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clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

How to find a water leak?

Ok... so my water bill has been going up slowly over the past few months. I decided to check for leaks in the house.

No one was using any water, so I went out to the street and looked at the water meter. The low-flow indicator was turning slowly.

Ok I thought, something is leaking.

I turned off everything I could find a valve for, 3 toilets, Ice maker, kitchen sink, bathroom sinks, Hot water tank, utility sink, washing machine, one hose bib (can't find the shut off for the other)..

Low-flow meter still running....

I turn off the water to the house (main shut off) and the meter stops running...

I have a sprinkler system, went out and looked at the heads, one was/is leaking. I thought ok, that's my problem. But today, as I was trying to investigate the leak a little more, I found that, when the main shut-off is turn off, the sprinkler system STILL has water. Since my sprinkler isn't tied to the main house shut off and when the main house shut off it turned off, the low-flow meter stops running, I have something, somewhere using water.

What are my next steps? I've looked around where I know there is plumbing and none of the dry wall is messed up ... I'm at a loss..
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
So where is the sprinkler system plumbed to...??


clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

1 recommendation

From what I can tell, it goes off the main feed to the house. It has it's own shut off valve... but the handle for the valve is broken...

But if I turn OFF the water to the house, the low-flow meter stops moving... But the sprinklers still work.
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??


mph300
Two Thirds The Way There

join:2000-11-09
reply to clevere1

These valves are notorious for bypassing even when shut off.
You have a leak inside your home at one of the mentioned areas.

My bet is a toilet.

Mike
--
CH3NO2-Fuel me UP-Let's race!


clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
Funny. That's the type of valve that I replaced one of the plastic push/pull valves with... So how in the hell do you tell if they are leaking (there is no water anywhere). The majority of the bathroom are upstairs, so if they were leaking wouldn't I have some funked up dry wall?
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??


Guesser

@comcast.net
Water softener valve?
Furnace humidifier?
Reverse osmosis unit?


clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
said by Guesser :

Water softener valve?
Furnace humidifier?
Reverse osmosis unit?

No water softener that I know of.
No furnace humidifier
Dunno what that is
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??


darkwish
Free Knight
Premium
join:2003-09-12
Virginia Beach, VA
reply to clevere1
I will also place my bet on the toilets. Lift the covers off the water tanks, and take a look.


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
reply to clevere1
Put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tanks and wait 20 minutes. If the color migrates to the bowl then you know it's a leaker.


clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
That's a good idea. I shall do that and report back.
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??

eakes

join:2000-10-20
Richardson, TX
reply to clevere1
Likely leak in line from street to house. Look for a soft spot in the yard along the path of the line to the house. There should also be a shutoff at the entrance to the house (if you can find it).

A neighbor had this problem, sidewalk and a portion of the yard were soaked. Turns out there was a pinhole leak in the copper line feeding the house just to the yard side of the sidewalk.


aannoonn

@optonline.net
said by eakes:

Likely leak in line from street to house. Look for a soft spot in the yard along the path of the line to the house. There should also be a shutoff at the entrance to the house (if you can find it).

You missed this:
said by clevere1:

I turn off the water to the house (main shut off) and the meter stops running...



mph300
Two Thirds The Way There

join:2000-11-09
reply to clevere1
said by clevere1:

Funny. That's the type of valve that I replaced one of the plastic push/pull valves with... So how in the hell do you tell if they are leaking (there is no water anywhere). The majority of the bathroom are upstairs, so if they were leaking wouldn't I have some funked up dry wall?

You most probably have a toilet tank fill valve leaking internally into the tank. Once the level of water reaches the top of the overflow pipe, water starts to trickle into the toilet bowl.The reason you can not isolate the leak is because the inline water shut off valve is bypassing internally and not completely shutting off water flow.

Mike
--
CH3NO2-Fuel me UP-Let's race!


clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
reply to clevere1
Toilet tanks are now filled with green food coloring... now we wait.

But it does appear one toilet is running still (from the "waves") going into the bowl ... Guess I'll see soon.
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
said by clevere1:

But it does appear one toilet is running still (from the "waves") going into the bowl ... Guess I'll see soon.

Tell-tale sign...


clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
Yeah, but it stopped shortly there after (I just went up and looked).

