Hoo Boy - Goodbye House

3,233 Views | 30 Replies | Last: 8 days ago by Goose83
Goose83
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Had a leak issue with an irrigation pipe a couple days ago, and it was twelve hours before we realized the problem/screwup and shut it down. Called the City to check on the water usage for that day, and it was over 600 gallons per hour during that time.

So, long story short, over 7200 gallons of water underground, in, around, and under the house. And most likely, uncovered by insurance.

Makes my obsession with styrofoam faucet covers seem almost quaint.
Sweet Kitten Feet
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S
Irrigation? Like an in-ground sprinkler system?
Aggie
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Was nobody home?
Goose83
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.
Goose83
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Sweet Kitten Feet said:

Irrigation? Like an in-ground sprinkler system?
Yes.
Goose83
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I question to any of you Building and Construction majors out there - How long till we seem the after effects of this? Of course I guess it all depends just where exactly the leak was and how deep, but there's no way of knowing this now.

That volume of water scares me on several levels - Not only the swelling of the clay beneath the house, but at that rate of flow, possible scouring and creation of voids and sinkholes underneath as well.

esd19
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This might be a dumb question but how'd you find out that it busted if the break is underground? 600 gallons/hour is a ****load of water hanging out in the soil.
ontheedge
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Was it on? Irrigation isn't under pressure unless it's on. Or shouldn't be.
Sweet Kitten Feet
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That's the part I'm not following.
Goose83
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.
spicyitalian
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I came home from a week's vacation to find a busted water main. Immediately had to stop unpacking to find where it was coming from, dig up a sego, evacutate a very soggy hole and make a repair. I don't know exactly how many days it was, but water usage was over 60,000 gallons. That bill hurt a little.
dubi
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So your water valve was in the on position?

No sprinkler winterization where you purge all the zones and turn off the water?
Builder93
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Nobody winterizes irrigation in this area.

OP, noone will be able to answer your question without seeing it and looking at your foundation construction.

Most likely, you'll be fine after everything goes back to normal.
Goose83
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dubi said:



No sprinkler winterization where you purge all the zones and turn off the water?
No, it's no longer used and no one thought twice about.
dubi
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Quote:

No, it's no longer used and no one thought twice about.
dubi
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Quote:

Nobody winterizes irrigation in this area.
Not true!

We do every single year since our backflow preventer froze one year (no water leak). Sadly everyone learns the hard way.
Goose83
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Builder93 said:

Nobody winterizes irrigation in this area.

OP, noone will be able to answer your question without seeing it and looking at your foundation construction.

Most likely, you'll be fine after everything goes back to normal.
Thanks.

My concern was that the irrigation piping ran around the perimeter of the house for the flower beds. If it had been further out into the yard, it wouldn't have been so bad, but that much water gushing out underground six inches to foot from the base of the foundation was/is a concern (the idea of a scoured out sinkhole under the foundation is not something I enjoy thinking about, especially as there been foundation issues in the past).

That said, what's done is done, so no use crying over spilt milk. Just keep our fingers crossed, and hope that something goes right for us (nothing else has lately). I guess we'll know in a few weeks from now.
Builder93
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dubi said:

Quote:

Nobody winterizes irrigation in this area.
Not true!

We do every single year since our backflow preventer froze one year (no water leak). Sadly everyone learns the hard way.


Winterizing is different than draining the backflow. The most you normally need to do is drain down the backflow.
Tim Weaver
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Here in College Station, if you can prove you made a repair they will reduce the charge and basically just charge you an average water bill for the month were the leak occured. We had a similar issue where our sprinkler pipe burst overnight and we woke up to a lake in our backyard.

The only thing they wanted was some proof of a repair. I showed them the receipt from lowes where I bought the pvc fittings and they were fine with that.
dubi
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Builder93 said:

dubi said:

Quote:

Nobody winterizes irrigation in this area.
Not true!

We do every single year since our backflow preventer froze one year (no water leak). Sadly everyone learns the hard way.


Winterizing is different than draining the backflow. The most you normally need to do is drain down the backflow.
We cut off water at the main valve then drain each zone. I assumed that was winterizing?
Builder93
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dubi said:

Builder93 said:

dubi said:

Quote:

Nobody winterizes irrigation in this area.
Not true!

We do every single year since our backflow preventer froze one year (no water leak). Sadly everyone learns the hard way.


