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  1. #1
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    Water leak notification while traveling. Weird.

    When we leave the house for extended periods, I turn off the main water supply near the corner of the house. That’s what I did at 7 am a week ago.

    Fast fwd to today, and an email from utility district saying they’re detecting a 14 gph leak that started at 7 am a week ago.

    I’m having a friend take a look when he gets off work, but scratching my head a bit on what could explain this.
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  2. #2
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    Could be a leak between the meter and the building.

  3. #3
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    So maybe my turning off the valve increased the pressure enough that a weak spot in the supply line became an actual leak?
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  4. #4
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    Yep.

    Had the same thing a few years back.

    Pain in the ass.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  5. #5
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    It would be important to know where the meter is in the system. Our meter is after the shutoff.

  6. #6
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    Line froze, broke.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Zander View Post
    It would be important to know where the meter is in the system. Our meter is after the shutoff.
    If you mean after the main valve in the building, that's a very odd place for it because it would make it so easy to steal water.

    @ Frorider, if it turns out to be the case, many (most?) utilities will forgive leaks between the street and the building.

  8. #8
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    I didnt know people steal water. I will definitely tell the town water people they did it wrong.

  9. #9
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    So my friend took a look—no sign of any leaks in the house or garage hot water heater, no noises. No water or ice in the hole of the house supply valve.

    However: despite valve being in the Off position, there is normal water pressure in all the house fixtures. So valve apparently ain’t working now, yet no obvious signs of valve leakage. And doesn’t line up with the logical theory discussed above with PNWBrit unless my brain is jet lagged still.

    Guess it’s time to call a plumber to get in crawl space to confirm no leaks or fix any there, and inspect / replace that valve.

    BTW it’s a 20 yr old house with zero plumbing issues, absolutely no problems during cold weather (and it’s been mild weather lately anyway).
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  10. #10
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    Did your friend check all the bathrooms closely? 14 gph isn't a very fast leak, a toilet could easily leak that quite quietly. It'd be audible but you might have to listen closely.

  11. #11
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    Oct 2005
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    Water leak notification while traveling. Weird.

    Yeah if your valve shutoff at the house isn’t working, no easy way to determine if the leak is pre or post meter, by looking at whether it spins when the valve is shut off. I’d take icemangs simple advice and see if there is a toilet slowly running. And if there isn’t now, shut off everything in the house and see if the meter still spins. If it doesn’t, you probably had a toilet running while away.


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  12. #12
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    how long did he run the water? takes a little while for all the pressure to drop off.

  13. #13
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    An earthquake 40 miles away caused our water line to crack between the well and the house. Leak started underground but took more than a month to find its way to our house. Water started leaking in the foundation. I shut off the water in the house but it kept coming. Finally figured out I needed to shut off the pump at the well to stop it. Now I shut off the well pump when we go out of town and don't worry about the house shutoff.

    No idea if this is relevant to your situation but the point is an underground leak can take a while to reveal itself, and even then it can be difficult to pinpoint the source.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Encinitas CA
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    Not sure if you have seen the home shutoff from Moen called Flo. Our local water district has a rebate for it and home owners insurance offers a discount with one installed. It was $550 installed before rebates and the device monitors your water flow downstream of it. It also watches pressure and temperature and can link to local water detector stations. We have the detectors behind the fridge, under the sink and in the water heater drain pan. If it senses water, it closes the valve. If it senses unusual water flows, it alerts you and will kill water.

    It has helped us. The pressure regulator was going out on our place. We would get random jumps to 150 psi. It happened once when we were away so I just remote closed the water service to the house from 300 miles away.

    It also gives you your usage and tells you when a faucet is left on as a drip.

    Pretty slick. Check it out.


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  15. #15
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    Thanks all for the info and ideas. As I may have mentioned, the spike to 400+ gallons per day happened right when we left & turned off the water supply, so explanations like leaky toilet don’t make sense in this context. We were gone not long ago and the consumption was near zero those days.

