Broken water line

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by julmerrill, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. julmerrill

    julmerrill New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Our water bill jumped from a consistent $55-65 per month to $100 per month. The base rate hasn't changed. The water pressure is still pretty good, but we notice a decrease if there is a flush while in the shower, when before that didn't make a difference at all. We had an extremely cold winter last year and that's when the jump occurred December or January. We had the city come out and check the meter and when we shut off the water to the home, the meter is still running. So, he said there is a break in the line between the meter and our home. How do I find where that break is?
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,270
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You call a "leak locating" company, NOT a plumber with a stethascope.
  3. asktom

    asktom Member

    Messages:
    519
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    You are probably better off just changing the line than hunting for a leak to fix. If there is one bad spot can the rest of the pipe probably in a similar state.
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Both answers so far are correct. It really depends on why the pipe is leaking. If it was damaged by freezing, then a repair might be in order, and the locating company would be the route to go. But, if the pipe is ancient galvanized, save the cost of the locating company and figure that the whole line is toast and replace it.
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Often a leak in a water line can be found by walking over the line and finding the wet spot. If you can do that, you will know where to dig. But again, if the pipe is galvanized, it is likely rusted and corroded so it would be wise to replace it rather than a patch job. Patching an old galvanized pipe that has been buried for years can be a real challenge. You not only have to cut the leak out, you have to thread the two ends of that old pipe then figure out how to put a patch in. A plumber could do it, but it would be a bear of a DIY job. Then, after the pipe is patched, you very well could find another leak, and so it goes. Two types of replacement pipes would be acceptable. Copper or PVC. In either case, I would suggest a plumber to make the necessary connections and furnish the pipe. You can save $$ by doing the digging and trench refilling.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,270
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If the pipe is PVC, it CAN split at a fitting and that can be fixed, once you know where the leak is.
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