12
   

Do we have a plumber on the board - BIG/LITTLE HIDDEN LEAK!

 
 
Izzie
 
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 05:44 pm
I moved a couple months ago - nice little house... all nicely done.

Being young-ish, free and single.. also means - bills to pay. Water rates are £1200 year... didn't have water rates at my old house - so when I moved was advised to get a water meter. approx £600-£700 year.

Whilst I was away - water board put in a meter. Cool I thought... sorted. Turned on the shower on my return from the US - big bang - the shower head blew out. Discovered all the loos were leaking. Called the waterboard. Nice fella came round today - said there would have been air in the system - no worries... went around and sorted. Kinda.

We took a wander out to the road. Turned off the internal stopcock. Drained the taps. Water dial is whizzing on round. Checked everywhere we could.... no leak to be seen. Overflows are fine. Boiler pressure is below 1 bar. Water pressure is 7 bar with a pressure reducing valve fitted by the water meter as I live in a valley.

Now the dilemma. He had to go back and either report he had fixed the job. OR tell the waterboard I had a leak and I would be given one year to find the leak - which is obviously under the floorboards or in the walls somewhere. I can be forced to do this as I would be officially wasting water.

He went back and said it was fixed.

It is not. The water meter dial is going around constantly.

So..... any advice - other than taking up ALL the carpeting, floorboards, and knocking the walls down - HIS WORDS!!!!!!

WTH am I supposed to do?

Anyone....... please.... Crying or Very sad
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Type: Question • Score: 12 • Views: 6,882 • Replies: 43

 
Rockhead
 
  0  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 05:46 pm
@Izzie,
Are you on a slab. Muffin, or is there a crawlspace?

Water leaking at the rate you say, should show up soon...
Foxfyre
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 05:51 pm
@Izzie,
When our water bill indicated to us that we had a leak, the plumber asked us to shut down everything in the house with a motor that would make any noise at all. Then he went around with a listening device to listen to the floors, walls, etc. Had the leak been there, I'm sure he would have found it. As it was, he drilled several holes in the floor but came up empty. Leak was eventually found in an old defunct and forgotten underground sprinkler system in the back yard.

So I had holes in the floor. And, that's how I go my pretty new floor tile Smile
Izzie
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 05:52 pm
@Rockhead,
no crawl space- could have been leaking for many years - or not - either way, it's now my responsibility - previous owners were on water rates. If it's under the floorboards it could be draining out / or not.... if it were upstairs I would surely be able to see something wet on the ceilings. If it is downstairs I have a lounge, study, kitchen, hall, garage, downstairs loo and conservatory and porch - all under carpet and floorboards and pipes up through all the walls to the upsairs radiheaters.
Izzie
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 05:54 pm
@Foxfyre,
I don't know if my insurance will cover this... and I don't think right now I can deal with the house being ripped apart. Dunno what the F to do. Sorry about the F.
Rockhead
 
  0  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 05:55 pm
@Izzie,
longstanding water breeds mold and mildew indoors. I would look away from the house toward the meter first, for signs of "extra" water.

If no, we can slowly figger out where it could be going, assuming the meter is not "Fawlty"

Rock
Izzie
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 06:02 pm
@Rockhead,
He said the drive was driven up when I was away and the meter and PRV put in. It is on the road endge of the drive which is about 12 m from the house. We scouted around and could find NOTHING. Not even the overflows indicated any signs of being overflowed at all. It's pants.
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 06:03 pm
In California where we live, we have two places to shut off the water to our house. One is the main valve by the street, and the other is located in the front of our house. When we had our bathrooms renovated with tiles last month, they just turned the water off from the front of the house, because they had to remove the toilet to lay the tile. No problem.
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  0  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 06:07 pm
@Izzie,
S_boy needs a stethoscope, and a mission...

(seriously)

they make one for automotive use that is inexpensive, and has a probe on the end. Pipes make noise...
Izzie
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 06:14 pm
@Rockhead,
no crawl spaces....NONE...we have pipes in the walls.

