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  • #16
    Re: Need the best diagnostic plumber on this one

    Originally posted by SewerRatz View Post
    If it was a supply pipe leak the puddle would show up each and every time. You stated they cleaned and dried the area that last time and you showed up at 11 am and all was dry. Then after you ran tons of water, 45 minutes later you got the puddle again. So that to me would suggest the area under the slab is filling with water from the drainage system and it just takes it some time to seep up through the crack. Who know the blockage might be in the common line where the neighbor sewer ties in, and 45 minutes after you ran a bunch of water the neighbors ran more which was finally enough to make the leak show itself.

    If you think its a slab leak in the water supply then check the meter to see if its spinning. If it is not spinning, then go outside and open up the b box and put your key on it to see if you can hear water running.

    One way to verify the drain is run a camera down the sewer and run water and see if it starts to back up.
    I completely agree with this statement. But before a camera check the meter. I have seen a slab leak have more than one release. SR is right on target if there is no meter spin. Get a camera in there and take your time looking. Check as far down stream as the accesses will allow.

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    • #17
      Re: Need the best diagnostic plumber on this one

      First, check the meter. Might even want to check the next door neighbors meter.

      Check for sprinklers, timers, & circulating pumps.

      Drill a hole in the cabinet floor and look for the water.

      I've found it before just as PlumbersCrack says. The only thing that bothers me is the intermittentness of it all.

      Could be expanding/contracting with pressure from the city and/or the water heater.

      Could be DWV. But I'm inclined to think not. What's the age of the house & the type of DWV?

      Thanks.

      J.C.

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      • #18
        Re: Need the best diagnostic plumber on this one

        If the neighbors refrigerator is on the other side of the wall pull it out and see if it has any water around it ..
        There ice maker may leak when it fills and seaps back under the wall

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        • #19
          Re: Need the best diagnostic plumber on this one

          I suspect that it is a drain line issue. It's possible that the san tee in the wall may have a crack or there is a problem with their kitchen sink waste line. Ask the homeowners if any lines have been snaked out lately. this goes for the neighbors on the other side of the wall. If not, snake out the kitchen sink line just for the fun of it and see if the problem goes away. If it does then your on the right track.

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          • #20
            Re: Need the best diagnostic plumber on this one

            lay out dry newspaper in areas around the suspected leak. newspaper shows water pretty quickly. don't wait for the entire paper to get wet. catch it when it first starts to show and locate the area.

            i too feel it's a drain line/ vent line. is it possible a reverse osmosis line that's flushing?

            rick.
            phoebe it is

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            • #21
              Re: Need the best diagnostic plumber on this one

              Originally posted by heathfurr View Post
              "Water is lazier than my wife."

              That's good stuff.... Over the kitchen / dishwasher is a bedroom. Specifically, the bed. All of the upstairs bathrooms are on the opposite wall and drain down those walls. I listened to them drain when flushed.

              I had literally just given up on this thinking this couple just spilled water all over the place while they were in a drunken stupor when it just started seeping out right in front of me.
              Is it a water bed? Pin hole that only leaks when there is weight on it? Just trying to throw every possibility out there.
              Had a slab leak one time that turned out to be a hole in christmas tree stand, & the old man there thought the tree was soaking up all those pitures of water he was pouring in there.
              I say it's a domestic water leak, at the floor level, where concrete is against pipe, (where there should be as sleeve), & pin hole is forcing water up through slab, or under flooring. Or maybe a hidden floor drain.

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              • #22
                Re: Need the best diagnostic plumber on this one

                I'm betting the problem is something with the refridgerator. Possibly going into a defrost cycle with a cracked pan. Move the refridgerator completely out of the room.
                Distractions are everywhere, don't lose sight of your dream.