None of the toilets have green (the color of the food coloring I used) in the bowls and it's been 20 minutes..
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??


guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:4
reply to clevere1
It very possible to have leaks in the lines exterior to the home. The run from the shutoff into the home and if your pluming is under a slab, under that, very common in Florida, but I know your in WA


Raphion

join:2000-10-14
Samsara
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
said by guppy_fish:

It very possible to have leaks in the lines exterior to the home. The run from the shutoff into the home and if your pluming is under a slab, under that, very common in Florida, but I know your in WA

Yeh, the lines under the slab in our house started leaking ages and ages ago, and were simply bypassed, water goes through the attic now. The cold water starts out pretty hot in summer time.


clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
reply to guppy_fish
I don't have slab ... crawl space. I'll be visiting it tomorrow ... damned spiders .. I hate spiders.
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??


Burntone

@rr.com
reply to mph300
said by mph300:

You have a leak inside your home at one of the mentioned areas.

My bet is a toilet.

Mike

That valve would be turned ON anyway so it wouldn't matter if it was leaking.

Viper677
Certified Home Inspector

join:2012-03-22
Toronto

1 recommendation

reply to clevere1
 
Like someone else already mentioned, leaky toilets was going to be my guess.

I am not sure if your house has a basement, if you do and its unfinished then you can look at your plumbing pipes and look for condensation. If you have condensation on a pipe, it is a sign that the leak is where the pipe is leading to. Continuous flow of water causes condensation. This also sometimes depends of the temperature conditions as well but its worth checking out.

Depending on how severe the problem is and how bad you want it fixed (well - a water leakage is always a big problem), you might want to consider getting a thermal imagine scan done.

Its a great tool to find water leaks that are not visible through naked eyes.
--
Certified Home Inspector
Certified Level 1 Thermographer


mph300
Two Thirds The Way There

join:2000-11-09
reply to Burntone
said by Burntone :

said by mph300:

You have a leak inside your home at one of the mentioned areas.

My bet is a toilet.

Mike

That valve would be turned ON anyway so it wouldn't matter if it was leaking.

If you read and comprehended the whole thread you would know the OP was trying to isolate where the leak was occurring by turning the supply line valves OFF.

Thanks for your contribution.

Mike
--
CH3NO2-Fuel me UP-Let's race!


Rxdoxx
Premium,Ex-Mod 2002-13
join:2000-11-03
Middle River, MD
kudos:11
reply to eakes
said by eakes:

Likely leak in line from street to house. Look for a soft spot in the yard along the path of the line to the house. There should also be a shutoff at the entrance to the house (if you can find it).

A neighbor had this problem, sidewalk and a portion of the yard were soaked. Turns out there was a pinhole leak in the copper line feeding the house just to the yard side of the sidewalk.

Going to be hard with a sprinkler system, But one clue is where things grow well during a dry spell.
If nothing turns up, may have to close down the sprinkler system and see if there is an area where things don't start wilting... but it may be too deep for just grass, others may know.
--
Was a Cruise Fanatic, one cruise on Princess cured me. Bleah

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to clevere1
There are water leak detector tools available. Basically they are electronic listening devices. I don't know if any rental places carry them or if you would have to find a plumber with one.
Expand your moderator at work


mph300
Two Thirds The Way There

join:2000-11-09
reply to clevere1

Re: How to find a water leak?

Did you get the leak isolated/fixed?
--
CH3NO2-Fuel me UP-Let's race!
Expand your moderator at work


clevere1
Premium
join:2002-01-06
Vancouver, WA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
reply to mph300

Re: How to find a water leak?

said by mph300:

Did you get the leak isolated/fixed?

Nope, not yet... sigh... I am going to do more looking this evening...
--
Where's th' DAFFY DUCK EXHIBIT??


Bubba
GIT-R-DONE
Premium,MVM
join:2002-08-19
St. Andrews
Reviews:
·Pickwick Cablevi..
·DIRECTV
reply to clevere1
quote:
But if I turn OFF the water to the house, the low-flow meter stops moving
Perhaps I missed the location but was this done at the city water meter shutoff ? If so, one can still not rule out the sprinkler system. If others have mentioned this and I overlooked, appologies for rehashing.

Do you have a back flow preventer for sprinkler system ? If so, there should\could be a shutoff at that location.

jhonmethew

join:2012-06-07
reply to clevere1
I am also faced the water leak problem in my house bathroom and then I contact the plumber who solve the water leak problem in my bathroom. There are also many water leak detectors available in the market which is really useful in controlling water leak.