Cant think an y longer.... hope there is a plumber aound.

Thanks for the advice RH - appreciate it.

I'm gone ..... bed.
rosborne979
 
  4  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 08:32 pm
@Izzie,
Quote:
Now the dilemma. He had to go back and either report he had fixed the job. OR tell the waterboard I had a leak and I would be given one year to find the leak - which is obviously under the floorboards or in the walls somewhere. I can be forced to do this as I would be officially wasting water.

He went back and said it was fixed.

It is not. The water meter dial is going around constantly.

So..... any advice - other than taking up ALL the carpeting, floorboards, and knocking the walls down - HIS WORDS!!!!!!

Yes. If you've eliminated all the other possibilities and you know there is a substantial leak in an inaccessible location, then simply bypass the entire run of pipe that you suspect is leaking.

Reroute the main water from where it enters the house to some central point where it can feed the rest of the house (eliminating the section of underground pipe which you think is leaking). You should be able to test the solution with a hose before putting in a solid line. You may need to create a junction for all the systems in the house so that you can feed it with a single hose/pipe, but the main line under the house probably doesn't have many junctions anyway, so creating a central point shouldn't be too difficult.

You will probably need a local plumber to do the work (unless you know how to solder pipe, or glue PVC). Where do you live? How old is the house?

Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 08:37 pm
@rosborne979,
She's in Devon, England...
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 09:09 pm
@Izzie,
If this water has been leaking, even a minute amount, for some time, then it's likely created some mold or at least soft spots in the plaster/drywall somewhere.

Wherever you can determine that there are water pipes, carefully check at the baseboard level for soft plaster/discolored plaster or drywall. You CAN buy moisture testers for a pretty reasonable sum but they have sharp points that need to be pushed into the material in question.

There are moisture meters that can be used to scan, in a non-destructive, non-invasive manner for excess moisture levels. These things are not cheap but you may be able to find some company that has one that will do this work.

http://www.moisturemeterstore.com/moisture_meter_m265.shtml
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  3  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2008 10:35 pm
@Izzie,
Izzie wrote:

I don't know if my insurance will cover this... and I don't think right now I can deal with the house being ripped apart. Dunno what the F to do. Sorry about the F.


It's okay. Sometime the F just seems...well...appropriate. Smile

My plumber happened to be incompetent or I wouldn't have had holes in the floor. After the one who messed everything up left, another came and found the leak in the back yard after a short time.

I don't know how it works where you are, but here in the USA, if you are renting, the problem is not yours but the landlord is obligated to deal with it. You must instruct him/her that there is a leak and then it is his/her responsibility to fix it.

If you own your house, do you have warranty insurance? If you do, and you haven't been there very long, that might still be in effect.

If you own the property, here insurance companies vary. Some will pay for the tear out to determine if the leak is from a covered cause - some won't. You need to check with the folks who sold you the policy if you can't determine from the policy. If something broke a pipe - freeze, wind damage, etc. - you probably do have coverage. Normal wear and tear is not covered here by any insurance company or damage from 'acts of God' such as an earthquake.

One thing is for sure, you can't afford to let the leak continue indefinitely. Not only does it cost you on your water bill, but it could eventually cause some serious damage. Catch it early, and your bill is likely to be affordable.

Good luck hon.
0 Replies
 
Izzie
 
  3  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 02:38 am
so sorry CI - I didn't see your post last nite...

thanku all...

We can turn the water off at the road - but it's finding where the leak is..... it could be anywhere in the house.... it has to be in the house because when we turned the stopcock off the dial was still turning. But the pipes go up behind the walls and under all the floorboards. I just can't rip the house apart - I've only just moved here. Awwwww cr*p.

