leak in foundation
I have a small slab brick house, approx 1400 sq ft, in Louisiana built in 1961. All my neighbors houses are 1920-1940 two story frames on pedistals. My water bill for 2 people double all my neigh who have children, more people using water, more laundry. We called the water co and they came out, we turned off everything and the needle on the water meter still moved, minutely... so they said I have a leak. Plumbers came, found nothing..none of my grass is greener along the water line. They sent another guy and he had a stethescope. I have a small skinny kitchen and finally he had me stand in kitchen and put my hand on the floor in front of the sink and then my other hand on other side in front of the built in oven. He said since the floor was much cooler in front of the sink, I have a leak in my slab. Said would have to reroute thru attic. I have a very small pitched roof with a tar roof. The cost of repair for me is very high and so we tried to get another opinion. No one else seems to do that around here. I am skeptical, also do not have the funds to take care of this.
I talked to co-workers and heard 3 stories of reroute that ended up horror stories making much bigger problems.
ANY ideas, suggestions or stories would be appreciated...
Re: leak in foundation
I would do some further testing on your own, & then try to get another opinion.
There is obviously a leak somewhere if the water meter needle is moving.
When you say "everything was turned off" before the test, I would pay particular attention to the ballcock valve (or fluidmaster valve) in the toilet; these often make no noise when they're leaking.
I would also note that over the years, the valve seat and washers inside shutoff valves deteriorates to the point where many of them are defective & don't completely shut off anymore; the newer ball valves are more reliable & the older stop & waste models are being phased out.
I had this same problem some years ago & didn't notice anything until I got a quarterly water bill that was triple what it usually is.
In my case it turned out to be a leaky ballcock valve.
This can be easily checked by turning off the shutoff valve under the toilet bowl near the floor & watching the water meter needle for continued movement (again, don't completely trust the shutoff valve).
Scoop all or most of the water out of the toilet tank & see if it starts to fill again with the valve shut off; use a stethescope to touch different parts of the ballcock/fluidmaster valve & water supply to see if you can hear anything.
There are usually other branch shutoff valves that should be shut off; make a note to check additional equipment that may be attached to the water supply of your house, such as pressure pumps, a landscape irrigation system, branch piping to an A/C or heating/hot water heater, etc.
If this doesn't solve anything, there are automotive stethescopes you can buy for a modest amount at Pep Boys, or another automotive supply shop; they are also carried by some plumbing supply houses.
These are sensitive enough so that you will hear a "running noise" when you touch different points on the water supply piping, and also on the slab flooring at different points.
This works best if the house is completely silent, so you can concentrate on listening to the barely perceptible "rushing" sound that the stethescope will pick up.
If you get an increase in noise at some point, you're getting closer to the leak.
Hopefully, it's something as simple as an accessible valve.
Let us know how you make out.
Last edited by JacktheShack; 09-08-2007 at 12:17 PM.
Re: leak in foundation
It seems to me that if you have a leak in the slab , there should be evidence of this . That water has to go somewhere , right ?
Re: leak in foundation
RE; leak in slab floor house. I have a leak we are unable to find with the stethiscope and or using a snake eye put into a hole made in the shower wall.(We thought leak was in rear shower) If we turn water off coming out of the hot water heater the needle is stationary so must be coming from this source. The floor is warm in the kitchen which is right next to water heater, also is warn in dishwasher(when not in use) and under the sink. How can we by pass this section of pipe and go directly from water heater to kitchen and beyond. Can we go thru ceiling to attic and down wall to kitchen? How do we cut out the old pipe without digging up the cement, is this possible or must we dig down, find the upright from main line and reconnect there? Any help will be greatly appreciated. We are stumped. Water bill increases 4 fold if leave water on at heater so we are cutting off when not using. Wife is getting tired of no hot water in kitchen.