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Thread: Outside water leaks.

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    Outside water leaks.

    Last winter we took off for Arizona. I shut the water off on our house. We used no water over the winter. Our water bill was minimal.

    We came back and I turned the water back on and our first water bill was $450.00 for a month. I thought there was something wrong with that so I contacted the city water department. They said that we register 24 hour water usage
    and they threatened to shut off my water and designate me a water abuser.

    That tells me we have a leak. Thereís no leaking in the house so I figured it was outside. We have about 15 spigots spread out on the property.

    Iíve spent $1,000.00 so far on leak detection. They still canít pinpoint the leak, but I can eliminate it by shutting off some of my outside water. So at least Iíve isolated it to certain underground pipes.


    Now Iíve made an appointment with a dedicated leak detection outfit who uses both sound and helium gas to locate leaks. Has anyone heard of this technique? I get the sound thing, but not the helium gas.
    Benjamin Franklin: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

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    donttread (08-11-2021)

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    Docthehun (07-30-2021)

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    It's a process. Shut off everything you can shut off. Watch the meter. Is it still moving? If the main valve is off and the meter is still turning, the leak is between the meter and the house. That's a problem. Look for unusually green spots of grass, which could indicate a leak. Best case scenario, there will be no meter movement when you shut off the house, which could indicate something as simple as a toilet running.
    "What happens is of little significance compared with the stories we tell ourselves about what happens. Events matter little, only stories of events
    affect us.Ē

    ~Rabih Alameddin


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    Quote Originally Posted by FindersKeepers View Post
    It's a process. Shut off everything you can shut off. Watch the meter. Is it still moving? If the main valve is off and the meter is still turning, the leak is between the meter and the house. That's a problem. Look for unusually green spots of grass, which could indicate a leak. Best case scenario, there will be no meter movement when you shut off the house, which could indicate something as simple as a toilet running.
    I've done that. I turn off the water to my back yard and the meter is still. I turn the back yard water on and the meter moves. I don't see any unusually green or wet spots. I do know that the leak is in one of the lines in my back yard.
    Benjamin Franklin: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tahuyaman View Post
    I've done that. I turn off the water to my back yard and the meter is still. I turn the back yard water on and the meter moves. I don't see any unusually green or wet spots. I do know that the leak is in one of the lines in my back yard.

    That stinks. You've got two valves--one at the meter, and one in the house where the water line enters.

    Just to make very sure the leak is in the yard, shut off the valve in the house and then turn on the water meter valve in the yard. If it spins, you're right and the leak is in the supply line between the meter and the interior shut-off valve.

    Do you have a sprinkler/irrigation system? It could be in that as well.

    Most of the time, the leak will be near the meter or in the connections near the house. Does the line enter the house in a basement? Crawl space?

    I would suggest calling for locates-- just dial 811 -- it's a free call and have the utility companies come out and mark the buried lines. That's also free. They'll send out a guy who can mark the water line with spray paint, all the way from the meter to the house. Any bends in the line--such as if the line turns to run under a sidewalk or driveway--will be suspect points for leaks. Plus, you'll want to know where all the buried lines are before you have someone dig to fix the water line. The last thing you want is for them to hit a different buried line when they're trying to repair your leak.

    But, with that much water leaking -- I'm surprised you're not seeing damp spots in the yard somewhere (or by the foundation) that will give you a hint as to where it's leaking.
    "What happens is of little significance compared with the stories we tell ourselves about what happens. Events matter little, only stories of events
    affect us.Ē

    ~Rabih Alameddin


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    Quote Originally Posted by FindersKeepers View Post
    That stinks. You've got two valves--one at the meter, and one in the house where the water line enters....
    I have eight valves.
    Benjamin Franklin: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tahuyaman View Post
    I have eight valves.

    Outside? If so, do you have a sprinkler system?

    I mean there are only two major shutoffs - at the meter - and where the water line enters the house. A house will have many valves, on commodes, sinks, tubs and showers, but if you have a leak, pinpointing the main two is essential so you can test.
    "What happens is of little significance compared with the stories we tell ourselves about what happens. Events matter little, only stories of events
    affect us.Ē

    ~Rabih Alameddin


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    Quote Originally Posted by FindersKeepers View Post
    Outside? If so, do you have a sprinkler system?

    I mean there are only two major shutoffs - at the meter - and where the water line enters the house. A house will have many valves, on commodes, sinks, tubs and showers, but if you have a leak, pinpointing the main two is essential so you can test.

    PIn my basement, I have eight separate valves where I can shut the water off in various places outside. As of now I have one shut off which feeds five different hose bibs. Somewhere on that line is where it’s leaking.
    Benjamin Franklin: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tahuyaman View Post
    I have eight valves.
    Where in the yard are the best watered plants and grass?
    Make everything from toy guns that spark, to flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark. Itís easy to see without looking too far, that not much is really sacred.
    Thomas Jefferson (to Richard Price) January 8. 1789 "...wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with their own government..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet57 View Post
    Where in the yard are the best watered plants and grass?
    Everywhere.
    Benjamin Franklin: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

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