I checked the dial thismorning.... it's used 0.2 cubic litre of water overnight.... when nothing has been on for at least 6 hours - so ..... with that amount of water you would think you could see something....somewhere. There aren't any damp spots that I can see on the ceilings... but under the floorboards downstairs.... who knows - I have 5 radiators downstairs.... but the pipework is..... who knows! Without lifting all the floorboards to find a constant drip in any of the joints.... well - I don't even want to think how much this would cost. It could have been leaking for years but the previous owners may not have known. It could have started when they installed the water meter - tho they have denied this - of course.

The house is 21 years old. No warranties. When you buy a house here... it's your responsibility from the day you exchange contracts (before you even move in!!!!!!)

The conservatory also has 2 leaks now from the leading....or lack thereof.... I can cope with that. That should be fixable.

I don't want walls taken down .... or even holes in the walls to try and find where the joints are to isolate the pipes. I really don't want all the carpets and floorboards up either. I don't want high water bills. I don't really want to be here right now with this hanging over me.

I start back at work on Monday - 1st day back since my surgery on Feb12th...it's all I can do focus on how the heck to get thru that day. Cr*p cr*p and ditto cr*p.

Yep.... quit whining and get on with it a? Rolling Eyes



ahhh.... moisture meters.... I guess that's the same as damp meters..... I will talk to a plumber. I live a few feet from a river..... a rather big river with the rain we have been having.... so, not sure how accurate the readings would be with the amount of moisture around right now.... but yep, good plan. Thank you!

Can feel another F word lingering....
Izzie
 
  2  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 03:23 am
@Izzie,
K - now not happy.

Have checked the boiler and the pressure has dropped! I haven't a clue about these things - what I do know is that the pressure should be at least "1". Rechecked the loos - they are leaking again - constantly leaking and even when readjusting the valve inside the cistern, a the 6L cisterns fill and then overflow into the loo.

Just rang the waterboard - they are sending someone over hopefully.

I'm not doing too well with this!
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 03:30 am
@Izzie,
Izzie wrote:
I checked the dial thismorning.... it's used 0.2 cubic litre of water overnight.... when nothing has been on for at least 6 hours - so ..... with that amount of water you would think you could see


I suppose that is was 0.2m² = 200 l. Which is really an amount you would notice.

I can't imagine why the installation of the water meter could be the reason - that's just an instrument for measuring the water you use.

What kind of material is used for pipes? (I don't think that in a 21 years old building it has been lead.)


Edit: just noticed your response re the boiler. Of course that system uses water as well ...
Has there been some renovation close to where the pipes run along?
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  3  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 03:35 am
@Izzie,

I don't understand this bit:

"We can turn the water off at the road - but it's finding where the leak is..... it could be anywhere in the house.... it has to be in the house because when we turned the stopcock off the dial was still turning."

The stopcock should be just inside the house, or be outside.
So if you turn it off, and the meter dial is still turning (the meter should be in the street outside, and the property of the water company) then the leak must be in the pipe outside the house.
McTag
 
  2  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 03:40 am
@Izzie,

If the cisterns are leaking, and they weren't leaking before the water meter was fitted, there must have been a considerable increase in water pressure caused by this work.
Perhaps you could ask the water company to explain this.

Having said that, the ballcock valves (or their modern equivalent, the little plastic ones in the loo cisterns) should be watertight at all pressures they are likely to encounter.
Izzie
 
  3  
Reply Wed 27 Aug, 2008 03:46 am
@McTag,
Hey there Mac...

The water meter is just on the drive by the road. He can turn that off and the water meter stops. No water entering the house.

Turn the water back on at the road and turn the stop cock off inside the house .... no water should be entering the house. However, the water meter dial is still going round. Therefore - there is a leak somewhere "unseeable" in the house. We got the toilets to stop running, drained all the taps.... still the dial was going round. Water is leaking from a pipe....somewhere.... inside the house... and the boiler pressure is dropping... which indicates it could be one of the pipes in the central heating system.

Does that make sense.... I just don't know about these thing - if boiler pressure drops, no water is coming out of the boiler overflow pipe outside, then water must be escaping in the house.

SWW just called back and said... oh no....nothing to do with us....pffffft

I

 

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