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                • #23
                  Re: Need the best diagnostic plumber on this one

                  Is there any possibility the AC isn't coming into play? I can't visulize your layout from the description but your description of times and location points me to a plugged condensate drain.
                  Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Need the best diagnostic plumber on this one

                    A lot of great ideas and suggestions here for sure. Being as you actually saw water coming out from under a cabinet: With the owner's permission why not remove the cabinet flooring so the area under the floor can be evaluated? Good Luck, keep us posted, David

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                    • #25
                      Re: Need the best diagnostic plumber on this one

                      Okay, I'm back again from that job. The customer had no water appear overnight or this morning up to 3:30pm today. The unit next door however has had water appear in the their floor. The neighbor's kitchen flooring, (they are unique to say the least), consist of hardwood flooring samples. Yes..... that's correct.... samples! About a hundred of them. The home depot "Bruce" hardwood floor 18"x18"x3/4" samples, all different colors to boot...... on top of the original linoleum. So.... that said, since I ran the neighbor's dishwasher yesterday with no problems, filled up both sides of the sink and flushed all of the neighbors w/c, I have sort of ruled them out.

                      I did not think about the icemaker's line and that it could be leaking as it fills up. Good suggestion. That diagnosis fits but I have to wait on the neighbor's husband to remove enough flooring samples to pull the refrigerator away from the wall. (The husband doesn't mind if I run appliances and flush the w/c but he doesn't want me to remove anything.)

                      Also, there are no timers on sprinklers, no condensate pumps, (they are gravity feed) and the condensate lines are all on the opposite wall.

                      The layout is a typical duplex mirror image layout. The common wall has (from back to front) a refregerater, dishwasher, kitchen sink, and a 1/2 bath on the front. Upstairs has bedrooms on the common wall. No water beds. The opposite wall has the water heater, hvac and washer/dryer with all condensate lines terminating on the exterior wall. Upstairs on the exterior wall is the bathrooms.

                      I did pull the bottom of the cabinet next to the d/w off where it was leaking. By the time I accessed it when I located the water, it appeared to be coming from the linoleum and/or the common wall. More so from the linoleum.

                      I'm still confused, but I'm in a holding pattern until the neighbor's husband pulls up his flooring so I can access the back wall from their side.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Need the best diagnostic plumber on this one

                        Oh yeah, a couple of other good suggestions that were ruled out today. No reverse osmosis discharge, and no recirc pumps. The linoleum in the customers home is less than 6 months old so he wants to exhaust all other avenues before I rip it up to confirm the slab leak. But under the cabinet and where the d/w used to be is bare concrete.

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                        • #27
                          Re: Need the best diagnostic plumber on this one

                          Finishing nail in the baseboard or quarter round maybe.

                          J.C.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Need the best diagnostic plumber on this one

                            Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                            Finishing nail in the baseboard or quarter round maybe.

                            J.C.

                            I like your suggestion. That coupled with a waste line that's getting slow and having the water back up the line a little bit might be the answer.

                            I was going to suggest putting dye down various drain lines to see what line was used when the water appears on the floor. Of course, then you have a stained floor. So that's out. But what about using peppermint oil in the DWV system if it's just a duplex with 1.5 baths, a kitchen and laundry each? We regularly put on "final" tests here in Minnesota. Since you're not really looking for a true manometer test, but to see where the leak or peppermint smell comes from.

                            1. Ball off the sewer.
                            2. Make sure all traps have water in them.
                            3. Cap off roof vents, but first dump the contents of a bottle of essence of peppermint down.
                            4. Put a tube through a toilet trap and start blowing.

                            If there's a leak in the DWV system you'll start smelling peppermint near the leak.
                            Time flies like an arrow.

                            Fruit flies like a banana.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Need the best diagnostic plumber on this one

                              Are the neighbors trying to deny they have a problem

                              Its not there water leak
                              [means i didn't call a plumber so don't give me a bill .. we like water under are sample flooring]

                              has there fridge been making any ice ?

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                              • #30
                                Re: Need the best diagnostic plumber on this one

                                G.G. In regards to the base board or quarter round, there is nothing any more recent than about 6 months ago. I like the peppermint test. Never heard of that before. I might try that or a smoke test leaving the w/c.

                                Delcase, Ironically, they do not use ice from the fridge. She made the comment in front of me that she "prefers store bought ice". Weird, huh?

                                Now that you mention that it... it just seems too coincidental. On the other hand I noticed a fixture attached water filter, some sore of countertop brew type filter that plugs in to a 120 outlet AND a carbon filter atop a 2 gallon pitcher. (I did mention they are unique didn't I?) But with all of that filtering, why would store bought ice be preferred?

                                The more I think about it and read these responses, I'm beginning to think the next step is to eliminate the neighbor's fridge, therefore eliminating the neighbor.

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