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  1. #1
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    I have a plumbing question.

    For the last few months our water bill have risen from its normal monthly rate of around 1,000 Baht to 3,900 Baht which obviously is quite alarming.

    I looked for leaks and suspected we had a problem with the main pipe from the meter connection to the main house so we put in a new pipe and cut off the old one. No real change from the very high monthly charge so I obviously got it wrong.

    Last month I turned the meter connection off at night and only turned it on when we needed water and the bill come down to 2,100 Baht.

    Obviously we have a leak somewhere within the walls or under the house and as our water circulation in the house is quite complex with 5 bathrooms and two kitchens I just cannot bypass the old piping so easily.

    I have heard that some plumbers have a special hearing device that can detect leakage within floors, walls and foundations.

    Is this true and where can I find a plumber and or such a device here in Thailand?

    Any and all suggestions are much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Try using a drinking glass turned open end down on the surface of your questioning water pipe...you may hear flowing water, but if its simply a dribbling leak you won't hear it till it surfaces under you living room floor tiles.

    I'm sure you didn't make a print of your water line routing did you? Neighbor had a leaking water line. It surfaced under his study floor. Simply cut the pipe where it entered and re-routed the water line outside around the abandoned water line.

    You however may have a growing catastrophe that only Yingluck and her cronies can cure..

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    A real plumber would firstly do a pressure test of your system to determine whether the leak is inside your house or on the incoming main.

    I would use your contacts to search out a competent tradesman and start there.

  4. #4
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    Ask your amulet?




    or buy a stethoscope.

  5. #5
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    ^ Thanks itnt for your suggestion.

    There were 2 builders who worked on this house as the ground floor was constructed first and then we added the second floor later.

    I have no idea about the piping layout and I suspect that subterranean subsidence may be the reason a pipe has cracked.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99
    Ask your amulet?


    Quote Originally Posted by terry57
    A real plumber would firstly do a pressure test of your system to determine whether the leak is inside your house or on the incoming main.
    I may do that tomorrow as I have a hydraulic pressure test metre at work. Thanks.

  7. #7
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    We got lucky with the same problem. But our house has a crawl space so you can get into and find the pipes. It was a pretty good leak, but we got it fixed. funny that we are on about 800 baht a month, but the charge with the leak was identical to yours 4000. Sure as hell enough to notice.

  8. #8
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    Stethoscope from a medical supply store?

    Ear on the end of a screwdriver? I just put my ear and a screwdriver on my all-in-one PC and I can hear a hum from the fan that I cannot hear otherwise! But you would have to know roughly where to listen.
    Better to think inside the pub, than outside the box?
    I apologize if any offence was caused. unless it was intended.
    You people, you think I know feck nothing; I tell you: I know feck all
    Those who cannot change their mind, cannot change anything.

  9. #9
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    Let someone do a pressure test on the plumbing in your house.

  10. #10
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    We had a rental house that developed the same problem, and we never did see any dampness on the teak floors. We moved out. That experience was one of the reasons we went with PP-R pipe when we built as it is a lot more forgiving to stress, flex, and assembly technique than the blue PVC.
    Press On Regardless

  11. #11
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    If my water bill was over 120 baht per month, I'd be asking questions!

    And we do shower three times per day!

  12. #12
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    Mine is usually less than 100.

  13. #13
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    I'd go with Terry's suggestion.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveboy View Post
    I'd go with Terry's suggestion.
    But he used the words "competent" and "tradesman" in the same sentence. Chances for finding one are?

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    A few months back, I was having a similar problem with a hidden leak causing my water pump to go on when no water was being used in the house. Two plumbers said the leak was under the floor and was caused by the foundation settling.

    I had all the house re-plumbed on the outside. It was easier than tearing up the bathroom and kitchen floors and walls to get to where a leak was assumed to be. It wasn't expensive to do.

    The only problem with the new plumbing is that one of the toilets was not against an outside wall so there is an exposed pipe running along the floor. Looks terrible.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by charleyboy
    If my water bill was over 120 baht per month, I'd be asking questions!
    Yup - you're being had big time here LT.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit
    causing my water pump to go on when no water was being used in the house.
    that is as good a pressure test as any "competent tradesmen" could do

    so, LT, does your pump keep coming on when there is no-one using any water?

    that would be a miracle or a leak

    my neighbours pump keeps doing that but he says a ghost uses the water
    I have reported your post

  18. #18
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    Sounds to me from the size of your water bill the leak is from your pipe to someone else's incomming line. Check and make sure the meter does not run when all water is shut off. Next check if the meter is working properly - have village change the meter.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by charleyboy
    If my water bill was over 120 baht per month
    Quote Originally Posted by charleyboy
    Mine is usually less than 100.
    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Shagnastier
    Yup - you're being had big time here LT.
    I am running 3 kitchens and 5 bathrooms including a big swimming pool and 7 people. My wife waters the garden most days although recently there has been no need to do so.

    My bill has always been under 1,000 Baht even in the dry season.

    I don't think the council is taking the piss and overcharging me so a leak is my problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy
    so, LT, does your pump keep coming on when there is no-one using any water?
    Yes, the pump turns on and off even when nobody is using the water supply.

    I will use some of the good suggestions and when I find the problem I will add a picture thread to this one and for future reference.

  20. #20
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    LT.. Sounds like you have a sizable area there so lets hope you are lucky and the leak is not under concrete. Have you walked the whole property looking for soft or wet spots? It might be a fairly small area so keep your eyes pealed.

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
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    Move House

  22. #22
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    ^^ Thanks mate for your advice and best wishes.

    The main house is about 50 metres from the mains water metre and we have a large pool and a garden bungalow in between. The land size is just under 1 Rai and we have a creak running through the land and the house boarders a klong/small lake so there is the possibility of subsidence under the main house which can crack pipes.

    I just have to switch off the pumps when they are not being used until I get to the root of this problem.

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    That switching off the pumps gets old quickly.

    Have you any turnoff valves so you can isolate different areas? You can find how far down the pipe your leak is that way.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99
    Ask your amulet?


    Quote Originally Posted by terry57
    A real plumber would firstly do a pressure test of your system to determine whether the leak is inside your house or on the incoming main.
    I may do that tomorrow as I have a hydraulic pressure test metre at work. Thanks.
    You mean a pressure gauge? That's all that's needed, a simple pressure gauge with a common hose bib attached to provide water pressure installed on a piece of pipe and a cap on the other end to prevent water escape.
    The difficulty is going to be on the house side and sufficiently blocking off any possible pressure loses on the open end.

    Instead of replacing the influent piping randomly it would have been wiser to do this from the meter to the house first and then the house, it would have saved you a lot of headache.

    As posted, a stethoscope is an excellent idea often used, another tool often used is an automotive stethoscope which has a long probe but it doesn't cover as much area as a medical one does.. There are companies that have a hydrophone for this purpose but don't know any in Thailand.

  25. #25
    Member globin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99
    Ask your amulet?


    Quote Originally Posted by terry57
    A real plumber would firstly do a pressure test of your system to determine whether the leak is inside your house or on the incoming main.
    I may do that tomorrow as I have a hydraulic pressure test metre at work. Thanks.
    I have had this problem, with stressed PVC or no glue or just shit workmanship. One leak was found using food coloring in the water, then searching. One small leak was found by increasing the pressure until the leak could be heard with a stethoscope (it was under the bathroom floor)....the fixes usually require a jackhammer and some additional skills. Everyone who owns a house here should learn some plumbing skills, because the guys that usually do plumbing here haven't got any, same applies to electricians. Good tradesmen are the exception not the rule.
    ~Glennerd~

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