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Old 11-20-2014, 03:39 PM   #41
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For your own peace of mind, try this.
Turn the main water valve into the house off in the evening.
Go out and read the meter.
Read it again in the morning before you turn the water on.

If the meter shows water usage, then you know for certain the leak is between meter and house.
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Old 11-20-2014, 03:59 PM   #42
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Eleven gallons an hour, 24/7 should leave some puddling somewhere. If not, it must be going down a drain...if not the toilet, I'd guess it's outside.
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Old 11-20-2014, 06:09 PM   #43
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......
I'll try the tactic of turning off the water overnight and see if any of the toilets are empty in the morning. The tank and bowl are not integral on any of them so I don't see how a crack would leak into the bowl but what the hey, it's cheaper than digging up the front yard. And for the volume of water leaking I'm pretty sure I'd see movement in the bowl water but "pretty sure" is not certainty.
If the crack is in the overflow pipe, the one inch diameter pipe in the middle of the tank, then water would go from the tank through the crack into the bowl.
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Old 11-20-2014, 06:29 PM   #44
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If the crack is in the overflow pipe, the one inch diameter pipe in the middle of the tank, then water would go from the tank through the crack into the bowl.
If you have such a leak in a toilet you should hear the toilet running, as if the toilet shuts off as full after a while the water level should go down and the water turn on to fill it (working just like a bad flapper).
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:41 PM   #45
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Yes, the food coloring in the tank would have caught that one (after I figured out it wasn't the flapper).
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:45 PM   #46
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Yes, the food coloring in the tank would have caught that one (after I figured out it wasn't the flapper).
But it won't catch if a stuck-on "refill tube" is pushing water down the overflow pipe for some reason. This is unusual failure scenario, but if it occurs, dye won't indicate it.
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:56 PM   #47
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But it won't catch if a stuck-on "refill tube" is pushing water down the overflow pipe for some reason. This is unusual failure scenario, but if it occurs, dye won't indicate it.
If you suspect this take the lid off the top of the tank see if water is running down the overflow, and then flush and watch what happens. When the tank is full does the water shut off completely? 11 gallons a say is about 2 flushes of old toilets or 5 of low flow toilets
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Old 11-21-2014, 04:01 PM   #48
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Yes, I did take the tank lid off and watch all three of them, nothing unusual.
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Old 11-21-2014, 04:12 PM   #49
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So I'm betting on a buried galvanized house supply line that has finally rusted through. Had a buried hot water line in some other apartments that happened to - could hear it and feel it in the line. Ended up capping the line before it went underground and snaking Pex up and through the overhead to the next place it had to be. (Common hot water in those apartments that we pay the bill on. The good thing is that when the hot water kinda diminished to several apartments we heard about it fast, so we didn't rack up gigantic water or electric bills.)
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Old 11-21-2014, 04:14 PM   #50
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We'll find out tomorrow, that's when the plumber arrives. He will have tools/knowledge (I hope!) that I don't.
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Old 11-21-2014, 07:18 PM   #51
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Just go down to the County Detention facility and barrow 4 or 5 trustees with shovels for the day. . On second thought , it might be frowned upon at your local. Still happens in some jurisdictions.

If you decide to use PEX , it must be PEX -AL -PEX for potable water underground. (Has an aluminum middle layer) The aluminum prevents chemical migration from the soil , such as pesticides and fertilizers. Ordinary PEX, even with oxygen barrier, can allow some chemicals to migrate in.
Interesting, never heard of that pex. Sorry to hijack this thread, but I'm running a potable water line from my house to my garage but through a 1 1/2" black plastic pipe and was going to just run the regular 1/2" pex through it - I assume that would be ok since the pex isn't contacting the ground at all. Make sense?
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:09 PM   #52
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Interesting, never heard of that pex. Sorry to hijack this thread, but I'm running a potable water line from my house to my garage but through a 1 1/2" black plastic pipe and was going to just run the regular 1/2" pex through it - I assume that would be ok since the pex isn't contacting the ground at all. Make sense?
Yes , that is an approved method to avoid soil contact. Besides PEX-AL-PEX is much more expensive , is much stiffer, and hard to find.
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Old 11-23-2014, 04:36 PM   #53
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Hi Walt. The suspense is killing me. What did the plumber find and where IS all the water going ?
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Old 11-23-2014, 04:46 PM   #54
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Sorry, he was here yesterday. The water is going into the drain tile around the foundation to the house and out to a drain down the hill behind. From there it either goes into the creek behind the house or percolates down through the shale rock soil we have in this area.

Oh, and the next-door neighbor had some help from his insurance company - his out of pocket was $1,200 but the total was a bit more, $3,400 which is what I think ours is going to be or at least that is the estimate. And that is more in line with what I expected anyway.

The plumber said insurance policies differ - some will cover the removal of the old pipe (most expensive part anyway) but not the install of the new one. I'll check with ours Monday and see. Frankly I don't expect them to cover it - this to me is more of a maintenance item, not an insurable catastrophic loss.

I'm just grateful that we're in a position to write a check for it and get on with things and not have to be scrambling to find a loan and all that other nonsense like so many other people would have to do.

They're going to try to get it done Tuesday, unseasonably warm weather is forecast so that will be a good day to get it done.
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Old 11-23-2014, 04:47 PM   #55
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Hi Walt. The suspense is killing me. What did the plumber find and where IS all the water going ?
Ditto...we are all sitting on the edge of our seats.....
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Old 11-23-2014, 04:57 PM   #56
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I'm just grateful that we're in a position to write a check for it and get on with things and not have to be scrambling to find a loan and all that other nonsense like so many other people would have to do.
+1

As much as a grouse and grumble about shelling out to pay for something like this, I'm ever so thankful the expense really isn't significant to our bottom line and has no real impact to our standard of living. And I'm equally thankful I didn't have to pick up a pick and shovel like when I did a similar repair to a leaking water line thirty years ago!
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Old 11-23-2014, 06:37 PM   #57
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I'm glad you found out what's wrong. So this is all outside, right? Our water meter is inside the basement so an outside leak would not show up in our water meter. Is yours not like that?

Nevermind, I went back and read your first post and you said your meter is close to the street.

We have a shut off valve in the tree lawn near the street, then a meter in the house with an additional shut off valve.
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Old 11-23-2014, 06:45 PM   #58
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And I'm equally thankful I didn't have to pick up a pick and shovel like when I did a similar repair to a leaking water line thirty years ago!
Yes, that would have been me too. Thankfully I never had to.

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We have a shut off valve in the tree lawn near the street, then a meter in the house with an additional shut off valve.
I suppose it all depends on the code in effect at the time the respective house was built. The house I grew up in and one I had later had the gas & water meters on the inside and someone had to be home to have the meters read or you had to mail in the postcard with the reading.

Later on they put all the meters outside, and now they all have radio transmitters on them so the meter readers don't have to get out of the car. Now if that isn't an invitation to to hack a signal I don't know what is.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:30 AM   #59
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A few years ago our city swapped out all the electric and water meters and changed them all to wireless Automated Meter Reading. I love the change because I used to have to stick my head in a hole in a cabinet in the basement to read the meter. When we got our first digital camera I would stick the camera in there and get a picture of the meter rather than put my head in!

I think ours is internet based, we can see extra WiFi networks that may be our utility meters.
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Old 11-24-2014, 04:51 PM   #60
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A guy came to mark all the utility lines this morning and the loader was delivered this afternoon. I couldn't resist the photo op and E-mailed these and a couple more to all my family with the caption "We're ready for winter!"
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Loader-1.jpg (241.8 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg Loader-2.jpg (199.8 KB, 16 views)
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