Water leak.

supercorndogs

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Feb 17, 2014
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My tenant calls me the other day and tells me he has no hot water. He said I came home and the hot water heater was off and no hot water, so he lit the pilot. I told him it would take some time to heat up the tank, and let know if he had none the next day. None the next day either, so I head over. I get back there and I can hear water running through the hot water heater full blast. So I shut off the supply line to the hot water heater and it stops. We had the pipes freeze during that frigid couple weeks this winter. But all has been good since.

We get under the house, and there are two lines coming off the hot water line, that just go straight down to just above the ground. They appear to have had pipe fittings attached to the copper line, then had steal pipe caps to plug them. One was dripping and the other had completely rusty through. So there was a 3/4" line free flowing into the crawl space for at least 4 days.

I have a big squirrel cage red neck fan made from a swamp cooler blowing under now, so we can dry it out a little and get under there and solder new copper caps on the line.
 
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TacticalDillhole

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  • Jun 26, 2012
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    Put the water heater inside some kind of catch basin, nothing deep, maybe 6 inches. Install a water shutoff sensor so if it detects water in the basin, it will close the valves and shut off the water. I have this on all my rentals. It will,save you many headaches. I also have them on the washer hookups.
     
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    MtnCreek

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    You may be able to rent commercial dehumidifiers. Flex duct to blow the hot air into the craw space. If this were the SE, I'd be worried about mold and warping flooring.
     

    Ravenworks

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  • Feb 8, 2019
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    I hate renters.
    Around 1988 or so I got a call that there was a water leak and the plaster was damaged.
    I get there and almost the whole ceiling is laying on the floor.

    Of course no one knows anything.
    I go upstairs to look around and find a garden hose coming through the window.
    Again no one knows anything.
    That night I get a call from the mother and she tells me the story.
    Her kid needed to clean and change the water in fish tank.
    It was taking to long to fill up one bucket at a time,so hence the garden hose.
    He figured that it would have taken all day to fill.
     

    NotByWorks

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    Owning rentals is a PITA. Just sold my last one. Nevermore.
    Good luck with the repairs. At least it's under the house and not in the ceiling.
     
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    lonegunman762x51

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    Apr 8, 2011
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    I dated a woman who's last boyfriend had "fixed" a frozen pipe in her half bathroom. She really wanted that bathroom to work, he told her to "Never cut the water on..............EVER! Which apparently worked for the next two years.

    This guy was long gone when we met. Somehow this became a topic. I told her I'd take a look at her plumbing anytime. 😎

    Fast forward to the actual plumbing job. I had some time one Saturday and brought over some tools. The house had no insulation in the outside wall under the sink so the pipe had split there, no surge protection on the toilet but I can fix that too. Where did he fix it???? :unsure:

    I go to the basement and follow the pipe and wow! He had simply cut an 8" section out of the copper water line and JB welded two caps onto either end. Her entire basement, family room and laundry would have flooded if the JB weld had broke. Once I had everything shut off, it took a light tap of the hammer to pop that epoxy capped mess apart.

    Home repairs can be interesting. And JB weld can be really amazing.
     

    Swamppy

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    Apr 18, 2019
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    Pex isn’t for exposed areas like crawl spaces. It will freeze as well. Best bet is to insulate the lines or even better encapsulate the crawl space, but on a rental not worth the expense.
    It can be used for exposed areas. It will not corrode like galvanized or copper. It is not used in direct sunlight due to UV breaking it down. Pex will freeze but will thaw and return to normal service use without breaking (most of the time).
     

    supercorndogs

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    Crawling under this house is something like squeezing under a Honda accord.
    You may be able to rent commercial dehumidifiers. Flex duct to blow the hot air into the craw space. If this were the SE, I'd be worried about mold and warping flooring.
    Only thing we worry about around here is the water bill. It should be dryer than a fish turd in a sand storm for the foreseeable future. LOL

    I am about 99% sure the pipes freezing had nothing to do with the leak. Even if those pipes were frozen, they don't lead to anything. You just never know what you will find in old houses around here. I am guessing 70 years of corrosion is to blame.
     

    supercorndogs

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    We lived there for years and never had a frozen pipe. We just have a young guy without much life experience living there. He had no idea, and I didn't think to tell him to leave the sinks dripping a little when it got extra cold. We were in the single digits to subzero for more than two weeks and got as low as -26. He keeps asking me to give him a man class, he is a good kid that recognizes his college, degrees, and work experience have left him without other important life experiences/skills. And he wants to be independent enough to not have to call someone to fix small things for him. Admirable. IMO
     

    E. Bryant

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  • Oct 25, 2010
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    I swapped out copper for pex due to corrosion from well water.

    Watch out for the fittings. Hard water can cause erosion, especially on the hot water lines. Here's one of the fittings my father-in-law pulled out of a cabin:

    PXL_20210406_180720782.jpg


    Yet one more thing to worry about.
     

    Rerun7

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  • Feb 18, 2017
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    Another thing you may be able to do is call the water company to see if they’ll give you some forgiveness because the pipe was busted. Some are pretty good about it

    A couple years ago one of my kids left the hose on in the back yard and it ran up a couple hundred $ worth of water bill. Called the water dept and explained what happened with pics and they didn’t charge us for all the extra.
     

    E. Bryant

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  • Oct 25, 2010
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    You can ground that fitting to stop that and fittings on water tanks need bonded together as well
    Sure, but that gets mighty cumbersome in a typical install where there are dozens of fittings.
     

    supercorndogs

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    I am not sure if you are asking me or them, but if me. The pressure relief valve runs into a drain pipe.
     

    chevy_man

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    Watch out for the fittings. Hard water can cause erosion, especially on the hot water lines. Here's one of the fittings my father-in-law pulled out of a cabin:

    View attachment 7598779

    Yet one more thing to worry about.


    Uponor.

    Zero metal fittings, but you need the expander tool that's 5x the price of the crimper for the cheap stuff.
     

    Hobo Hilton

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    I am not sure if you are asking me or them, but if me. The pressure relief valve runs into a drain pipe.
    If the PRV is piped into a drain... How would you verify that you are not loosing water through a stuck PRV ? I pipe my PRV's to the exterior of the building so if the PRV leaks I will see water / steam coming out.
     

    supercorndogs

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    PRV is supposed to be piped to the drain as per city code. I could hear water running out the pressure relief valve if there was. Also the pipe would be hot from having hot water run through it. Also I can hear it draining through the washer drain at that house when there is water coming through the PRV.