"Running Water Sound" coming from behind the walls - What could be the cause?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by johnfrwhipple, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    I was doing a little drywall yesterday on a job site in Down Town Vancouver and received a call from a client in North Vancouver. The call went like this.

    Client: "John, what is the name of your plumber?"

    Me: "I have a few, which one?"

    Client: "The one that worked on our home."

    Me: "Dean, Why?"

    Clinet: "Because we can hear water running behind the wall. _____ shut the water off to the house and the noise stops. Any ideas?"

    Me: "I'll be right over."

    Not what you want to hear. I was sick to mu stomach and raced towards the North Shore Mountains to check our work.

    Here is what I found.

    I could hear the water from under the kitchen sink, the powder room bathroom, the Laundry room, Mechanical room and outside hose tap. I could not hear the sound from the new supply lines my plumber feed the master ensuite.

    To rule out straight away that it was not my plumbers fault or the fault of me or any of my trades I shut down the new ensuite completely. The sound is still there.

    We tried checking the toilets to see if they where running. Nope.

    Checked that the hotwater tank was not leaking. Nope. I even turned off the hot water tank and the sound continues.

    We checked the main water connection to the house and found this.

    [​IMG]

    The connection and access leaves much to be desired and the shutoffs are under water! WTF

    I scooped out the water was fast as I could with my Slurpee cup and the water level came back within 2 minutes.

    [​IMG]

    So - if the sounds stops after this connection is turned off is it most likely we have a leak in the original plumbing lines somewhere under the hose or is it safer to say the shut off itself is leaking. My gut thinks this and my plumber is going today to re-check my inspection and replace this shutoff.

    Any other ideas?


    JW
  2. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    Sounds to me like it could be a pin hole leak in the incoming water line, on the street side, of the house shut off.
  3. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Ian checked out the line and found two leaks.

    One leak was a slow trickle through an exterior hose connection and he fixed that and the sound only slowed down a bit. The other leak he is guessing is somewhere in the home.

    My client is not thrilled about removing floor tile and drywall to start the process and is looking into companies that can repipe with other methods.

    5 years ago when the kitchen and laundry room where done they should have replaced the 50 year old water lines. I did not do this reno for them only the master en-suite. What a shame they didn't spend the extra few hundred for new pipe back then.

    JW
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    It isn't obvious from the pictures what type of piping it is, but if it is galvanized, whomever did that work did them a big disservice by not replacing all that they touched. Now, copper could last a century or more without problems, and depending on water conditions, might outlast the house.
  5. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Jim the piping is copper and the connection from the shut off to the street is Pex. The pex is 10 years old and the copper a good 60 years old.

    JW
  6. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    I heard from the plumber that my client is looking for a local Vancouver company that can fish a new plumbing line through the old one. Has anyone ever seen this done before?

    What type of gear do you need to do it. I was told that as the new pipe feeds through the old one it breaks it apart. This I got to see in person. If they can re-pipe this home with no drywall repairs or removing floor tile I will be very impressed.

    We'll see.

    JW
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    I've heard of this technique for drain lines (works especially well for clay or cement tile pipe), but not for water supply lines. SOme companies can try to use the existing pipe to thread a cable, and use that to pull the whole thing out while pulling in a new one. No experience with either technique. Good luck to them.
  8. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Me neither. I will have to go and watch if it does turn out it's possible.

    Should know this week what the plan of attack is. I sense a drywall patch job coming. I think we can ripe the three room from the ceiling down. The master is all new piping so then the whole place is up to date.

    JW
  9. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

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    I've seen it done. Can't recall all the details.
    It was soft copper if I recall and I was blown away at the efficiency of how it was done.....
    The only deets I remember was prep....turn off street main, pull new line in and before the day was even over, water was back on with a new main
  10. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Turning the water main off is easy since we have a City Connection right at the sidewalk. How they pull a new pipe through old copper under a floor is something I have got to see. I'll believe it when I see it. Looking forward to seeing a new trade in action!!!

