Question about running water sound, when nothing is turned on.


Old 12-29-04, 08:12 AM
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Question about running water sound, when nothing is turned on.

Last night we heard what sounded like the furnace kicking on. After further inspection we realized that it sounded like running water, although no faucets or toilets were running. We thought at first that it might be snow melting on the roof and it was possibly running into some type of vent drain. I went to the basement and checked the pipes but I could see no apparent leaks or water on the walls or floor. The sound stopped momentarily when I shut off the main valve in the basement that sends water to the inside of the house. The water department came out last night and the needle on the meter was spinning. When I got to work today I talked to a lady who is married to a plumber, and with the information that I provided he seems to think that there is a small leak on the outside of the house. He thinks that it might be a small leak since we don't experience any pressure loss when running water inside the house or the outside faucets. He said that if you can hear water in the pipes in a certain room, that doesn't mean that is the place where the leak is because you would be able to hear it thoughout the pipes. He said that it is hard to say without looking at it, as it is probably hard for some of you to say as well. Does this sound a little on target, and that the cold weather might have caused a crack in the outside piping causing us to hear it on the inside of the house? The piping in the front yard was replaced about 3 years ago, but maybe with the cold weather and the yard being covered with snow, a pipe could have possibly cracked. Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated from anyone, so we have a better idea of what to check or how to further isolate this problem. Thank you! Brad
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Old 12-29-04, 09:04 AM
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bradr, Welcome to the DIY Forums.
If you heard the noise inside the house, then the problem is also (probably) inside the house.
Things to check.
Go to the basement and listen to the maindrain pipe (can put your ear on it) and see if water is running through the pipe. That will verify that it is internal leak that is in a fixture and not a pipe leak.
Does your temp/pressure relief valve on the water heater discharge in the house or have piping run elsewhere? Put your hand on the pipe to see if it is warm/hot. It may be that the T/P valve is leaking so cold water is being called for in the heater. You can also turn off the cold supply line to the heater to see if this stops the noise. If so then you know it is a hot water leak.
Pour a couple cups of coffee (liquid only, no grounds) into your toilet tanks and watch the bowl to see if it starts coming into the bowl. That would be a flapper failure and the toilet is calling for water to make up the loss. At the same time, check the water levels in the tanks to make sure they are at the level indicated inside the tank and are not running into the overflow tube.
Try these tests and reply back. Good luck.
Old 12-29-04, 02:04 PM
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Majakdragon thank you for the welcome, seems like there is a great deal of knowledge on this forum. I appreciate the fast response. I am still at work and received a call that a family friend seems to have found the problem. Recently we had the unattached garage re-done and they took the furnace out of the garage, and cut the water supply off to the garage. With there being no heat in the garage anymore this must have caused a pipe to burst. It was late last night and no one thought that it would be related to the water pipes that were in the garage. Hopefully everything can be taken care of as far as that goes and this will solve our problem. Thanks again for your suggestions, I will keep them in mind for the future.
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