    Local water utility is sending a guy out Monday morning, and they suspect it’s an issue with their curbside meter or with ‘my’ valve. At any rate, if they close the upstream valve it removes any concern during our vacation.
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  16. #16
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    What kind of rebates were you able to get? Seems like a good thing to have.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by frorider View Post
    Thanks all for the info and ideas. As I may have mentioned, the spike to 400+ gallons per day happened right when we left & turned off the water supply, so explanations like leaky toilet don’t make sense in this context. We were gone not long ago and the consumption was near zero those days.

    Local water utility is sending a guy out Monday morning, and they suspect it’s an issue with their curbside meter or with ‘my’ valve. At any rate, if they close the upstream valve it removes any concern during our vacation.
    The city installed smart meters in the sidewalk. Ours and the neighbor's were right next to each other. I started looking at our water use on line and it looked like we were watering our lawn every day when we were doing it twice a week. Turns out the city hooked our water to their meter and visa versa. This has nothing to do with your situation of course.

  18. #18
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    Apr 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_B View Post
    What kind of rebates were you able to get? Seems like a good thing to have.
    $100 from water district in SoCal

    https://socalwatersmart.com/en/resid...pilot-program/

    Mercury insurance will give $400 and 8% discount. I think there are other insurers too

    Back to original post. We were tagged by our water district 8 or 9 years ago with an old school red door tag telling us we had spent 40,000 gallons. Probably thought we had a grow farm starting. We shut the house off and the meter still spun so we knew the general vicinity of it. We had a leak detection company come try and find the original 1974 installed water line. We couldn’t find it to save our life. Finally we saw a little bit of water on our lane. We started digging and found a pvc union 4’ down on our line that had developed a pin hole leak. Without a tracer wire on the pipe, good luck.


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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    you just have to dowse for it. Seems like magic and I don't believe in magic but I believe in dowsing, I've done it and it works.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    553
    Quote Originally Posted by frorider View Post
    When we leave the house for extended periods, I turn off the main water supply near the corner of the house. That’s what I did at 7 am a week ago.

    Fast fwd to today, and an email from utility district saying they’re detecting a 14 gph leak that started at 7 am a week ago.

    I’m having a friend take a look when he gets off work, but scratching my head a bit on what could explain this.
    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    The city installed smart meters in the sidewalk. Ours and the neighbor's were right next to each other. I started looking at our water use on line and it looked like we were watering our lawn every day when we were doing it twice a week. Turns out the city hooked our water to their meter and visa versa. This has nothing to do with your situation of course.
    City installed a smartmeter some time ago, and prompted by reading this thread I finally got around to creating an online account and setting an alert based on a fairly low daily water usage. Recently I started getting alert emails daily, with usage that in no way corresponded to when and how much water we had actually been using. Called in and spoke with someone at the utility and appears a third party that provides the online data access had indeed mapped our account to another meter. Not sure if it's the same deal as OG; that's gonna require a little more digging, but they're on it now.

    Moral of the story I guess is that mistakes can be made, and if you have online access to smartmeter readings probably a good idea to keep tabs on things ongoing, rather than try and straighten a mess out once a quarter goes by and the bill comes in. Also of course the original intent to detect a real problem early if one should occur.

    FWIW.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by fomofo View Post
    City installed a smartmeter some time ago, and prompted by reading this thread I finally got around to creating an online account and setting an alert based on a fairly low daily water usage. Recently I started getting alert emails daily, with usage that in no way corresponded to when and how much water we had actually been using. Called in and spoke with someone at the utility and appears a third party that provides the online data access had indeed mapped our account to another meter. Not sure if it's the same deal as OG; that's gonna require a little more digging, but they're on it now.

    Moral of the story I guess is that mistakes can be made, and if you have online access to smartmeter readings probably a good idea to keep tabs on things ongoing, rather than try and straighten a mess out once a quarter goes by and the bill comes in. Also of course the original intent to detect a real problem early if one should occur.

    FWIW.
    In my case getting to the bottom of the problem required actual digging--the meters were side by side on the sidewalk and the neighbor's transmitter was wired to my meter and visa versa.

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