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Dry Out Already????

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  • Dry Out Already????

    One of my calls today:

    Moisture problems, 2 story house, 1/2 bath downstairs, 2 up stairs over the "Office", 2 wall c/o's, 3" picking up both baths, drain runs parallel to the wall, front to back of the house, 1/2 bath ties in in the garage.

    Slab floor, on the office wall, exterior, spots of bubbling paint, signs of moisture, office carpet damp, ont he other side of the wall, family room, back of house and same side of wall as the office, spots of bubbling.

    No potable leaks, all copper was removed 5 years ago because of a slab leak.

    the only thing in the concrete, the drain, runs right down the middle of the "Office"

    Ran a camera, all ABS drain line, no breaks, seperations, visable cracks, flushed downstairs toilet, upstairs toilet, water runs away fine and drains.

    Concrete drive way on "Office" wall, and 10" concrete apron around back of house bfore going to grass.

    All concrete slopped away from house and property.

    Ant's crawling up through cracks, owner say's they have always been there, for many years, have not gotten and worse or any better.

    peeled carpet back 1 week ago, no standing water, just signs of moisture from her insurance company, insurance guy came out with a meter, signs of moisture in concrete under carpet, and wall running lenghtwise of driveway, parallel with drain line.

    Now, on to the slab leak, customer had 6 of them, the last one was the worse on, sounded like a faucet was on. the plumber at the time broke open the "Office" floor, and located the leak, so her a complete re-route.

    Looked at the meter, no "Ticks"

    Question: Could the massive slab leak of 5 years ago, all the moisture just now be showing itself?? The last massive break is in the same room, and about 2' from the wall showing the moisture problems.

    Suggestions? I am thinking about breaking the concrete out where the other plumber broke it out and replaced it. Curious if the water will puddle up? or the dirt will just be moist. I am also curious if the irrigation (sprinklers) have anything to do with the situation....the customer does not over do watering, and the property is slopped away, but I figure this is just something to cross off the list.

    Anything I am missing?

    Possible moisture from the last slab leak??
    sigpic

    Robert

  • #2
    Re: Dry Out Already????

    Robert,

    Without knowing anything about the area it is a tough one. If you have a problem in the area with ground water it is possible the plumber 5-years ago tore out the plastic membrane to fix the leak and never patched it in. It is also possible the old copper was abandoned in the slab and is being fed some how. If it were a leak in the ABS it seems the water would have to stand in the drain to cause a problem above the slab.

    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: Dry Out Already????

      If the irrigation is being used now (it's still too cold here) there could be a break in one of the lateral lines that will leak underground but only when the system is running AND depending on what is broken it could be massive.
      Last year I had one that was dumping about 7 gpm into a french drain and exiting in a culvert about 100' away

      Do they have any flower beds against the house? Or even on the opposite side of the drive? You know what crazy paths water can take.

      If you want to eliminate this as the problem you can calculate how many gpms the sprinlkers are using on a single zone and then time the meter for a minute or two and see if it adds up.
      "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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      • #4
        Re: Dry Out Already????

        Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
        Robert,

        Without knowing anything about the area it is a tough one. If you have a problem in the area with ground water it is possible the plumber 5-years ago tore out the plastic membrane to fix the leak and never patched it in. It is also possible the old copper was abandoned in the slab and is being fed some how. If it were a leak in the ABS it seems the water would have to stand in the drain to cause a problem above the slab.

        Mark
        Interesting point on the plastic...if I was to break up his old spot, I could see if there is any plastic by digging up an undisturbed area.

        The old copper that was abandoned, that was an idea I had, but I have no movement on the meter indicating any water usage.

        I could also prove this with breaking upt he old concrete patch, to see how wet the soil is. If it was to feed back through, I would suspect there should be a muddy mess.

        The ABS was already rejected in my head as a cause, this is why I ran the camera and ran the water, the water evacuates the drain, no time for this much moisture.

        I think the plastic and removing the section of already patched concrete is a good place to start.

        Other then that, is there sucha thing as a "Moisture Specialist" one able to find the cause without trying to sell remediation?
        sigpic

        Robert

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Dry Out Already????

          Uh, how much rain have ya'll had out there lately?
          And I know this is a dumb question, you being a professional and all, but I've got to ask, how long was your meter check with no ticks?
          "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Dry Out Already????

