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Old 08-24-2009, 06:50 PM  
shan2themax
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Default Water Leak?

I was in the half bath this evening cutting more of the floor off and my son went and unloaded and loaded this dishwasher. When he started it, while the DW was filling, I could have sworn I heard water running under the house! Now.... we experimented with this. I had them fill the sink and listen to it while it was filling, and then I had them drain it and listen to that... and then I had them run it without stopping it up. There is definately a difference in the sounds.
Now, when the water isnt running. I can FAINTLY hear a drop... but... why is it so much louder with it running... I mean I get that the harder the pressure the more the sound, but is it really that easy?

I havent crawled under the house as I have to get up at 5am for work tomorrow.... and I do plan to get under there but not until Friday... and yes i am hoping that it will not break loose before then.

in addition.... at what point do you just simply replumb the copper pipes... I mean... If I get this fixed, it seems to me that it will just put more pressure on other weakend areas and as damp as it is under the house. I am sure that there are lots of weakened areas. Am I wrong?


for the record... I have already taught everyone in the house how to turn the water off at the meter should the need arise and I am not home!!!!



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Old 08-25-2009, 12:17 AM  
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while the DW was filling, I could have sworn I heard water running under the house
It's very possible that your dish washer drain piping is leaking. But, the drain piping is only carrying water when the dish washer is finished it's cycle and is pumping the water out; now while it's filling.

On the other hand, the water supply piping to your dish washer is under pressure 24/7, not just when the dish washer is running, so it's unlikely that a noise heard only when the dish washer starts would be due to a leak in the water supply piping.

Maybe check out your crawlspace on Friday, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear that you found nothing at all. Water flowing into your dish washer may have sounded just like water flowing into your crawlspace.

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in addition.... at what point do you just simply replumb the copper pipes... I mean... If I get this fixed, it seems to me that it will just put more pressure on other weakend areas and as damp as it is under the house. I am sure that there are lots of weakened areas. Am I wrong?
You don't replumb copper pipes. Copper piping will outlast your house. To my knowledge, it is NEVER necessary to replace copper piping in a house.

Yes, you are wrong. The water pressure is the substantially same throughout the water supply piping in your house. It's only the small differences in elevation between an upstairs and downstairs plumbing fixture that results in any difference in the water pressure inside the water supply pipes. Even if you have a small leak at one spot, water can flow into the piping faster than it can leak out at that spot, so the pressure elsewhere in the piping would be substantially the same whether or not that small leak existed. So, repairing one small leak isn't going to make other joints burst.

Besides, it's rare for soldered joints in copper piping to BEGIN leaking. If they don't leak in the first few minutes they're under pressure, they typically won't for the next few centuries. But, it IS possible to bad solder joints to start leaking after a long time... it's just rare for that to happen. In my building over 22 years, it's only happened twice. And one of those times was a leak that happened in a 1 1/4 inch copper drain pipe, not a 1/2 or 3/4 inch water supply pipe, so it only leaked occasionally when water was draining through it.

And, finally, a water leak in the crawl space under your house typically won't do any damage to your house. The water leaks onto the ground or stones under there and seeps down deeper and deeper into the ground until it adds to the water table several feet to dozens of feet below the ground. You have to pay from a plumber to fix the leak, and you have to pay for the higher water bill since the leak occured, but that's about it. You just stay out of the crawl space until it dries up down there. There's no plaster damage, no wood rotting, no mold growing and no wet insulation to cause problems as a result. It's one of the more benign kinds of problems to have.


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Old 08-25-2009, 07:12 AM  
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You don't replumb copper pipes. Copper piping will outlast your house. To my knowledge, it is NEVER necessary to replace copper piping in a house.
Oh contrair! Chlorine is coppers enemy. It will eat copper like candy. It has happened to lots of people in my county on government water. One guy I know personally bought a brand new house with copper plumbing and 6 years later came home to a flooded bedroom. They replaced it with the plastic pipe that was trendie at the time.

