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Fayetteville - Springdale - Rogers Northwest Arkansas
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:21 PM
 
15 posts, read 10,833 times
Reputation: 11

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So we have a water leak.. and we are fine with paying the money to get it fixed. But to find the leak, we are told we need a leak detector, a cost starting at $750 to "detect the leak" only.

The Arkansas Water Department, that we pay every month, has a leak detector. But they are unwilling to use it because they said it upsets the Plumbers.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,808 posts, read 94,113,928 times
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Which water department do you use?
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Old 06-04-2016, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Boydton, VA
3,600 posts, read 4,420,525 times
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What is the distance from the water company connection point to your house (assuming that it is leaking somewhere in between) ? How deep is it buried ? If you know where the pipe is buried, you could try this:

When troubleshooting from one known good point to a bad point, I always go halfway to gain a test point (old telephone repair strategy). In your case, shut off the water at the street, go halfway to the house and dig up the pipe, cut the pipe, insert a valve, ensure the valve is closed, turn on the water at the street. Still have a leak ?...then you know the leak is between your new valve and the street. No leak ?...then you know it's between your new valve and the house. Repeat the process until you get it narrowed down to a manageable section of pipe to replace. Weigh this process against renting a trencher and replacing the pipe from the get go.

Good luck
Gemstone1
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Old 06-06-2016, 08:13 AM
 
42,727 posts, read 27,300,882 times
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Have you called around to different plumbers to find one who already has a leak detector, and who can do the repairs for you?
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:49 PM
 
141 posts, read 142,813 times
Reputation: 308
Wow, I've never had a water leak that I couldn't find. Any time I've had an underground leak, the water eventually worked it's way to the surface. Most of the above ground leaks have been pretty obvious. There was a tricky toilet leak once. I knew I had water going somewhere because the meter was spinning a little, but I didn't hear or see any water going anywhere. I finally put some food coloring in the toilet tank and sure enough, the flapper was leaking. It wasn't enough of a leak to be obvious, but it was enough to see a difference in the water bill.
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:04 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
35,936 posts, read 65,386,926 times
Reputation: 41354
It's not just that it upsets the plumbers, it's their role to provide water to the meter, your responsibility after that. If the plumber is charging $750, the water department with union workers and other overhead is probably spending close to double that helping you. That would be subsidized by their other ratepayers, generally a violation of their charter. When I worked for a water. District (17 years) we would send out someone to help with obvious issues such as toilet, water heater pressure relief valve, or house line leak, but it was just a service representative, not a plumber, and no fancy equipment. If they couldn't find it they would say "call a plumber."
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Old 06-07-2016, 05:21 AM
 
13,291 posts, read 15,888,717 times
Reputation: 20266
Quote:
Originally Posted by gemstone1 View Post
What is the distance from the water company connection point to your house (assuming that it is leaking somewhere in between) ? How deep is it buried ? If you know where the pipe is buried, you could try this:

When troubleshooting from one known good point to a bad point, I always go halfway to gain a test point (old telephone repair strategy). In your case, shut off the water at the street, go halfway to the house and dig up the pipe, cut the pipe, insert a valve, ensure the valve is closed, turn on the water at the street. Still have a leak ?...then you know the leak is between your new valve and the street. No leak ?...then you know it's between your new valve and the house. Repeat the process until you get it narrowed down to a manageable section of pipe to replace. Weigh this process against renting a trencher and replacing the pipe from the get go.

Good luck
Gemstone1
This is a terrible idea.......and a lot of work!

What if you get 2-3-4 valves installed inline (which is a nightmare by itself) and you find out the leak is below the foundation of the house?
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