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Author: Subject: The latest fiasco at my house...

Zen Peach





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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 08:32 AM
Let me tell you about the latest fiasco I just went through at home.

Thursday, the meter man came by to read our water meter. He found the thing running wide open, so he knocked on the door and my daughter answered. He told her that we apparently have a broken water pipe and water was running at the rate of about a gallon every two seconds. He turned the valve off and my daughter called me and informed me of the situation. Somehow in our exchange, I didn't understand that they had turned off the water. I even went home at lunch, pulled the meter box cover and looked at the meter. It was perfectly still. It didn't dawn on me to look at the valve to see if it was in the on or off position. I called my wife and told her that it didn't look like we had a problem, so I went back to work.

I got home later that evening and was met by my daughter and she asked me if I turned the water back on. I said, "What do you mean?" She told me the meter man turned the water off when he had come by and knocked on our door. I said, "Ooooooooh. OK" I went back to the meter box, pulled the lid, turned the valve, and sure enough, the meter started spinning like a nickel slot machine.

I walked all over the yard but could not find any water boiling out anywhere. You'd think with a gallon every two seconds boiling out, it would find it's way to the surface somewhere. I began to have a sinking feeling, thinking one of the pipes under the house might be broken, and our house is on a slab. I went over to the valve boxes for my sprinklers and pulled the lids on them. No water there. Then I spotted another box just three feet from them. I thought to myself, "What's this one for?" I pulled the lid, and sure enough, it was full of water, but there was no water at the surface. I decided to turn the valve off and went back to the meter pit and turned on the valve there. In a few seconds, the line pressurized and the meter quit spinning. I thought, "Good, at least I know the line between the meter and this valve is OK." I decided to dig around the valve box where I found the water and on the second stab into the ground, the shovel went out of sight. I got some pipes uncovered, turned the ball valve on and located the leak. A fitting on one end of the pressure check valve had broken and was spraying in a fan pattern pointing down, undermining the soil and creating a huge void below the surface. There was no indication of a leak at the surface. If the meter reader hadn't knocked on our door, we'd probably still have no idea.

I fixed the big leak, which was in the main line to the sprinklers. I guess that's why we never had an indication of a problem in the house. Pressure in the house was good. After I fixed that leak, I discovered a couple other minor leaks. I spent all night Thursday and Friday night after work to get it all worked out.

Yesterday I went to the water department office to pay my current bill and see if they could give me an estimate on my next bill. I told them my story, so she pulled my account up on the computer. They told me we used 198,000 gallons of water since our last reading (we typically use between 7,000 to 13,000 a month) and the bill was going to be around $875. I nearly sh*t. Our 10 month average water bill was $63, which is actually high. At one time it was averaging around $50. We must have been developing small leaks for a while preceding the big leak, and the big one happened sometime after the last meter reading, which was June 17. I told them I had to indication we had a problem, as none of the water ever boiled above ground. I found the big underground hollow full of water and it must have just dispersed below the surface. I had to write a statement about it, and ended up agreeing to pay half.....$435, and they'll let me pay that over the next five months at about $89 a month....PLUS my current monthly charges.

I spent close to $100 in materials fixing all the different leaks. That was cheap compared to what it would have cost to hire a plumber. This came just a couple weeks after I had to replace my heating and air conditioning systems. It's always something with a house.

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 08:34 AM
It's always something....................
 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 08:41 AM
That's for sure.

 

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Sublime Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 08:51 AM
Oh Dave..... don't even get me started.... it's a running nghtmare at times...

A House is nothing but a theft ...LOL

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 08:53 AM
The meter man said that 198,000 gallons was enough water to fill up two pools.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 08:54 AM
quote:
The meter man said that 198,000 gallons was enough water to fill up two pools.


YIKES!!!

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 08:54 AM
I had the same thing when we bought our condo. We had a small leak with a washer hose. The problem was the inside meter was right. The outside one had stopped working and wanted me to pay for the difference between the outside and the inside. My argument was I did not break the outside one. It is their responsibility to upkeep their equipment. They told me that being in a small town they did not have the personal to maintain the meters. They wanted me to pay $450.00. They actual called me to appear at a town meeting to discuss. I still to this date have not, moved to another town.

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 09:09 AM
D*mn Dave, that sucks, good thing you are a resourceful dude and were able to cut down on the cost of a plumber.
 

True Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 09:09 AM
Compared to what I've had at my house Dave, you came out great. Ive had a supply line break under the house, and so they had to run a whole new line from the meter, across the yard and under the house to the main valve. Approx $3k. Then, I've had inside Polybutylene issues, once where they had to tear out the bathroom vanity and jackhammer the slab; that was even more. And a few in the garage and water heater area too.

Don't buy a house w/ Polybutylene! And yes, I looked into the class action, but did not meet the criteria. Ugh.

 

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Peach Head



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 09:12 AM
quote:
The meter man said that 198,000 gallons was enough water to fill up two pools.


that's a tough one Dave... that's enough water to fill my backyard pool 10 times!

money pit takes on a new meaning for you.... don't even get me started on termites

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 09:15 AM
Brock, is polybutylene the same as CPVC? One of the things I discovered while I was making my repairs was the contractor who installed my water filtration system (13 years ago,) or maybe it was the contractor who installed my back yard sprinklers (around that same time,) used thin wall PVC pipe. I put schedule 40 PVC back in on my repairs.

