Leaky underground water supply

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malcolm
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Joined: Wed 18th Sep, 2013 6:21 pm
Location: Bedford UK

Leaky underground water supply

Post by malcolm » Sat 4th Sep, 2021 7:37 pm

I'm wondering if I should replace the pipe from the water meter to the house. It will be a big hassle. I'm sure I have a leak on a spur that goes onwards underground to a different part of the house.

Making a hole for some fence posts they filled with suspiciously clean water at 1m depth. Is ground water normally completely clear when you find it?

t's a ead pipe to the house.

LadyArowana
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Joined: Sat 17th Oct, 2009 1:58 pm

Re: Leaky underground water supply

Post by LadyArowana » Sat 4th Sep, 2021 8:12 pm

malcolm wrote:
Sat 4th Sep, 2021 7:37 pm
I'm wondering if I should replace the pipe from the water meter to the house. It will be a big hassle. I'm sure I have a leak on a spur that goes onwards underground to a different part of the house.

Making a hole for some fence posts they filled with suspiciously clean water at 1m depth. Is ground water normally completely clear when you find it?
I think you know the answer, you’re just hoping someone will come along and say something about natural springs and that it’s probably ok! Will taking a reading on the meter and then not using any water confirm a leak or no? or might it be just a small bit of seepage which won’t register unless you leave it an unreasonably long time.

paulc
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Re: Leaky underground water supply

Post by paulc » Sat 4th Sep, 2021 8:47 pm

If you call the local water board, they will send an engineer out - They carry little kits to test for chlorine which would confirm if it is their water or natural ground water. Just tell them that you suspect the meter/stopcock is leaking :wink:

BlindPete
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Joined: Mon 25th May, 2020 9:18 am

Re: Leaky underground water supply

Post by BlindPete » Sat 4th Sep, 2021 10:36 pm

Yorkshire water are suppose to replace lead pipe work even if it’s the homeowners responsibility, free of charge. Not sure about other providers but work asking. They can take a sample to see if it’s definitely lead pipes too. I’d get it replaced if it’s lead.
We have really low water pressure here. It’s about 8 litres a minute. They put a new stop tap at the boundary which gives 30 litres a minute, but it’s not improved at our tap. How’s your pressure? You could also ask them to investigate if it’s low.

paulc
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Re: Leaky underground water supply

Post by paulc » Sun 5th Sep, 2021 9:35 am

BlindPete wrote:
Sat 4th Sep, 2021 10:36 pm
Yorkshire water are suppose to replace lead pipe work even if it’s the homeowners responsibility, free of charge. Not sure about other providers but work asking.
Aglian Water (my supplier) will only replace lead pipes as far as the stopcock but the home owner needs to lay new pipe from the house to the highway boundary first. The pipe also needs to be the same size as the original, so no free upgrades to a larger bore. Looks like Yorkshire Water has the same requirements.

a twig
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Re: Leaky underground water supply

Post by a twig » Sun 5th Sep, 2021 1:12 pm

Get them to sign some verbiage that they guarantee that when the remake the connection from their shiny new pipe to your old lead one their actions will not result in increased lead levels in the home water supply, and they will indemnify you against all potential illness etc incurred in that event. Might help to sharpen minds.

Abecedarian
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Re: Leaky underground water supply

Post by Abecedarian » Sun 5th Sep, 2021 2:39 pm

A less scrupulous customer of Anglian Water might, instead of binning the endless stream of "insure your water supply, pipework, etc. £10 for the first year" special offer junk mail they send out and refuse to stop, despite polite requests, and take them up on the offer, wait the requisite 30 days before making a claim. Then "discover" a leak/potential leak.

Just saying.
Anon.

malcolm
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Joined: Wed 18th Sep, 2013 6:21 pm
Location: Bedford UK

Re: Leaky underground water supply

Post by malcolm » Sun 5th Sep, 2021 7:15 pm

It looks like there are companies that specialise in lead pipe replacement and use moles to tunnel holes rater than dig up the driveway. I'll get a quote. One concern is the foul drain and gas pipe take much the same route as the water pipe but I'm sure that won't be uncommon so there must be workarounds. It might be there is more than one leak as the two suspect areas are about 10m apart.

My weeping willow won't be happy.

