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Anyone here know about slab leaks and water meters?

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  • Anyone here know about slab leaks and water meters?

    Damn, I hate old houses. 


    So I have a patch of wet concrete slab in my garage that's very slowly getting bigger.  Plumber came out, did the meter test (watching the spinner on the water meter with everything in the house shut off), even put a pressure valve on my system and turned off the water at the meter, watching for a while to see if the pressure would drop from a leak.  Plumber says no supply line leak. 


    Now of course he was only there 30 min, so for eight hours today I had all my inside water turned off (incuding supply lines to the toilets) and for 7 hours the water meter sweep hand didn't budge at all.. but in the last hour it ticked up 1/10th of a gallon. 


    So my question is, do sweep hands on water meters move in an analog fashion or do they just suddenly click over the next 1/10th of a gallon? 


    Test1411SM.jpg


    Terry D.

    Attached Files
    Telling Stories releases 2nd CD, see our WEBSITE! Please check out my GROUPIE STORY and Tales from the Road.

  • #2
    they spelt hersheys rong...
    my p0asting days are numb bird...

    Comment


    • koolkat
      koolkat commented
      Editing a comment

      Voltan wrote:
      they spelt hersheys rong...


      That's reely suphosed to say heresay,  Try reeding and speling rite.  :smiley-angry019:


  • #3

    MrKnobs wrote:

    So I have a patch of wet concrete slab in my garage that's very slowly getting bigger.  


     

    Any chance that is nothing more than condensation on the surface of the concrete?  It has been cold for a while, now it's fairly warm.  


    Comment


    • MrKnobs
      MrKnobs commented
      Editing a comment

      *BLEEP* wrote:


      MrKnobs wrote:

      So I have a patch of wet concrete slab in my garage that's very slowly getting bigger.  




       


      Any chance that is nothing more than condensation on the surface of the concrete?  It has been cold for a while, now it's fairly warm.  




      It's in one spot in the garage, the garage is climate controlled, the area is growing (I outline it in chalk periodically), the concrete is efflorescing (salts coming to the surface, carried by water through a hairline crack), so I don't think it's condensation.  


      It started after I made drastic changes on that side of the house, replacing the soil with granite gravel (so I could more easily pull my boat in and out), building a large shed, and covering many square feet with pavers drastically changing the drainage.  The coincidence in time might point to ground water.  


      Additionally, there's a housing development going in on the other side of the woods and they've covered up a small spring  so maybe the new outlet is under my house!  


      I'd suspect maybe a drain leak from my bathroom on that side as about a year ago the plumbers had to pull up some of the bathtub drain line that was leaking severely into the soil.  However, I opened up that part of the wall and the soil there is bone dry, so probably not.    Additionally, the leak detection experts tell me that generally leaking waste water doesn't come up through the slab as it's not under pressure.  And I did pour ultraviolet dye down my drains on that side of the house with no luck.


      I'm having some laborers put in gutters around my house, that will greatly reduce the water on the disturbed soil side of the house.  If the spot recedes, that might support the ground water infiltration guess.  


      I'm probably going to have to pay the $1200 to the professionals, and that's just to FIND the leak.  


      Terry D.


  • #4
    Did the wet spot in the garage ever go away for good?

    PS: Talking about a thread with missing posts, this is one. There are supposed to be 30 posts in this thread/subject. I only count 5.

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    • #5
      Originally posted by *BLEEP* View Post
      Did the wet spot in the garage ever go away for good?

      PS: Talking about a thread with missing posts, this is one. There are supposed to be 30 posts in this thread/subject. I only count 5.
      Weird.

      And nope, wet spot is still there and growing.

      Terry D.
      Telling Stories releases 2nd CD, see our WEBSITE! Please check out my GROUPIE STORY and Tales from the Road.

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      • #6
        That may explain my new and improved post count
        Hail Homer! Blessed is he among men and blessed is the fruit of his loins Bart.

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        • #7
          Originally posted by MrKnobs View Post

          And nope, wet spot is still there and growing.

          That's certainly not a good sign. Since you were originally reporting that there was no underground water piping in that area, I was thinking that it could be a condensation spot caused by the combination of a cold slab and a barely-perceivable wind gyre made up of some mildly humid air circulating inside your garage.

