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Anyone else have pinhole leaks in water main near meter?

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  • juliewdesign@sbcglobal.net
    We have had pinhole leaks in our water main under the sidewalk near the meter twice now in two years. The pipe is copper and was installed about 17 years ago.
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 25, 2014
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      We have had pinhole leaks in our water main under the sidewalk near the meter twice now in two years. The pipe is copper and was installed about 17 years ago. 

      Researching the problem we have heard a wide variety of possible causes, errors made during the install (Burrs, flux), water turbulence, water PH, galvanic or dielectric corrosion (electricity), improper grounding. No one really has a clear answer. It is a pain to tear up the sidewalk to make the repair but worse still is fear that it may happen along the long run up the hill to the house where it would be much harder to find and fix!


      Once thing we read said that with old cast iron pipes and meters being replace and cement pipes being used, copper pipes don't last as long because cities have "inadvertently eliminated the sacrificial anode.”


      Just wondering if anyone else on these hilly streets is having similar problems?


      DWP said they can't offer advice since problem is on private property side.


      Thanks - Julie

       

    • Scott Rubel
      the advice about the anode doesn t make much sense. If a copper pipe is properly installed the plumber will have taken care of that and all fittings would be
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 26, 2014
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        the advice about the anode doesn't make much sense. If a copper pipe is properly installed the plumber will have taken care of that and all fittings would be dielectric.

        Copper can go bad if it's a cheap version, often Mexican made. That's why plumbers often make a point of telling you they will use high quality American copper.

        There are some regions where copper is not recommended because of excessive carbon dioxide in the water or soil, which causes the copper to erode very quickly. I do not believe our hills are one of those areas.

        I just received a $4,000 water bill. After some digging I found that my main line was leaking up the hill to my house. However, mine was original 1947 galvanized pipe. I just replaced it two weeks ago with copper. I hope that was the fix. Now I must attempt to negotiate the invoice down and have filed a form to start this process.

        The woman on the DWP line was looking at a computer and informed me they have been estimating my bill for many months. I do not understand why they would do this when they have these radio readers now. She began telling me that my water usage began to increase perhaps in November, yet no warning or increased bill was sent until now. If they have the ability to have this sort of information, why can't they run their business like a credit card company, where they warn you when your usage looks aberrant?

        Good luck.

        --Scott Rubel

        On Jun 25, 2014, at 12:36 PM, juliewilliams45@... [nelalist] <nelalist@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

        We have had pinhole leaks in our water main under the sidewalk near the meter twice now in two years. The pipe is copper and was installed about 17 years ago. 

        Researching the problem we have heard a wide variety of possible causes, errors made during the install (Burrs, flux), water turbulence, water PH, galvanic or dielectric corrosion (electricity), improper grounding. No one really has a clear answer. It is a pain to tear up the sidewalk to make the repair but worse still is fear that it may happen along the long run up the hill to the house where it would be much harder to find and fix!

        Once thing we read said that with old cast iron pipes and meters being replace and cement pipes being used, copper pipes don't last as long because cities have "inadvertently eliminated the sacrificial anode.”

        Just wondering if anyone else on these hilly streets is having similar problems?

        DWP said they can't offer advice since problem is on private property side.

        Thanks - Julie

         


      • Jack Fenn
        There are three normal grades of copper pipe: K, L, and M. Always avoid M, because it is the thinnest. From meter to house K copper is rated for underground
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 26, 2014
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          There are three normal grades of copper pipe: K, L, and M. Always avoid M, because it is the thinnest. From meter to house K copper is rated for underground installation; the others are not. I’m guessing the plumber installed cheap stuff.

          On Jun 26, 2014, at 5:54 PM, Scott Rubel scott@... [nelalist] <nelalist@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

          the advice about the anode doesn't make much sense. If a copper pipe is properly installed the plumber will have taken care of that and all fittings would be dielectric.


          Copper can go bad if it's a cheap version, often Mexican made. That's why plumbers often make a point of telling you they will use high quality American copper.