What's worse is that now we have chlorimine. A mixture of chlorine and ammonia with some fluoride thrown in for good measure. I wonder what that's doing to the pipes?
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:06 AM  
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Well, Speedbump, what would you say is a typical "lifespan" for copper water supply piping in a house?

I expect that just about every building that's been built with copper water supply piping since WWII still has that same piping in it. That was 65 years ago, and your example is the only one I've heard where the copper water supply piping had corroded away and needed to be replaced.

I have heard that low pH water conditions in some areas can cause pin hole leaks in copper piping, but my understanding is that's quite uncommon.

Instead of citing exceptions, I think it's fair to say that in most cases, the copper piping in a house will outlast the house.

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Old 08-25-2009, 10:23 AM  
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I couldn't say what a typical life span is, or if there is any such thing. I can say that for my acquaintance, the life span of his copper was 6 years.

I can also attest that low PH can eat copper. My own well started leaking surface water about 5 years ago and I had to drill another one. Once it started leaking, my shower started turning blue. This is a common way of knowing something is very wrong with your PH. My PH in the shallow vein of 12 to 20 feet is 5.5 PH. The aquifer water tests 7.6 PH. I didn't drill the original well, it was there when I bought the home. The driller that did the job had broken the pipe at 40 feet and that's what the surface water found it's way into.

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Old 08-25-2009, 01:08 PM  
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Certain chemicals in the water will eat copper. I have removed quite a few lines with pinhole leaks and found the whole piece of removed pipe to be very thin. I still think it is the best material for water lines but it has it's limits. They used to use copper for drain lines but found that urine would destroy it within a few years.

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Old 08-25-2009, 06:45 PM  
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ok boys! So are we all in agreement that it probably isnt leaking? I mean, I know there is a small leak of some sort because I hear intermittent dripping.... and the drain pipes are right below where I am ripping up the floor... you can see them in the pic... and..... I had the kids stop up the kitchen sink to listen to the difference and it sounds like a big water spurt... Nonetheless, I cant get under the house till friday... I just got home from work and have to be back up at 5 am....

There is alot of corrosion on what little bit of copper that you can see from the crawl space opening and we shall see on friday what I find.....

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Old 08-26-2009, 12:42 AM  
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Shan: Something is making that noise. If it sounds like a drip, it very well could be a drip. A little bit of water dripping on the ground under your house won't cause any harm, but you do need to get it fixed.

Speedbump & Majakdragon: There are chemicals that will corrode copper piping. But in the buildings I've had the pleasure of looking after, my impression of copper piping is such that I wouldn't have any hesitation to re-use copper piping that's 50 years old in doing repairs in my own building or those of friends and relatives.

In fact, whenever I've removed copper piping in my own building (which was built in 1960 and is nearly 50 years old now) then judging by the amount of deterioration of that copper so far, that piping is easily good for another 100 years, at the very least.

There are cathedrals in Europe with copper roofs that are 800 and 900 years old. If a copper roof can last that long out in the Sun and rain, then I'd say a copper pipe carrying clean, near neutral pH potable water could last an awful long time too.

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Old 08-26-2009, 06:36 AM  
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that piping is easily good for another 100 years, at the very least.
Your preaching to the quoir. I love Copper piping. And without heavy chlorine or a low PH being pumped through it 24/7 it will last forever. But some of these municipalities for some reason can't seem to keep the chlorine under control. If your on Well Water like I am, it will last forever with a proper PH.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:56 AM  
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Originally Posted by Speedbump View Post
Your preaching to the quoir. I love Copper piping. And without heavy chlorine or a low PH being pumped through it 24/7 it will last forever. But some of these municipalities for some reason can't seem to keep the chlorine under control. If your on Well Water like I am, it will last forever with a proper PH.
Yup I agree!
Copper will last forever unless the water eats it!


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