So I woke one morning and noticed while I was in the restroom that I heard water running. I checked all my faucets but none were running. There were no leaks to be found anywhere inside or outside the house yet the flow indicator on the meter was spinning wildly.
Nooooooo! My worst plumbing fears have come to reality.
It was Saturday so I called three plumbers. One called me back. (The others called Monday but they were too late.)
After a little looking around it was obvious that my diagnosis was correct.
A little more testing indicated that the leak was the supply to the main distribution manifold behind the washing machine. I expected the work to include jack hammering the foundation and causing major damage at major expense. I was glad to hear that the fix, which I had not considered, was not all that bad. A little more testing indicated that the leak was the supply to the main distribution manifold behind the washing machine.
There was no way to find the pipe even in the yard because digging through rocks is just plain impossible. The plan was to rent a trencher, cut the pipe at the meter and run a new PEX pipe up to the house, into the garage wall, up into the garage attic, across to the main house and down into the laundry room to tie into the manifold effectively bypassing the under-slab pipe.
As I suspected, even using a trenching machine we couldn’t dig any deeper than 6 inches so that would have to do. A whole day of trenching later and we had a shallow cut for the supply.
I wasn’t satisfied with the blue plastic pipe going from the ground up and into the garage wall so they did a short transition to copper for better durability on an exposed pipe. It seldom freezes in San Antonio so that shouldn’t be an issue anyway. I went up into the garage attic and drilled a hole in the top of the wall and help run the pipe.
We had to cut the drywall in multiple places to get the not so flexible pipe to make the 90 degree bends. I’ll fix those later myself.
They capped off the old pipe and installed an adapter to join the PEX to the existing copper pipe.
We turned on the water. Everything worked and the leak was gone. The cost of this project was $3,600. I’m hoping he gave me a discount for the hours of labor I provided. He also said if I had hired a big plumbing company it could easily have cost $6,000 or more. Always go with the little guy first. They work harder and care more.
My house insurance will pay for everything over $1500 so my out of pocket expense is only $1500.
Later… Insurance doesn’t seem to cover catastrophic plumbing repair. I had to pay the whole $3600 myself. Bastards. What’s the point in having house insurance? I’m not sure I’ll have anything more than Fire and Hurricane/tornado coverage on my new house. I fix things myself and my crap isn’t worth anything so I’m wasting money on insurance.