          There are some regions where copper is not recommended because of excessive carbon dioxide in the water or soil, which causes the copper to erode very quickly. I do not believe our hills are one of those areas.

          I just received a $4,000 water bill. After some digging I found that my main line was leaking up the hill to my house. However, mine was original 1947 galvanized pipe. I just replaced it two weeks ago with copper. I hope that was the fix. Now I must attempt to negotiate the invoice down and have filed a form to start this process.

          The woman on the DWP line was looking at a computer and informed me they have been estimating my bill for many months. I do not understand why they would do this when they have these radio readers now. She began telling me that my water usage began to increase perhaps in November, yet no warning or increased bill was sent until now. If they have the ability to have this sort of information, why can't they run their business like a credit card company, where they warn you when your usage looks aberrant?

          Good luck.

          --Scott Rubel

          On Jun 25, 2014, at 12:36 PM, juliewilliams45@... [nelalist] <nelalist@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

          We have had pinhole leaks in our water main under the sidewalk near the meter twice now in two years. The pipe is copper and was installed about 17 years ago. 

          Researching the problem we have heard a wide variety of possible causes, errors made during the install (Burrs, flux), water turbulence, water PH, galvanic or dielectric corrosion (electricity), improper grounding. No one really has a clear answer. It is a pain to tear up the sidewalk to make the repair but worse still is fear that it may happen along the long run up the hill to the house where it would be much harder to find and fix!

          Once thing we read said that with old cast iron pipes and meters being replace and cement pipes being used, copper pipes don't last as long because cities have "inadvertently eliminated the sacrificial anode.”

          Just wondering if anyone else on these hilly streets is having similar problems?

          DWP said they can't offer advice since problem is on private property side.

          Thanks - Julie

           




        • Tom Williams
          Big Bills after lots of little ones??? Always check the meter number on the big bill against the little bills - same or different then check the actual meter
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 27, 2014
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            Big Bills after lots of little ones???
            Always check the meter number on the big bill against the little bills - same or different then check the actual meter for its numbers...

            Meters are part of DWP and other maintenance and maybe replaced by a reconditioned meter and things can be messed up in the paper work when more than one group is involved.

            Also try to reduce your total water use from Thanksgiving til Feb 1
            This is the period that Bur.Sanit. establishes your sewer rate - lowest flow without counting irrigation.

            If you think you have a leak - find the water meter  check the numbers at 10-11pm at night and if possible as soon as you get up in the morning and before any showers...and compare the numbers...if different - remember they read in billing units = 100cuft=750gal so if you had a difference of 0.1 units = 75 gal = 50 flushes on a WaterConserToilet THAT IS A LOT - check again whenever you have 3-5 hr without much water use....

            Also - old houses can be check at say 2am in morning with a stethoscope that are use for listening to motor - PepBoys/HarborFreight - find a good pipe - cold water and listen 
            have someone else turn water on and off to get use to the sound....relax and listen...if you hear ANYTHING - something is moving and water only moves when the tap is open or a leak is running --- loss of your $$$

            We are down to about 50gal/person/day - laundry and some irrigation  

            Anyone interested in or doing gray/grey water systems ??? it is going to be a very long and hot summer - especially in October.
            Any tips on Non-Sodium dish and laundry soaps??

            Hope it helps

            Tom


            On Thursday, June 26, 2014 6:42 PM, "Scott Rubel scott@... [nelalist]" <nelalist@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


             
            the advice about the anode doesn't make much sense. If a copper pipe is properly installed the plumber will have taken care of that and all fittings would be dielectric.

            Copper can go bad if it's a cheap version, often Mexican made. That's why plumbers often make a point of telling you they will use high quality American copper.

            There are some regions where copper is not recommended because of excessive carbon dioxide in the water or soil, which causes the copper to erode very quickly. I do not believe our hills are one of those areas.

            I just received a $4,000 water bill. After some digging I found that my main line was leaking up the hill to my house. However, mine was original 1947 galvanized pipe. I just replaced it two weeks ago with copper. I hope that was the fix. Now I must attempt to negotiate the invoice down and have filed a form to start this process.