    JW
  11. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

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    710
    Location:
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    Ha. I just re-read it as I thought I missed this one detail.
    What I saw was out underground......so no clamps or whatnot holding the pipe in place.

    In your case, methinks the sawzalls are coming out to play ;-)
  12. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    That's what I was thinking too. Have you tried using an Fein Tool for this. Amazing how easy you can cut through drywall with limited damage and dust.

    JW
  13. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

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    Actually, the 12V sawzall is the perfect tool for this application or Fein. I prefer the 12V - as no cords, up in the air.
    U still need to cut a area large enough to add blocking, etc to get new drywall up.

    And me, being the idealist as I am.....I will often cut out much larger depending on the location of where I'm cutting in order to avoid a butt seam or floated out crown. I'm a stickler for flat so sometimes in order to get flat, you need to remove more rock so it's just all flat rock without butt seams..
  14. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    12V ? Does your wife know your using her tools? lol Just kidding.

    Chef Wong you need to check out this new paperless drywall tape from FibaFuse. If you visit their website you can get a free sample sent to you. It sucks for inside corners but for butt splice repairs it's fantastic. Their website says they sell 36" rolls but I could not get anyone to call me back or sell me some. Since the stuff looks a lot like the Mapei reinforcing fleece for my liquid waterproofing I started testing drywall patches with it. OMG what a product with Joint Compound!

    The Mapei fleece is stronger than the FibaFuse by a long shot and sits down so flat.

    We do a lot of 3-6" hole saw entries in drywall. We re-install the plug and patch.

    Now I can install some blocking, install the plug and cover in one go with a custom size fleece from 0 - 36" wide. This covers the seam and the screws in one go. And - the patches dryout faster than paper tape ones. I'd love some more feedback from others - if anyone wants to try this stuff I'll send out a few samples of my off cuts.
  15. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

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    Location:
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    Been using the Fiba for along time.....You can use that as the fleece with Hydroband and AquaD....
    It's good stuff. That is the ONLY fiberglass I would use on a patch. The other stuff is just bunk. I still prefer paper moreso for the reason of telepgraphing of joint lines. And you still do need to mud thicker than the original wall and feather out. My ~golden~ eyes do pick up on this, sorta like cornerbeads. I'm a stickler for straight corners. Not feathered out straight corners. In order to do this....I undercut the edges and mud out for No Coat. This gives my the 90's I want versus tapered 90's.

    So yeah, for efficiency for the customer, the patch is surely the way to go. Mostly DIY on my end, so time and labor is my fee....and yeah, I often rip out more just to avoid the ~crown~

    Another theory to share. I like using regular AP mud for patches. As it dries - it compresses (pulling in the tape tighter IMO). Hot mud is great and all but I find it blooms..
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  16. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Is AP the same as Synko Joint. It also shrinks and locks. I checked my patches from the other day and found a lot of fibers from the Mapei Fleece where raised. I tried double hitting it and that was a mistake. The first round I let the Joint Compound set up over night and had much better results.

    You just can't rush a drywall job!

    JW
  17. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

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    710
    Location:
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    I just googled Synko Joint. Close enough. Anything that requires air to dry vs *hot mud* compresses in nature as it dries --- pulling the paper/mesh tight onto the joint/mud.

    I've learned so many tricks over the years. If you are getting grain raise * whether it be from drywall paper, taping joint paper, etc*, after the 1st coat or even before - I hit it with a thin coat of shellac based primer - BIN red- and that does the trick.
  18. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    So I spoke with my plumber yesterday and it turns out this local company can only pull a new line from the City Connection to the house. As far as in the home they can not. So out comes the sawall! lol

    Ian starts today. Out with the old and in with the new.

    JW
  19. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

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    Location:
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    So my plumber found two leaks in the original plumbing lines that ran through under the floors. He needed to pull back the carpet and open up both subfloor and drywall. The leaks have been fixed and the sound of running water stopped.

    What a nightmare and all that water could not be good for the foundation of the home. It's time to break out the drywall tools and get this repair finished up!

    JW
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