I know why I'm not a plumber by trade now.

 

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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 09:15 AM
198,000 gallons will fill a lot more than 2 pools. I have a pretty large 20 by 40 foot pool and it holds 30,000 gallons and takes several days to fill! Dave is lucky your house and yard didn't float away!

 

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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 09:15 AM
quote:
Compared to what I've had at my house Dave, you came out great. Ive had a supply line break under the house, and so they had to run a whole new line from the meter, across the yard and under the house to the main valve. Approx $3k. Then, I've had inside Polybutylene issues, once where they had to tear out the bathroom vanity and jackhammer the slab; that was even more. And a few in the garage and water heater area too.

Don't buy a house w/ Polybutylene! And yes, I looked into the class action, but did not meet the criteria. Ugh.



Sorry to hear this

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 09:17 AM
"Fiasco". I always liked that word. Sounds like a Pontiac model.

So now you're the only guy on the block with an underground swimming pool?

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 09:22 AM
quote:
198,000 gallons will fill a lot more than 2 pools. I have a pretty large 20 by 40 foot pool and it holds 30,000 gallons and takes several days to fill! Dave is lucky your house and yard didn't float away!
That's the irony, Teresa....I never had any indication I had a leak. I guess it's so dry around here, the water absorbed into the ground like a sponge. You'd THINK 198,000 gallons who show up somewhere. I suppose my grass will start jumping pretty soon now.

[Edited on 7/15/2008 by BigDaveOnBass]

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 09:27 AM
quote:
Brock, is polybutylene the same as CPVC? One of the things I discovered while I was making my repairs was the contractor who installed my water filtration system (13 years ago,) or maybe it was the contractor who installed my back yard sprinklers (around that same time,) used thin wall PVC pipe. I put schedule 40 PVC back in on my repairs.

I know why I'm not a plumber by trade now.


I don't think they're the same. Poly was discontinued in the 80's for obvious reasons. It usually gray, sometimes blue. You don't know what excitement is until the neighbor calls at work and says you have water gushing out of the garage!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 09:34 AM
quote:
"Fiasco". I always liked that word. Sounds like a Pontiac model.

So now you're the only guy on the block with an underground swimming pool?
Rusty, the underground hollow made from the leak probably wasn't any bigger than 3 or 4 cubic feet (CF.)

A gallon (GAL) of water weighs 8.33 #.

A cubic foot of water weighs 62.4 pounds (PCF) at 77 degrees F.

62.4 PCF/8.33 # = 7.5 GAL per CF

7.5 GAL X 4 CF = 30 GAL

Where'd the other 197,970 gallons go?

 

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Sublime Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 09:42 AM
quote:
quote:
"Fiasco". I always liked that word. Sounds like a Pontiac model.

So now you're the only guy on the block with an underground swimming pool?
Rusty, the underground hollow made from the leak probably wasn't any bigger than 3 or 4 cubic feet (CF.)

A gallon (GAL) of water weighs 8.33 #.

A cubic foot of water weighs 62.4 pounds (PCF) at 77 degrees F.

62.4 PCF/8.33 # = 7.5 GAL per CF

7.5 GAL X 4 CF = 30 GAL

Where'd the other 197,970 gallons go?



I'm impressed Dave..... wow

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 09:43 AM
Aaaaack!! MATH!! hehehe
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 09:44 AM
quote:
quote:
quote:
"Fiasco". I always liked that word. Sounds like a Pontiac model.

So now you're the only guy on the block with an underground swimming pool?
Rusty, the underground hollow made from the leak probably wasn't any bigger than 3 or 4 cubic feet (CF.)

A gallon (GAL) of water weighs 8.33 #.

A cubic foot of water weighs 62.4 pounds (PCF) at 77 degrees F.

62.4 PCF/8.33 # = 7.5 GAL per CF

7.5 GAL X 4 CF = 30 GAL

Where'd the other 197,970 gallons go?



I'm impressed Dave..... wow
And to think I flunked HS and introductory college algebra....

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 09:48 AM
Better hope your neighbor's house doesn't start sinking..... hope you have insurance....

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 10:05 AM
Dave that had to be a shocker. Glad you were able to get the repairs done and save a few bucks that way...
You would have probably spent another $875.00 for the plumbing company to repair.

 

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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 10:06 AM
Dave, You're probably the reason why there is a water ration in Georgia right now! Just kidding.

I had a pipe burst in the basement while we were on vacation two summers ago. I guess it ran for two or three days before we got home. Worse for me is that the water ran right over my work benches soaking all of my tools, which didn't take too long to rust. The water & sewer bill came a few weeks later. $987! I had the Utility company come out & check the meter for accuracy & they said it was right on the money. So I wound up putting a homeowner's insurance claim in to recover my tools & the bill plus labor for a plumber to come in & fix it. The bright side is that my stepfather's a plumber & fixed it for free.

I suggest putting a claim in if you can & you can make it worth your time (minus the deductible and all).

Peace~!

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 10:26 AM
An Olympic size pool is about 150,000 gallons... that's the volume we're talking here! That's incredible

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/15/2008 at 10:28 AM
quote:
An Olympic size pool is about 150,000 gallons... that's the volume we're talking here! That's incredible


Holy shat!! Dave, that water had to go somewhere, Brother. I think Sang may be right about the insurance. LOL!

 
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