            The woman on the DWP line was looking at a computer and informed me they have been estimating my bill for many months. I do not understand why they would do this when they have these radio readers now. She began telling me that my water usage began to increase perhaps in November, yet no warning or increased bill was sent until now. If they have the ability to have this sort of information, why can't they run their business like a credit card company, where they warn you when your usage looks aberrant?

            Good luck.

            --Scott Rubel

            On Jun 25, 2014, at 12:36 PM, juliewilliams45@... [nelalist] <nelalist@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
            We have had pinhole leaks in our water main under the sidewalk near the meter twice now in two years. The pipe is copper and was installed about 17 years ago. 
            Researching the problem we have heard a wide variety of possible causes, errors made during the install (Burrs, flux), water turbulence, water PH, galvanic or dielectric corrosion (electricity), improper grounding. No one really has a clear answer. It is a pain to tear up the sidewalk to make the repair but worse still is fear that it may happen along the long run up the hill to the house where it would be much harder to find and fix!
            Once thing we read said that with old cast iron pipes and meters being replace and cement pipes being used, copper pipes don't last as long because cities have "inadvertently eliminated the sacrificial anode.”
            Just wondering if anyone else onthese hilly streets is having similar problems?
            DWP said they can't offer advice since problem is on private property side.
            Thanks - Julie
             




          • ChuChu Maas
            I also had a very high bill almost $700.00 that I am fighting with DWP as I looked back three years and it was about the same in water usage for the three
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 27, 2014
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              I also had a very high bill almost $700.00 that I am fighting with DWP as I looked back three years and it was about the same in water usage for the three years.
              ChuChu 

              Sent from my iPhone

              On Jun 27, 2014, at 10:07 AM, "Tom Williams ctwilliams2012@... [nelalist]" <nelalist@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

               

              Big Bills after lots of little ones???
              Always check the meter number on the big bill against the little bills - same or different then check the actual meter for its numbers...

              Meters are part of DWP and other maintenance and maybe replaced by a reconditioned meter and things can be messed up in the paper work when more than one group is involved.

              Also try to reduce your total water use from Thanksgiving til Feb 1
              This is the period that Bur.Sanit. establishes your sewer rate - lowest flow without counting irrigation.

              If you think you have a leak - find the water meter  check the numbers at 10-11pm at night and if possible as soon as you get up in the morning and before any showers...and compare the numbers...if different - remember they read in billing units = 100cuft=750gal so if you had a difference of 0.1 units = 75 gal = 50 flushes on a WaterConserToilet THAT IS A LOT - check again whenever you have 3-5 hr without much water use....

              Also - old houses can be check at say 2am in morning with a stethoscope that are use for listening to motor - PepBoys/HarborFreight - find a good pipe - cold water and listen 
              have someone else turn water on and off to get use to the sound....relax and listen...if you hear ANYTHING - something is moving and water only moves when the tap is open or a leak is running --- loss of your $$$

              We are down to about 50gal/person/day - laundry and some irrigation  

              Anyone interested in or doing gray/grey water systems ??? it is going to be a very long and hot summer - especially in October.
              Any tips on Non-Sodium dish and laundry soaps??

              Hope it helps

              Tom


              On Thursday, June 26, 2014 6:42 PM, "Scott Rubel scott@... [nelalist]" <nelalist@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


               
              the advice about the anode doesn't make much sense. If a copper pipe is properly installed the plumber will have taken care of that and all fittings would be dielectric.

              Copper can go bad if it's a cheap version, often Mexican made. That's why plumbers often make a point of telling you they will use high quality American copper.

              There are some regions where copper is not recommended because of excessive carbon dioxide in the water or soil, which causes the copper to erode very quickly. I do not believe our hills are one of those areas.

              I just received a $4,000 water bill. After some digging I found that my main line was leaking up the hill to my house. However, mine was original 1947 galvanized pipe. I just replaced it two weeks ago with copper. I hope that was the fix. Now I must attempt to negotiate the invoice down and have filed a form to start this process.

