sounds like water running when everything is off

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  #1  
Old 02-26-11, 05:50 AM
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sounds like water running when everything is off

We recently noticed the sound of water running in the pipes even when nothing is turned on. We checked through the house, the noise stops when the main water line is off and when the hot water is off, so we figure it is the cold water line somewhere. Any suggestions? Can we find this ourselves or do we need to seek out a plumber? Thanks!
 
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Old 02-26-11, 07:29 AM
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Welcome to the forums! I know you checked the outside faucets. Is the house on a slab, crawlspace, basement? Do the pipes run under concrete at any point? Do you have a hot water recirculator on your water heater? They will run to keep water hot at your furthest point, so it could be normal. You turn the hot water off, and it ceases it's operation.
 
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Old 02-26-11, 08:18 AM
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+1 on the slab leak. I see a leak locator in your future.
Dont just call any plumber. Call a specialized leak locating service.
 
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Old 02-26-11, 09:36 AM
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What is the difference between a leak locator and plumber? I will need a plumber too I would imagine. House has a full basement.
 
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Old 02-26-11, 09:47 AM
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If it has a full basement..with plumbing accessible in the ceiling, a regular plumber should be able to take care of any problem. But if it's inside the house you should see some sort of damage from the leak.

You may have something as simple as the circulator that was mentioned or a malfunctioning fill valve on a toilet. Could you elaborate a bit on what you have done? Did you turn off the WH and main at the same time? Has it been freezing in your area? Can you isolate the sound?

Have you gotten a higher water bill?
 
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Old 02-26-11, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by queentess View Post
What is the difference between a leak locator and plumber? I will need a plumber too I would imagine. House has a full basement.
Sorry I was a bit too brief. If the leak is under concrete you want to be sure you are digging in the right spot, especially if it your kitchen or livingroom floor you are puching holes in. A leak locator specializes in pinpointing where to dig. They typically do not repair leaks. Some plumbers have locating equipment, but I refer to the specialists in these type of jobs.
When you say the noise stops when you turn off the water, are you turning it off at the house or at the meter. That the noise stops means the leak is past the shutoff. How much of that is buried?
You are correct, when the leak is located and exposed you will need a plumber to make the repair.
 
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Old 02-27-11, 08:12 AM
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We have seen no leaks or damage in the house or out at this point. We live in a suburb of Minneapolis, so yes, it is cold here and very snowy. This seems to have started recently.
I do not know about the water heater recirculator and have checked toilets and they seem fine. I am still poking around and make a phone call to a plumber for help on Monday.
We just got a water bill and it was a bit higher but that could have been due to the water useage over the holidays and all the entertaining and house guests, etc.
I am willing to explore some of this stuff on my own with some guidance. It is kind of like solving a mystery or a puzzle, rather full of intrigue. We live in a house built in the 50's, rather like a bomb shelter. Lots of concrete, rebar, cement, brick, etc. Solid, yes, but nothing is easy to get at. Or change.

Here is my biggest problem: my husband seems reluctant to begin the hunt for the source of this problem and is fearful of the cost of repairs. None of you can do anything about that I am sure!!!
 
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Old 02-27-11, 08:54 AM
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Nagging pays off! I think our spigot on the front of our house outside was not turned completely off! Testing! will report later....
 
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Old 02-27-11, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by queentess View Post
Here is my biggest problem: my husband seems reluctant to begin the hunt for the source of this problem and is fearful of the cost of repairs. None of you can do anything about that I am sure!!!
Being fearful of the outcome won't fix the problem. You gotta get dirty.
Let us know on the faucet thingy. If need be, you may need to install ball valves inside the basement so you can cut the outside water off in a warmer environment in the winter and drain the spigots.
 
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Old 02-27-11, 01:15 PM
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Sad to say we are still searching. Reinforcements arrive tomorrow when the Leak Locator contacts us.
 
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Old 02-28-11, 08:36 AM
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The bill to locate and fix the problem will be what it is. It won't be cheap, but it will certainly be far less expensive than ignoring the problem now and fixing the damage that the water does later!!
 
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Old 02-28-11, 08:54 AM
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Yep, I've got an estimate to do this afternoon. The customer said they wanted to redo their bathroom. It all started with a small leak several years ago. Wonder what I'm gonna get into on this one! The longer the problem exists, the worse it gets, and it don't fix itself.
 
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Old 02-28-11, 09:11 AM
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Larry, you know as well as I do that only time, a wrecking bar, and a Sawzall will tell!!
 
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Old 02-28-11, 09:35 AM
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Do you have a reverse osmosis water filter? Mine backwashes the filter intermittently and I can hear the water running under the sink and in the basement where the filter is located.
 
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Old 02-28-11, 01:49 PM
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Hi, I read the question a few times to make sure.
Noise stops when main line is off. OK
Noise stops when Hot water is shut off. Ok
Must have a leak in cold water line. Not OK. I would think the leak is in the hot water line.
I hope queentess let's us know the result.
Woodbutcher
 
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Old 02-28-11, 02:10 PM
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Hey, Mike, not too bad. Good housekeepers, and the "leak" was from the shower spout into the shower. They just want their old fiberglas walking shower gone and a new tiled one put in...........sweet! 1.5 miles from the shop.........double sweet.
 
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Old 02-28-11, 02:25 PM
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Larry,

Sometimes we get lucky. Sometimes we get double lucky. But then there are those times when we just can't BUY a break!!
 
  #18  
Old 03-01-11, 07:35 AM
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I was corrected and need to say that noise stops only when water is off. Hot and cold, makes no difference. Leak Locator and insurance guy are still "in discussion". Still no signs of water any where. I will keep you posted with results. I really appreciate any guidance you all can provide.
 
  #19  
Old 03-01-11, 06:15 PM
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queentess,

Now there is a HUGE clue!!

If the noise stops whenever either the hot water or when the cold water is shut off, the the leak is in the hot water system!!

Shutting off the hot water will only shut off the hot water. Shutting off the cold will shut off BOTH the hot and cold water.

So, if shutting off just the hot water stops it, it's in the hot water system.
 
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Old 03-02-11, 03:55 AM
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I still say it is in a hot water recirculation system. Water isn't "running", but is being recirculated, and "sounds" like it is leaking or running somewhere. I know, just a naildriver..........
 
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Old 03-02-11, 07:21 AM
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We have no recirculting system. Insurance adjuster comes today. They will pay for someone to open a hole and close a hole but not to fix a leak. Water sounds are louder after toilet is flushed. I hear it only in my bathroom, not in the kitchen. My husband does not believe we are messing with the hot water heater. We are losing about 2 1/2 gallons an hour. I have no news to offer you at this moment. Today I am busy purchasing tires for my car and that is a whole other can of worms.
Guys, thanks for hanging with me during this process. I will certainly post my results as I have them. My poopsie is desperately sad that he cannot figure this one out, a challenge flung at him that he cannot meet. Sort of like my resignation that I will never make light and delicious pancakes. After a while you just know your limitations. That is why God invented plumbers, right?!
 
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Old 03-02-11, 02:50 PM
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No, He created plumbers to cut through floor joists carefully laid by framing carpenters, and not tell the carpenters what they did. But they have mothers, too, so we have to be nice to them.
 
  #23  
Old 03-02-11, 03:18 PM
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Insurance man came and went. He told us until he saw some damage or sign of leaks or whatever he did not know what to fix. I was at least reassured that my sweetie could quit obsessing for a while. We were directed to our local water department (comes thru our city) to see if they can assist.
Silver lining: insurance will pay for repairs from ice dams and leaks from our roof.
I'm tellin' ya, it has been quite the winter!
 
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