              not too uncommon with copper and hot water circ pumps.

              rick.
              THANK YOU RICK ! The exact scenario of My customer's home. He won't listen, And He's an ENGINEER ! I turned off My own Recirc. 6 months ago,NO HARDSHIP. Beats busting up concrete. Or pipes on Our roof !
              Last edited by toolaholic; 12-05-2012, 10:49 AM.
              I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Second Water Leak in 3 Months in So. Orange County, California

                Which water district are you on?

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

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Second Water Leak in 3 Months in So. Orange County, California

                  Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                  Which water district are you on?

                  Mark
                  Moulton-Niguel water district
                  Last edited by OC Resident; 12-05-2012, 04:33 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Second Water Leak in 3 Months in So. Orange County, California

                    Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                    more importantly, is this both the hot and cold or just the hot? do you have a hot water circulating pump?

                    is this a custom home or tract home? how about your neighbors homes. same issues?

                    have you kept the samples of the bad pipe cut out?

                    my guess is a hot water line with a circ pump.

                    1996 should have been non corrosive water soulible flux that was used.

                    the slab should have been type "L" soft copper. the walls might have been type "M".

                    was the slab leak around a footing as it made a 90 to come up through the floor?

                    not too uncommon with copper and hot water circ pumps.

                    rick.
                    Thank you for your questions/feedback, Rick.

                    We have no hot water circ pump - I asked the plumber. I believe the first leak - the slab leak - was a hot and cold leak, the second wall leak was a hot water leak and the current leak is a cold water leak.

                    This is a tract home and the neighbors have the same issues...in fact water leaks are very common in south Orange County, in general.

                    I did not keep the section of the bad pipe cut out, but I know exactly how the pinhole leak looked on the inside (you could see a large mineral deposit pile around the hole) and the outside. Why do you ask?

                    I don't know if the plumber knew where the slab leak was exactly, he just knew which section of the pipe had to be re-routed.

                    Let me know if I can answer any other questions - thank you.
                    Last edited by OC Resident; 12-05-2012, 10:03 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Second Water Leak in 3 Months in So. Orange County, California

                      Originally posted by OC Resident View Post
                      Moulton-Niguel water district
                      Corrosive water in Orange County is pretty common.Your district is not one of them that is real bad but it still has a history. Not knowing exactly where the pipe is leaking and suggesting a reroute instead is generally code for "I don't really know how to locate".That is okay because learning to locate takes some practice. However, if he is charging for leak locating, he better be able to tell you where the leak is.

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

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Second Water Leak in 3 Months in So. Orange County, California

                        Why not use American leak detection . ??????
                        I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Second Water Leak in 3 Months in So. Orange County, California

                          Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
                          Why not use American leak detection . ??????
                          Actually, we did use American Leak Detection for the last two leaks and they were beyond SUPERB. My memory is hazy about the slab leak (which was the first leak we had back in 2006), the plumber may have known where the issue was, but I don't remember.

                          I think my original question is getting lost which is:

                          (1) If re-piping is recommended, what's the current thinking on the best material to use...copper, pex, cpvc or ?

                          (2) Also, do the experts think e-piping, e.g. Ace Duraflow / Curaflo, is also a good alternative to the expense of re-piping? FYI, we plan to sell the house in 5 years or so.

                          I feel like we need to do SOMETHING...either re-piping or e-piping after having 3 leaks now.
                          Last edited by OC Resident; 12-05-2012, 10:05 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Second Water Leak in 3 Months in So. Orange County, California

                            epoxy lining will cost about the same as repiping. but without much patching of the walls.

                            the copper might be to thin and worn to properly sand blast out the corrosion.

                            if it was my house, i would repipe with pex. copper appears to be an issue in your area.

                            rick.
                            phoebe it is

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Second Water Leak in 3 Months in So. Orange County, California

                              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                              epoxy lining will cost about the same as repiping. but without much patching of the walls.

                              the copper might be to thin and worn to properly sand blast out the corrosion.

                              if it was my house, i would repipe with pex. copper appears to be an issue in your area.

                              rick.
                              Thanks, Rick. Do you know anyone you can recommend to re-pipe in the OC area? Also, our house is 2 stories and 1,330 sq. ft. If we repipe, ballpark how long will it take and will we have to move out while it is going on?

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