Winterizing is different than draining the backflow. The most you normally need to do is drain down the backflow.
We cut off water at the main valve then drain each zone. I assumed that was winterizing?
Real winterizing is blowing the system out with compressed air (draining the whole system) so you are 90% there.

The key is making sure there is no water in the backflow preventer that can freeze and expand. It's easy with a PVB because it is higher than the rest of the system. A double check or RPZ are a little more difficult because they have chambers that need to be emptied. Of course with temperatures in the single digits, heads and other in-ground components can freeze. We don't usually get that cold that we have to worry about that.
momlaw
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If you have an insurance broker speak with them.
You may have coverage for a sudden event, corrected at earliest possible time.
Typically, you do not have to file to have the conversation with the broker, who earns a commission and should represent YOU.
momlaw
Esteban du Plantier
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esd19 said:

This might be a dumb question but how'd you find out that it busted if the break is underground? 600 gallons/hour is a ****load of water hanging out in the soil.


Not really, an inch of rain on a 10k foot lot is over 6000 gallons.
Goose83
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Esteban du Plantier said:

esd19 said:

This might be a dumb question but how'd you find out that it busted if the break is underground? 600 gallons/hour is a ****load of water hanging out in the soil.


Not really, an inch of rain on a 10k foot lot is over 6000 gallons.
True, but not quite the same when it's coming out a broken two inch pipe at ten gallons a minute, and running under your foundation.

toolshed
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What/ where exactly was the break? I understand you saying it's connected to an irrigation line all the way around your foundation, but you didn't have a linear crack all along the length of the pipe.

Did it break where the irrigation ties into the main line at the meter? You say the system isn't in use. Does that mean you don't have the control panel set up and running but still had water pressure to the main valve? Typically irrigation systems have multiple valves to operate the zones, as well as the backflow preventer between the system and the city water connection.

Did you see that volume of water somewhere? Any saturated wet spots with runoff around the house? 600 gallons and hour didn't just absorb into the ground. The likelihood of a sinkhole being created is minimal if not zero.

Do you have a smart meter where the city could give you a reading that quickly? Otherwise how do they know what your usage is already? I know our electric meters are read remotely but I thought the water meters were still read by a drive by. But maybe I'm wrong on that.

With our clay soils (not everywhere is clay or high clay in BCS), clay is t going to absorb that much water. Even a sandy loam isn't going to absorb it.

Lots of unknowns to give you real answers. But I doubt your house is lost or at risk of being swallowed by a sinkhole anytime soon.

Also, irrigation lines don't run under your foundation. They are typically 12-18" deep. Foundation exterior beams should be a minimum of 32" deep depending on the age of your house.
Belton Ag
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Our backflow preventer comes out of the ground and sits on PVC pipe. First thing I did was open the last valve on the line and shut down the whole thing on the gate valve next to the meter (For some reason we have a separate water meter for irrigation).

That sucks but I'd be kind of surprised if you have any damage to the house or the foundation. If your in Bryan I wouldn't be surprised if the water found its way into some of the cracks and crevices underground in our area.
dubi
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Belton Ag said:

Our backflow preventer comes out of the ground and sits on PVC pipe. First thing I did was open the last valve on the line and shut down the whole thing on the gate valve next to the meter (For some reason we have a separate water meter for irrigation).

That sucks but I'd be kind of surprised if you have any damage to the house or the foundation. If your in Bryan I wouldn't be surprised if the water found its way into some of the cracks and crevices underground in our area.
You don't have to pay the waste fee on this meter since it is just for the irrigation system. Saves you money!
Mathguy64
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60000 gallons is 50% more water than a standard backward pool. Something doesn't sound right here.
Goose83
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600 gallons an hour for around ten to twelve hours, so 6000 to 7200 gallons total from what we've been able to guesstimate.

Still a lot, but not 60,000 gallons.

From what people here (and a couple of others I've spoken to), it sound like (fingers crossed) we'll probably be okay. Was just worried about potential slab issues due to undermining. Will keep an eye out, though, as if there were any negative affects, it would take sometime to manifest themselves anyway.

Thanks again, as I appreciate the input. Just be glad when all of this is behind everyone of us.

And here I was thinking that 2021 was going to be a good year. It still may, but it's got a lot of makeup work to do after this.
Mathguy64
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Reading fail. Cold weather and being indoors for 5 days turned my mind to mush.
Goose83
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Mathguy64 said:

Reading fail. Cold weather and being indoors for 5 days turned my mind to mush.
No problem - Same here.

Be glad when this is all in the rearview mirror.


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