Latest Discussions : Plumbing

clctcoins

04:58PM | 01/17/05
Member Since: 01/16/05
5 lifetime posts
I hear the soft sound of water running behind the walls leading from the hot water heater to the bathroom in one of the bedrooms in my condo. It really wasn't bothering me until my electric bill shot through the roof last month from an average of $80 a month to $170 last month. When I turned off the valve that connects to the water heater, the sound ceased. Any idea of what the problem is or how it could be corrected? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks John

clctcoins

05:01PM | 01/17/05
Member Since: 01/16/05
5 lifetime posts
Forgot to mention that there is no sign of water anywhere in or around my condo, so if there is a leak somewhere, I have no idea where it is draining. This is bizarre.

Jim D

12:21AM | 01/18/05
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Clctcoins - hi, you need to check the pressure relief valve on top of the water heater to see if it's failed. It's mounted on top of the water heater tank and has an overflow pipe that runs from it down towards the floor. The pipe should end above the floor so you can readily see if there's water flowing from the pipe - and "should" is the operative word. (My house, built in 1980, has the pipe running down through the floor and it empties into the crawl space. The overflow pipe is copper and it was warm to the touch down by the floor, telling me the valve was failing. Once I replaced the valve, the overflow pipe became cool to the touch. This spring, I'll fix the pipe going through the floor by installing a proper drain, connecting the drain to a pipe that'll run outside the crawl space of the house, and shortening the overflow pipe a bit so I can visually see if it's draining water or not.)

Since you live in a condo, it may be that the overflow pipe is connected into the drain system and that's why you hear the water running. If the water heater's working, you should be able to touch the overflow pipe and feel the warmth from the hot water leaking out.

Replacing the pressure relief valve is fairly simple if you're handy with hand tools. If any soldering is involved (such as removing a copper overflow drain pipe from the valve), be sure to use MAPP gas (yellow bottle, same size as standard blue propane bottle). I hope this helps some - good luck! Jim D/West Point, VA

LonnythePlumber

02:33AM | 01/18/05
Jim makes a good point about the temperature pressure relief valve seeping. Sound can echo and be hard to locate. My first response is that we usually get these kind of reports when someone is on a concrete slab. Are you?

clctcoins

03:42AM | 01/18/05
Member Since: 01/16/05
5 lifetime posts
Yes, I am on a concrete slab.

There doesn't seem to be any water flowing through that copper pipe and it is not warm, but room temperature.

erik peterson

04:02AM | 01/18/05
Member Since: 06/23/03
223 lifetime posts
Hot water line is leaking under the concrete....commonly called a "slab-leak. erik

clctcoins

06:10AM | 01/18/05
Member Since: 01/16/05
5 lifetime posts
Erik, any idea on what I should do now? I really appreciate the help.

Thanks-

erik peterson

12:31PM | 01/18/05
Member Since: 06/23/03
223 lifetime posts
You have a couple of options...Hire a "leak-locater" service, locate the leak, break concrete and repair. Be aware that leaks under the slab can and do re-occur often... If youre going to keep the condo and want no further problems repipe the unit using either type L or type k copper (by-passing the slab). Be aware also that your homeowners insurance may help you with the repair but most likely not the repipe. Always check your local codes. erik

clctcoins

01:49PM | 01/19/05
Member Since: 01/16/05
5 lifetime posts
Just wanted to let everyone who read/replied to this post that my problem has been evaluated and diagnosed as a "slab leak", which means that a pipe under the concrete has a hole; causing the hot water to run non-stop. Lucky for me, if that can even apply in this situation, the concrete slap has kept the water outside my home (which means no money from insurance, but that's better than having a wet condo I guess). So, erik, I'm sorry to say you figured this problem correctly, so now it's drill time. The estimated cost for repair? Six hundred to $800, 4-6 hours labor (I don't drill into concrete), and the cost to build a new counter, which is oh so conveniently located directly above the leak. But hey, at least I got my health :D!

Thanks again for all the help!

John W.

erik peterson

04:33AM | 01/20/05
Member Since: 06/23/03
223 lifetime posts
It was simply common-sense from the syptoms you desribed....Again I would mention that the chances of this re-occuring is great...In my experience most home-owners wait until the "third" leak happens and then re-pipe in disgust....erik

sue pallanta

03:27PM | 08/02/15
Member Since: 08/02/15
1 lifetime posts
I hear the sound of water behind the walls of both the main bathroom and the second bathroom. They are next to each other wall wise. The second bathroom used to be a laundry room.The sound is always there no matter what valves we shut off. The water bill in general is higher than I am used to but not by much.I just bought the house less than a year ago and except for tearing down walls I am at a loss.


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