            Originally posted by SlimTim View Post
            If the irrigation is being used now (it's still too cold here) there could be a break in one of the lateral lines that will leak underground but only when the system is running AND depending on what is broken it could be massive.
            Last year I had one that was dumping about 7 gpm into a french drain and exiting in a culvert about 100' away

            Do they have any flower beds against the house? Or even on the opposite side of the drive? You know what crazy paths water can take.

            If you want to eliminate this as the problem you can calculate how many gpms the sprinlkers are using on a single zone and then time the meter for a minute or two and see if it adds up.
            Good point, ran the sprinklers, no pressure loss in any of the sprinklers and the water bill is very good, no increases of any type.

            No flower beds around the house.

            The neighbors do have flower beds and landscaping on the opposite side of the drive.

            Good point and a good thing to look at.
            sigpic

            Robert

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Dry Out Already????

              Originally posted by SlimTim View Post
              Uh, how much rain have ya'll had out there lately?
              And I know this is a dumb question, you being a professional and all, but I've got to ask, how long was your meter check with no ticks?

              I checked for 5 minutes the first day I was out there, then I marked the meter today, with a thin black marker, left it for 20 mins when I was done running water and making the DVD.

              Not much lately, but this problem has been going on for a number of years.
              sigpic

              Robert

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Dry Out Already????

                I don't want to wear out my welcome on your thread but:
                You probably wouldn't notice any loss in pressure in the sprinlkers--a typical full circle residential fixed spray nozzle puts out over 3gpm so if that was happening underground it would be enough to cause your problem but not enough to affect anything else.
                My last thought--If there is a simple drip in the wall or a spiders web size spray, depending on your water meter it may not even show up, but it may have been dripping for months. I believe you have a micro see snake don't you?
                "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Dry Out Already????

                  Sorry, I can't stop.
                  Maybe when they were repiping they put a nail through the cpvc or whatever they used and it has just now rusted out.
                  "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Dry Out Already????

                    Originally posted by SlimTim View Post
                    I don't want to wear out my welcome on your thread but:
                    You probably wouldn't notice any loss in pressure in the sprinlkers--a typical full circle residential fixed spray nozzle puts out over 3gpm so if that was happening underground it would be enough to cause your problem but not enough to affect anything else.
                    My last thought--If there is a simple drip in the wall or a spiders web size spray, depending on your water meter it may not even show up, but it may have been dripping for months. I believe you have a micro see snake don't you?

                    No worries, appreciate the brain storming.

                    I do have a micro, this "Bubbling" is interesting, there are no copper pipes in these walls. The "Bubbling" is in multiple places, no higher then 10" off the floor, and is not lenghty, it is speratic.

                    The wall does not feel wet at all either, if it wasn't for the bubbling and the insurance guy's moisture detector, you wouldn't even know it was there.

                    Further irrigation research will be completed in the future though
                    sigpic

                    Robert

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Dry Out Already????

                      I would think all water from underslab leaks would have dried in five years.

                      What type of construction? Timber frame?

                      Is the wet wall on the "weather" side of the house. ie: exposed to wind driven rain?
                      Possible leak around window or door opening? Allowing water into the wall? Ineffective flashings to window / door openings ?

                      Is concrete drive below the height of damp proof course in external wall?
                      If concrete goes right up to the wall, surface water could be driven against the wall and enter. Esp. if concrete higher than damp proof course.

                      You camera inspected all drains in the wall leading to upstairs bath? Static test on stackwork?

                      Leaking cap on wall cleanout?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Dry Out Already????

                        What about a final air test on the dwv system? That would eliminate one aspect if it were to pass.
                        Buy cheap, buy twice.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Dry Out Already????

                          Any chance it's from a bad grout or caulk job on one of the 2nd floor tubs or showers or the spud on the tub waste ?
                          EVERYBODY HAS LEAKS ,JUST DON'T HAVE YOUR"S ON MY JOB !

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Dry Out Already????

                            my house is on a slab and in the summer when the ac is on it still cant drop the humidity so i have to run a dehumidifier to help . i am sure there is no vapor blocker under the slab .
                            so i would check the dirt like you said to see if it is moist
                            Charlie

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                            • #15
                              Re: Dry Out Already????

                              I agree with Flat350__________Might be a good place to look.Any signs that water has been exiting the tub/shower area due to overing tub or no shower curtain? Kenneth
                              Kenneth Collier
                              Maintenance and Sewer

                              P.O. Box 9441
                              Jackson, MS 39206
                              (601) 613-2678 (Cell)
                              drainman881999@yahoo.com

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