          If the presence of that wet spot has been consistent since it first appeared, it must be some sort of water intrusion. There's *supposed* to be a thick plastic liner, usually with about a 20 mil thickness, on the bottom surface of a slab where it meets the soil. Sounds like the builder cut some corners and built the garage floor like they would a driveway outside.

          The concrete will eventually be damaged by non-stop water saturation. If this keeps up into the summer, I'd consider getting an exploratory tunnel dug under the slab of the garage, out to the wet spot area, to see what the hell is going on.


          Comment


          • #8
            Originally posted by *BLEEP* View Post


            That's certainly not a good sign. Since you were originally reporting that there was no underground water piping in that area, I was thinking that it could be a condensation spot caused by the combination of a cold slab and a barely-perceivable wind gyre made up of some mildly humid air circulating inside your garage.

            If the presence of that wet spot has been consistent since it first appeared, it must be some sort of water intrusion. There's *supposed* to be a thick plastic liner, usually with about a 20 mil thickness, on the bottom surface of a slab where it meets the soil. Sounds like the builder cut some corners and built the garage floor like they would a driveway outside.

            The concrete will eventually be damaged by non-stop water saturation. If this keeps up into the summer, I'd consider getting an exploratory tunnel dug under the slab of the garage, out to the wet spot area, to see what the hell is going on.
            I've had several plumbers out. The plumber I trust first watched the spinning leak detector on the meter for about 15 min while we shot the ****************. It didn't move at all. Then he hooked up a pressure meter to one of the outside hose bibs and turned off the water at the meter. The idea was if there was a leak, the pressure would drop in the closed system since it had no source of pressurization from the city supply. It didn't budge in about 10 minutes so the plumber said, "That's it, you have no steady leak. The water coming up must be from wastewater or ground water. Call a professional leak detection service.

            He charged me nothing for this time.

            I called the professional service he recommended. They said it would be $1200 to come out whether there was a leak found or not, not counting the repair. They were nice, they asked me questions on the phone to see if I'd be wasting my money or not. When I told them I what I just told you above, they said it probably wasn't a supply line (because of the pressure test) but it also probably wasn't a wastewater thing because those don't usually come up through the slab (no pressure). The thought groundwater was unlikely for the same reason. They said that's all the guesswork they could do unless I paid them to come out.

            I talked to another guy who does leak detection. He said both guys gave me bad advice. He told me to buy a pressure meter $10 at Homo Depot and redo the test myself but that it had to go for hours or even overnight to find a small leak. He asked a lot of questions and finally his guess was that since my house is at the foot of a huge hill it's likely ground water since it had been rainy lately. I pointed out the pressure issue mentioned, he laughed and said to ask the guy who said that how much pressure a 60 ft elevation drop (the top of the hill I'm at the bottom of) would cause. I told him it's not THAT rainy in Austin and he added, "how about waste water?" I said I put dye in my wastewater lines and it didn't appear coming up. He then added, "Who says its' YOUR wastewater? Could be a huge leak from one of your neighbors up the hill, either supply or sewer.

            So I did the pressure test again myself. After several hours, much longer than the plumber had done, the meter dropped just as the expert guy said it might. So I called him back to tell him how brilliant he was and he surprised me with his answer. He said, "You haven't learned a damn thing from that test until you've replaced all your crappy gate valves with ball valves. Do that and get back to me!" I said, "Hey, I shut off the washer valves, capped the hose bibs, turned off the water heater feed, at least I learned it's not leak in the hot water side." He said, "Good, now you're thinking! Now think harder and do what I said! And even if the toilet angle stops are ball valves, you still need to bend them over into a bucket or a rag and be sure they're not very slowly leaking! Call me back when you've done all that! Oh, and $1200 is a sucker price!"

            So that's where I'm at. I will get a pro company out, not the $1200 min company, to check it out. I chose a company that can do pipe relines in case it's under the slab somewhere I don't want them jackhammering it.

            Terrry D.
            Telling Stories releases 2nd CD, see our WEBSITE! Please check out my GROUPIE STORY and Tales from the Road.

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