Flyfisher
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Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Leaky underground water supply

Post by Flyfisher » Fri 10th Sep, 2021 1:01 pm

Last year I broke through the water pipe to our house while replacing a broken gatepost. Fortunately it was a plastic pipe so the repair was very easy, but on my initial attempt I did not tighten the new joints sufficiently and there was a tiny, tiny leak but I noticed that it still registered on the water meter, so they must be very sensitive. I 'nipped up' the joints slightly and the meter indicator stopped moving. Not much help if you don't have a meter though.

malcolm
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Location: Bedford UK

Re: Leaky underground water supply

Post by malcolm » Fri 10th Sep, 2021 4:23 pm

Ought to have a look at the meter. It's a pain to read as it's underwater. In hindsight that's probably another clue and I knew about it before I dug a convenient trench close to where the water pipe runs. Probably that would have been a good time to replace the pipe. :oops:

malcolm
Posts: 1135
Joined: Wed 18th Sep, 2013 6:21 pm
Location: Bedford UK

Re: Leaky underground water supply

Post by malcolm » Mon 20th Sep, 2021 5:33 pm

I had a look at the meter. It was full of water to 6 inches below ground level. Having scooped the water out to see what the meter was doing the spinny thing didn't move at all over 10 minutes. It spins with a dribble on the outside tap but not with a drip. I've reported it to Anglian Water hoping the leak is on their side. The meter has always been underwater but it is deeper underwater now than when I moved in 8 years ago.

The other thing I've noticed is the damp patch has an ammonia smell when you get close up. I've found the lodger's cat has been peeing in that corner. I've hung some paper on the wall to see if the cat is spraying it. That would be an odd cause of damp. But it's gypsum over cement so can't take much water.

The brick on the other side used to be an outside wall and ground levels are 10 inches higher on that side. The bricks are painted on the outside. I'm leaning towards a ventilated trench to allow evaporation to the outside and will take the opportunity to lime plaster the inside.

Cubist
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Location: Shropshire/Herefordshire Border

Re: Leaky underground water supply

Post by Cubist » Mon 20th Sep, 2021 6:22 pm

With all this fair weather, i.e. mostly marked by an absence of persistent rain, the water table in most parts is likely to be lower than normal and that to my mind confirms the likelihood of a leak.

That aside, it was not really why I decided to add a reply here. Rather, to report that, a good few years ago I owned a house near Birmingham and, after a very protracted overseas assignment I returned to find a huge bill from Severn Trent. Puzzled by the very high charge for 'consumed' water and having failed to find any apparent leaks around the house, I challenged the bill. When their engineer finally showed up he informed me that the meter for my property was connected to the house next door. :shock:

After a little to and fro Severn Trent examined their records for the entire period of my ownership and refunded me a little over £2000. :D

I have to admit I quite enjoyed sticking it to a utility company. :twisted:

Flyfisher
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Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Leaky underground water supply

Post by Flyfisher » Mon 20th Sep, 2021 9:16 pm

Cubist wrote:
Mon 20th Sep, 2021 6:22 pm
That aside, it was not really why I decided to add a reply here. Rather, to report that, a good few years ago I owned a house near Birmingham and, after a very protracted overseas assignment I returned to find a huge bill from Severn Trent. Puzzled by the very high charge for 'consumed' water and having failed to find any apparent leaks around the house, I challenged the bill. When their engineer finally showed up he informed me that the meter for my property was connected to the house next door. :shock:

After a little to and fro Severn Trent examined their records for the entire period of my ownership and refunded me a little over £2000. :D

I have to admit I quite enjoyed sticking it to a utility company. :twisted:
:lol: :lol: :lol:
That's almost as good as the £2600 estimated electricity bill I once received for a meter that had been removed years previously!
Computers eh? What would we do without them :lol:

Feltwell
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Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Leaky underground water supply

Post by Feltwell » Tue 21st Sep, 2021 4:37 pm

I got a letter from the tax man 4 weeks ago saying that they owed me £2k. So I rang them up - "Oh no you don't" - as I keep track of my taxes. They agreed, they could see the problem, thank you for contacting us it'll all be resolved Sir.

A cheque turned up today for £2k. If I cash it they'll catch up eventually, guaranteed, and I don't want then have an argument over a penalty. But if I don't cash it will they treat it as if they paid out anyway?

So I think I need to "go retro" and send them a letter, keep it all in writing...... :roll:

The only 2 certainties in life, death & taxes!

malcolm
Posts: 1135
Joined: Wed 18th Sep, 2013 6:21 pm
Location: Bedford UK

Re: Leaky underground water supply

Post by malcolm » Tue 21st Sep, 2021 6:04 pm

I had a battle with British Gas when I moved in. They wanted me to pay the £2600 owed by the previous occupants. They wouldn't budge and wouldn't let me move supplier. I think they are measured by number of complaints and contacting their complaints department was effective.

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