pipe leak help needed!!!!!!!

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Old 08-09-08, 09:18 PM
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pipe leak help needed!!!!!!!

I am building a new house and am ready to put up drywall, we did a pressure test on the plumbing and at 120 psi was losing 5 pounds a day of air pressure on the line. could not find any air leaks at all after checking extensively.

put water on the lines and purged all the air out and put 140 psi of water on the lines, the pressure stayed the same for 4 days and on the 5th and 6th day dropped about 3 psi each day, I have checked every fitting and inch of the line and can find NO leaking water.

does anyone have any suggestions as what to do or look for, or am I missing something, I was leaning towards blaming it on the guage or the valve but I am not seeing any water on it either so I am stumped

any ideas how much water would be leaking to drop it 3 psi a day

any help appreciated!!!!!!!!!!
 
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Old 08-10-08, 01:34 AM
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Good morning,

First, do not write off your pressure gauge yet. Have you tested anything with soapy solution? It is best if you use gas leak detector, but dish soap and water will work, just not quite as well.

Start at your gauge assembly, then work your way to ALL joints throughout the piping.
Keep the pressure around 100psi.
What you are looking for is any large bubbles or any really tiny bubbles, I call it a beard, as it resembles one. 3-5lbs per day will most likely be one or two real small leaks
Also don't forget about you tub/shower valves. Did you plug off the shower head and tub spout? They must be plugged in case you are losing the pressure through the valve. Also, if you have any ball valves with nothing on one end, it should also be capped. Trust me, they are not always perfect.
I have pulled my hair out, (must be why I am half bald) many times, and have on occasion needed to test 2 or 3 times before I finally find the leak.

Also, just because you have put water into the system, does not mean it will produce the leak. If the leak is at the end of the line and there is an air pocket, it will not show up as water for a long time.

Also if all fails. Make sure there is not a large change in the outside temperature as it can have an effect on the pressure. I have even had the pressure go up if I tested in the morning and it became extremely hot in the afternoon.


 
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Old 08-10-08, 05:20 AM
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maybe packings on the valves? i always tighten them before installing them, just to save from going back again, can't say i'm right tho... just a suggestion to check.
 
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Old 08-10-08, 05:25 AM
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I agree with the packing issue, but I am assuming there are no valves yet because this is just a rough. Like you, I just mentioned about the ball valve, just in case.
 
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Old 08-10-08, 08:04 AM
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those guys are right, check your valves. i assume you have the tub and shower valves in? put a cap on you shower head nipple, and a cap on your spout stub out. the bib washers may be leaking thru, on the washer box, and the hose bibs also,
 
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Old 08-10-08, 09:26 AM
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we do have the valves installed in the tubs, the showers are capped off - the valves are just turned off

I have soaped all the joints real good and couldnt se anything

when we put the water on the line and it held for 4 days the temperature was very hot and humid, the day I noticed the drop the humidity had dropped greatly and much cooler in the day in night

I am starting to see stars thinking about this problem!
 
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Old 08-10-08, 09:43 AM
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i think your are losing it at the tub valves. they are turned off but not caped. cap em. i always do. also you are testing against the hose bibs, that are just turned off.
take your hand and hold it in a cupped fashion, squirt soapy water in hand. and hold on the end of the hose bibs. see if there are bubbling. did you ck the packing nuts on the washer and the hose bibs? the ice maker box needs checking also, packing nut there. man.... just fill it up with water... hook up a hose. use a washing machine hose.
turn it on
 
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Old 08-10-08, 09:44 AM
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Trying to help...

Do you have the tub spouts capped off also? If a valve was leaking by a little, it would leak right out the tub spout pipe.

How long is it before you notice a drop in pressure?
5, 10, 20, minutes?

Have you soaped things more than once? And if so did you go back and check everything about 20 mins later. I am thinking you have some really small leaks, so you will be looking for the tiny beard bubbles. Also, have you listened very hard? Sometimes you can hear the leak.

What kind of leak detector do you have?

What kind of pipe are you using?

I know how frustrating this can be, been there, done that.

All you can do is keep looking. Now that you have added water, you cannot even use the smoke method. Don't ask me how to do it, as I have never needed to go that far.
 
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Old 08-10-08, 09:49 AM
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The problem with water testing is if it is a real small leak and it is on a line that cannot be bled out (air pocket) it could take a long time before it shows up. But you are right, it should eventually show up.

Does it still leak within an hour? Are we talking about a temp. thing here?
 
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Old 08-10-08, 10:02 AM
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you said it pumped up to 140 psi what is your main valve rated at a 150 wog this could be as simple as the water bleeding back thru your main valve. my suggestion is turn the water on. if it leaks than it can be fixed. take a bicycle
pump, cut the end off. stick it in the washer valve and pump. that will get the wayer out.
 
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Old 08-10-08, 10:06 AM
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have you got the water crossed somewhere, so the water will get in the hot lines? cap the tub off and turn on the tub valve,that will get water on the hot side
 
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Old 08-10-08, 04:45 PM
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using pex pipe

the valves have been checked with soap and nothing, but I am not noticing a drop for hours, it may drop 1 to 2 pounds a day, that must be a very small leak

everyone is telling me its the tub valxes leaking but it is hard to sit there 24 hrs waiting on a bubble to pop up

we have the water crossed so both the hoit and cold are on the same line for now

it did mot leak any for 4 days, it was a week tomorrow since we put water on it and it has dropped maybe 10 # in that time

I would just like to find a drpo of water somewhere on the line
 
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Old 08-10-08, 05:40 PM
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Well, this is what I would do at this point, because 10lbs is enough to worry about.

I would purchase 4-5 pex valves and install them at locations where you will be able to bleed off air in most of the lines. They can all be cut off later and re-used. Are you using cinch clamps or crimp clamps. Cinch clamps can be removed easily and crimp clamps can be removed with the help of a hacksaw or dremel tool. Then fill the system with water from your main if you have one, or a neighbors outside sillcock. Leave it hooked up for at least 24 hours with full water pressure. If there is a leak, you will find a small puddle on the floor.
If I could not find the leak by now, that would be my next step.
 
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Old 08-10-08, 09:22 PM
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I will re check it in the morning and try that if I have no answer

thanks
 
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