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Thread: Meter running with no water running in the house!

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Rufus325's Avatar
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    Default Meter running with no water running in the house!

    First off, Hello to all.

    I have a problem that I can't seem to find. My water meter is running, but my house isn't using water. The meter is about 600' from the home, and I do have a line out to several fields that has a cut off before the home cut off. This cut off seems to be working properly and the water supplied to the rest of my 5 acres isn't being used. I have zero flow from the nearest spigot from the house when the valve is closed.

    I have a tankless electric water heater, two full baths, and new toilets with leak stoppers in the flush valves. I don't have any type of irrigation. I am also on a septic field. County water, no sewer.

    I walked the yard tonight looking for a wet spot in the yard on the way to the meter, but I found nothing.

    Last month our bill was about $80 more than it should have been, this month about $100 more than the beginning of Spring when I filled a 24' swimming pool!

    The meter triangle is moving at pretty good clip with the house off, resulting in a $165 water bill with no sewer added.

    Thanks in advance,

    Rufus

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    Default

    So you have a leak, and want to know what to do next?

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Assuming you have a shutoff right after the meter, turn it off and verify the meter stops running. It is almost certain that there's a leak somewhere, and you'll need to find it. Depending on the type of soil you have and the depth of the line, it could dispurse in the soil without creating wet spots. There are companies that specialize in finding leaks like this. Unless the line was damaged when being installed, or construction or something heavy caused it to be damaged, it may be a symptom of requiring line replacement. What material is the pipe?
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    My father-in-law once had that problem, and the running meter was the only evidence of the leak that obviously had to be somewhere.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

  5. #5
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    600 feet is a lot of trenching. Invariably Murphy's law states that you will start digging at the wrong end. If you are lucky, you might find a plumber that can spot freeze the line to essentially shut it off. Then you can spot dig in the middle and determine which half the leak is on. Such a binary search halves the result with each iteration so you may find the leak in as few as 20 holes dug.

  6. #6
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I think your best course of action is to hire a professional leak finding company as jdnashua suggested. It's likely the leak is quite deep since it is not appearing on the surface, so digging and spot freezing would involve quite a bit of digging and plumber expense to do the freezing.

  7. #7
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Shut off the lines out to the yard - install valves. If the leak is gone, run new pipe - its cheaper and faster then a tester or 20 holes.

    Had the same problem [but no meter] - dug a huge hole at a damp spot, then the kid found the leak at a hose bib 100' away. Which leak followed a gopher hole for about 4' to a secret spot.

  8. #8
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    It's likely the leak is quite deep...
    How deep do they bury lines in Kentucky? 6 to 8 feet deep is common up here to stay below frost.

    If you don't have access to freeze equipment, just warm up the exposed pipe and see how long it holds the heat. If the water isn't moving in the pipe it won't cool off as fast as when water is moving through it. Won't work with a slow leak.

  9. #9

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    Any idea how old your water main is?

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