Hear water running but nothing is on/running/open...


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Old 06-21-14, 02:23 AM
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Hear water running but nothing is on/running/open...

When I got in the house, I heard water running. It was only on the 1st floor (concrete slab, no basement) and it sounded like it was coming from the guest bathroom toilet but after they refilled from a flush, I didn't see water leaking into the tank or the bowl and when I turned the fill valve off to the toilet, I still heard water running.

I didn't stop hearing it until I turned off the shut off valve outside at entry point of where the water line enters into house. FWIW, the only thing between this point and the guest bathroom is the garage, which has the hot water heater, which is from 1999 but seemed fine and I didn't hear anything unusual.

Your thoughts?

FWIW, I don't know if this pic is related or just a strange coincidence but before I walked into the house tonite and heard the water running, I noticed the hatch for the main water meter box out in my yard was open.

When I went over to shut it, I found this little surprise. Although, I couldn't see the quadrupedal hives because of all the bees... I sprayed the hell out of it but needless to say didn't get close enough to shut it off...And thankfully, I didn't have to
 
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Last edited by c1351996; 06-21-14 at 02:47 AM.
  #2  
Old 06-21-14, 05:29 AM
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Aside from the formidable bee colonies, it appears you may have a slab leak. A pipe under the slab has been compromised. If no obvious leak or running appliance, check the perimeter of the house for water pooling. Quire often it takes specialized detection equipment to locate slab leaks. Once located the repair will usually require demolirion of the slab in that area, or relocation of the supply line, abandoning the original.
 
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Old 06-21-14, 11:43 AM
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WONDERFUL! That doesn't sound expensive!
So when you say "..specialized detection equipment..."; what are you talking about?
 
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Old 06-21-14, 11:49 AM
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They have listening devices and sonar to detect pipes and the sound of rushing water.
 
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Old 06-21-14, 11:54 AM
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How about video snake?

FWIW..I have an AO Smith EES 52 917
 
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Old 06-21-14, 12:19 PM
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You'll never get a video snake through the elbows of a 3/4" copper pipe. Do you have a recirculating pump for hot water?
 
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Old 06-21-14, 04:21 PM
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Hi, Sometime this works. Most slab leaks are hot water so take off your shoes and socks and walk on the slab if you find a warm section you found the leak.
Good Luck Woodbutcher
 
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Old 06-21-14, 06:01 PM
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I really wish you hadn't sprayed the bees. Calling the city or a local bee keeper would have been a better option.

The cover was probably still up because the meter reader ran when he opened it. Expect an estimated bill next cycle.
 
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Old 06-23-14, 10:30 AM
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...Do you have a recirculating pump for hot water?
No, I don't believe I have a recirculating pump for hot water.
 
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Old 06-23-14, 10:36 AM
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BTW, In the pics you can see I have three pipes going into the top of the water heater, a cold supply , a hot going out and possibly a relief pipe. The one marked "COLD" has a Open/Close handle just like the shut valve at the entry point into the house.

When I put the "COLD" into the Close position, I still hear the sound of water running and the meter is still showing water passing through and does not stop until I close the shut off valve outside at entry point of where the water line enters into house.

FWIW, The take off shoes and socks test didn't reveal a warm section.
 
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Old 06-23-14, 10:51 AM
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Unfortunately I think you are at the point of calling a plumber. Not much more you can do on your own.
 
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Old 06-23-14, 11:18 AM
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The first 2 plumbers I called don't even do leak detection, the 3rd said he'd charge as follows for leak detection:
$295 ("Non-invasive, standard underground sonic leak detection equipment, 90% accuracy")
$495 ("more in-depth could mean holes in walls, 95% accuracy")
$695 (holes in walls and/or demo concrete floor, 100% accuracy)

From what I told him over the phone, he said most likely $495 but would not be certain until he got here.

FWIW, I'm thinking I can can put holes in my walls and tear up concrete for a lot less than $695.
 
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Old 06-23-14, 11:28 AM
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Well, if it was in a wall, you'd see some indication of it based one your description of the meter flow.

Until you have an idea of where to look, you'd just be tilting at windmills, if you started breaking up your floors.
 
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Old 06-24-14, 09:51 AM
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A 4th co. sent a "technician" out for a free "look see" in order to propose how much it would cost to do a "Leak Detection". After waiting 3 days and 2 other appts where they pulled the old no show - no call, the tech shows up 2 hours late for the 3rd appt. I guess "free" is a matter of opinion at this point. Sorry, I had to vent.

ANYWAY... The technician seemed to know what he was talking about, went through everything we've discussed and with no equipment he's 100% confident he's narrowed it down to a cold water line slab leak(s); possibly starting in the garage somewhere between the hot water heater and the suspect bathroom/toilet but definitely under the bathroom/toilet as well as the laundry sink & potentially the washing machine, which are both a little further away from the hot water heater then the bathroom/toilet but all are basically in the same room.

He has proposed $345 to come back for "Leak Detection" i.e. open the walls to "pin point and cap off the leak(s)" with a "pressure machine" so he can then give me a flat rate "per job" proposal to repair the leak(s). FWIW, he says he's also 100% sure he "will not have dig up the slab unless I want him to put the new line(s) underground".

Your thoughts?
 
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Old 07-01-14, 08:53 AM
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Leak detection cos. in this area are RARE and either in very high demand or I don't know what because none have called me back...I keep looking. ;( In the mean time, I've been able to flush the toilet and get by using rain water harvested outside.

I went to measure the wall in the garage behind the toilet to mark it's location but had to move the refrigerator to do so. Upon moving said appliance, I noticed a small 6" area of DRY water damage on the drywall where it meets the floor...not directly behind the toilet but close enough.

The damage is actually at a strange spot on the garage wall because it's where part of the other side of the wall is in the house where the toilet is and the other part is outside the garage & the toilet/bathroom but I figure this is as good place as any to open up the drywall and start investigating.

That said, with that electrical panel right there, what would you use to & where would you start opening the wall?

BTW, my apologies for the sideways images.
 
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Last edited by c1351996; 07-01-14 at 09:16 AM.
 

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