              The woman on the DWP line was looking at a computer and informed me they have been estimating my bill for many months. I do not understand why they would do this when they have these radio readers now. She began telling me that my water usage began to increase perhaps in November, yet no warning or increased bill was sent until now. If they have the ability to have this sort of information, why can't they run their business like a credit card company, where they warn you when your usage looks aberrant?

              Good luck.

              --Scott Rubel

              On Jun 25, 2014, at 12:36 PM, juliewilliams45@... [nelalist] <nelalist@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
              We have had pinhole leaks in our water main under the sidewalk near the meter twice now in two years. The pipe is copper and was installed about 17 years ago. 
              Researching the problem we have heard a wide variety of possible causes, errors made during the install (Burrs, flux), water turbulence, water PH, galvanic or dielectric corrosion (electricity), improper grounding. No one really has a clear answer. It is a pain to tear up the sidewalk to make the repair but worse still is fear that it may happen along the long run up the hill to the house where it would be much harder to find and fix!
              Once thing we read said that with old cast iron pipes and meters being replace and cement pipes being used, copper pipes don't last as long because cities have "inadvertently eliminated the sacrificial anode.”
              Just wondering if anyone else onthese hilly streets is having similar problems?
              DWP said they can't offer advice since problem is on private property side.
              Thanks - Julie
               




            • Jane Demian
              In reply to big DWP bills, we have been disputing several issues with DWP regarding a huge bill we received in April of this year. Apparently, their computer
              Message 6 of 7 , Jun 29, 2014
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                In reply to big DWP bills, we have been disputing several issues with DWP regarding a huge bill we received in April of this year.  Apparently, their computer system estimates bills, and in our case, was estimating since October 2013.  This year they determined our actual water usage and tabulated it all together in one HUGE bill in April.  That practice caused the bill to reflect a large Tier 2 charge.  If the correct amounts had been tabulated all along, we would only be paying Tier 1 charges.  Since our DWP dispute, we are checking our water meter daily, with a photo record of our meter number and reading, so that this kind of discrepancy will not occur in the future.  Also checking your water usage daily helps with water conservation.  Estimating bills, as has been DWP practice, does not help with water conservation efforts.  I suggest you talk to a DWP supervisor, and if you need more help contact your Councilman's office.  -- Jane Demian
                 
              • Tom Williams
                Also remember your sewerage bill is calculated on your Nov-Feb water use as an indicator of no irrigation and only tap flows... If volumes are higher than
                Message 7 of 7 , Jun 29, 2014
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                  Also remember your sewerage bill is calculated on your Nov-Feb water use as an indicator of no irrigation and only tap flows...
                  If volumes are higher than actual then you get the DWP AND the BurSanit charges for a higher volume - BOS for the entire year....

                  Estimated bills is a standard practice usually for one or maximum two billing periods NOT for a year.

                  Also remember these are public records
                  Ask for all records pertaining to your meter number and address - CHECK anythingthat you can't afford...

                  Tom


                  On Sunday, June 29, 2014 11:39 AM, "'Jane Demian' janedemian@... [nelalist]" <nelalist@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                   
                  In reply to big DWP bills, we have been disputing several issues with DWP regarding a huge bill we received in April of this year.  Apparently, their computer system estimates bills, and in our case, was estimating since October 2013.  This year they determined our actual water usage and tabulated it all together in one HUGE bill in April.  That practice caused the bill to reflect a large Tier 2 charge.  If the correct amounts had been tabulated all along, we would only be paying Tier 1 charges.  Since our DWP dispute, we are checking our water meter daily, with a photo record of our meter number and reading, so that this kind of discrepancy will not occur in the future.  Also checking your water usage daily helps with water conservation.  Estimating bills, as has been DWP practice, does not help with water conservation efforts.  I suggest you talk to a DWP supervisor, and if you need more help contact your Councilman's office.  -- Jane Demian
                   


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