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Old 07-27-2011, 10:24 AM
 
88 posts, read 303,129 times
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My water meter is running too high. The water meter is in fact spinning, but slowly, and I have not been able to find anything inside the house. Actually did find a leaky faucet that I slowed down but that's not the problem.

Looks like the leak is either behind a wall or under the basement floor.

So it appears I need to call in experts who have technology to detect and eventually repair the leak. I'm anticipating this will be expensive so I am looking for advice from anyone who's already been through it.

Anyone know what kind of technology is used to detect water leaks?

One vendor I have identified via google is Maxwell Plumbing in Bayside:

New York City Water Leak Detection, NYC Water Leak Repair, Maxwell Plumbing & Mechanical, Bronx NY, Brooklyn NY, Manhattan NY, Queens NY

Has anyone had any dealings of any kind with them?

Other recommendations?
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Manhattan
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Do you have any estimate of the water flow? Try to determine how many gallons per hour you are losing with everything turned off. Can you translate that to dollars per hour?
Can you HEAR water running? Use a stethescope if you have one.

I assume you are talking about a private house.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:51 PM
 
88 posts, read 303,129 times
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Based on the average meter readings, I calculate the leak at about 70 gallons per hour. That's a gallon per minute and you would think I'd hear it, even though I don't have a stethoscope.

Dollarwise, it's certainly enough to need to get it fixed quickly.

Yes, it's a private house, semi-attached, three stories.
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Manhattan
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Hmmm, 70 gallons per hour is horrific. If you have piping under the cellar floor I suspect it is running DOWN, especially since you cannot hear it, and at that rate perhaps even enlarging a sinkhole.

Here are a couple of tips you can check before investing in a $$$$plumber$$$$!

How to check for a water leak

Make sure to do that toilet test with food coloring. But geez, a gallon a minute is cerainly nothing too subtle. I DO hope you don't have piping buried in a concrete floor.
(The only house I ever lived in had a concrete basement floor but all the incoming water AFTER the meter was above the concrete and easily accessible.)


Here's how acoustic leak detection works:
http://www.subsurfaceleak.com/find_leaks.html

Last edited by Kefir King; 07-28-2011 at 09:10 AM..
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:36 PM
 
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Thanks for that info. I think the only active piping that might be under the basement concrete floor are drainpipes.

I tried locating a place that rents acoustic type equipent that I could use to locate the leak to no avail. I have a call in to maxwell plumbing, will post results.
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Old 07-30-2011, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Manhattan
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Absent any intake pipes under the basement concrete, I cannot IMAGINE how a 1 gallon/minute flow in the walls could go undetected????

You don't have a buried sprinkler system in your yard do you?

(Well if we don't hear back we will asssume you wwere swallowed up in a sinkhole! )
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Old 07-31-2011, 01:12 PM
 
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I agree for sure. No buried sprinkler system. I am truly baffled and beginning to suspect a defective meter, so I may have to petition the DEP to check it.

Meanwhile, conversations with Maxwell Plumbing determined they have no real leak detection capability so rather than have them come in and start tearing the place apart, I resumed my google search. Found a nationwide outfit named American Leak Detection that uses pressurized gas to find water leaks... they are coming Tuesday.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Manhattan
24,714 posts, read 34,678,330 times
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Last thought is: Are you in an attached home that is possibly feeding a neighbor?


(I cannot imagine how compressed air is easier to find than "pressurized water." In fact, the way to find an air leak is usually to put the leaking object, like a tire tube, in WATER.


I thought of a defective meter but a defective meter usually WON'T turn rather than turn without the force of water.
The air pressure method will certainly find a defective meter if present.

Good luck, let me know.

(Can you actually watch a dial in the meter turning or the numbers going up with all water OFF? Is the meter running intermittently (somebody else using) or steadily (leaking?))

Last edited by Kefir King; 08-02-2011 at 08:37 AM..
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Old 08-02-2011, 04:04 PM
 
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Hi Speedoo,

Like others have said, it sounds like either the meter is defective (most likely) or your leak is underground. I think most competent plumbers should be able to detect the leak point. Have you tried any other sites besides google maps? I know the yellow pages are antiquated, but that is an option. We used Angie's List previously and had success with it. I hope you get the problem resolved.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:49 AM
 
88 posts, read 303,129 times
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Quick update: with some telephone help from a plumber, I checked to see if the leak was in the hot water heating system. "Listened" to some pipes using a screwdriver (pointy end on the pipe, my ear to the other end) and distinctly heard water rushing through the pipe supplying the boiler. So that told me the leak was somewhere in that system, most likely under the basement, but not sure.

Eventually I located a valve exiting the boiler which I closed. After that I no longer heard the water rushing in the supply pipe, but I did hear some loud gurgling in the pipe out of the boiler for about 20 minutes. That had me a little worried but I think it was just the water still in the system leaking out, since it was no longer being fed from the supply pipe. My meter reading for that day was much lower and the next day it was back to normal. I'm fortunate that I don't need the heating system for a while... that gives me time to locate the leak and have it repaired.

Thanks 32, I agree that a competent plumber should be able to locate and fix the leak, especially since I now know what questions to ask. And thanks Kefir for all your advice.

I'll post again after I've gotten everything fixed.
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