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Pipe or pipes ruptured in or under slab last week; major leak.

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BigSteve29

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Last Tuesday I noticed water coming under a brick wall on my carport area outside. I didn't think much about it until Wednesday when I noticed the leak had increased in size.

On Wednesday afternoon I discovered another leak coming onto my front porch and the flowerbeds on the front side of the house started filling up with water.

On Thursday the water started coming inside the house which left me with no choice but to contact my city's water department and have them send someone out to cut my water off.

The water department told me Wednesday afternoon I was averaging 250 gallons per hour coming through my meter. The water is now off; the leaking both inside and outside of the house has stopped.

The house was my parents house built in 1962; it's built on a concrete slab. Is this problem correctable and if a licensed plumber who knows what he's doing does come out what will the plumber do first to try and find what's causing or where the water leak is under the house?

The city did tell me the water to the house would have to be turned back on before the plumber could start looking for the leak. As soon as the water is turned back on the leaking in and out of the house will start again. Feedback would be appreciated.

Big Steve29
Biloxi, Mississippi

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08/09/20
 

BigSteve29

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Would a moderator chime in to let me know if I've posted my question in the wrong forum so I can post it in the correct one so I can get some feedback?

Big Steve29
Biloxi, Mississippi
08/09/20
 

Jim Jensen

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first, what is near the area where the leaking is visible...?? A bathroom, kitchen, water heater, washing machine, etc ??? If there are any plumbing devices in the area, the leak could be up in a wall, and not down in the slab ?? I believe some plumbers, or maybe specialty companies, have leak detectors, that can pinpoint the location of a leak, in a concrete slab, this would be the way to go, I would think....NOTE: I am not a plumber !!!! If the leak *IS* in the slab, they will have to cut into or jackhammer the concrete, to get down to the pipe to repair it, so prepare for a big bill !!!!
 

havasu

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Many times a good plumber will find a spot before the leak, bypassing the line, and reconnecting it after the leak, usually by accessing us a wall and into an attic, thus minimizing repair time and creating less mess, and less money.
 

BigSteve29

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Many times a good plumber will find a spot before the leak, bypassing the line, and reconnecting it after the leak, usually by accessing us a wall and into an attic, thus minimizing repair time and creating less mess, and less money.
The plumber is coming tomorrow to check things out and if they can correct the problem tomorrow they plan to run a new line in the attic. Do plumbers run water lines in the attic?

They told me this morning they plan to go around or bypass the old water line which has the major leak.

Will they attempt to remove the old line under the slab?

Will they attempt to plug up the old line under the slab?

Can the plumber install a box where I can turn off the water from inside my utility room? A box with turn on and off valves?


Big Steve29
Biloxi, Mississippi
08/10/20
 

Jim Jensen

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*I am not a plumber*, but, I do know, that, it is fairly common for plumbers to run water pipes through attics, to avoid *very* expensive concrete cutting / demolition / re-pouring.... afaik, there is no real reason to worry about the old pipe in the slab, I think they usually just cap both ends, after they cut into it and re-direct the flow up into attic They *might* charge a little extra, but I would not think installing an access box or panel, and a cut-off valve would add very much to the job, and I would DEFINITELY do it, just for "in case of future issues"..... I would want a cut-off valve, installed OUTSIDE the house before it comes in, if that is feasible / affordable......

When I was house-shopping, a couple years ago, here in Florida, I saw a LOT of houses with polybutylene or pex piping, run up in the attic, due to a WHOLE-HOUSE re-pipe..... I think Jacksonville, FL, is one of those cities that switched to "chloramine" water treatment, which ATE UP "in-slab" copper piping in LOTS of houses......
 

BigSteve29

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*I am not a plumber*, but, I do know, that, it is fairly common for plumbers to run water pipes through attics, to avoid *very* expensive concrete cutting / demolition / re-pouring.... afaik, there is no real reason to worry about the old pipe in the slab, I think they usually just cap both ends, after they cut into it and re-direct the flow up into attic They *might* charge a little extra, but I would not think installing an access box or panel, and a cut-off valve would add very much to the job, and I would DEFINITELY do it, just for "in case of future issues"..... I would want a cut-off valve, installed OUTSIDE the house before it comes in, if that is feasible / affordable......

When I was house-shopping, a couple years ago, here in Florida, I saw a LOT of houses with polybutylene or pex piping, run up in the attic, due to a WHOLE-HOUSE re-pipe..... I think Jacksonville, FL, is one of those cities that switched to "chloramine" water treatment, which ATE UP "in-slab" copper piping in LOTS of houses......
The plumber emailed me this afternoon to tell me the kind of pipe they would use in the attic is pex.

So the pipe or pipes under or in the slab which were installed when the house was built in 1962; will a licensed plumber fill those old pipes with something or plug them up or totally remove them from under the house?

The east end of the house has a utility room where a NG water heater is located along with a washer and dryer.

Then you come in the back door into the kitchen with its sink and auto dishwasher then down the hall to bathroom #1 and in the west end of the house is bathroom #2

On the front porch is outside faucet #1 and on the patio on the north side is faucet #2.


Big Steve29
Biloxi, Mississippi
08/10/20
 

havasu

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Once those pipes are re-routed, there is nothing else left to do with the old pipes, and they are fine sitting under or within the concrete. Without pictures, it is hard to show you how your pex water lines should be routed, but will start as close as practical to the incoming water line to your house, and the last connection is usually the line leading to your farthest water valve.
 

Jeff Handy

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I think it rarely gets below freezing in Biloxi, but you might want to insulate the attic pipes anyway.
With climate change, more extreme weather will be the norm.
And maybe cover any attic piping with a plywood chase, with a connection to conditioned air from below.
Or at least cover everything with the attic insulation.
Or your cold water can get pretty warm in summer.

You are probably adding a lot of extra length, so the hot water will take longer to reach you.
You might want to add a hot water recirculation line and pump, while you are having this work done.
 
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