October 3, 2016 by phicks2012
Every once in a while the news is good!! Usually, it isn’t. Normally, something really IS broken, worn out, or glitchy and has to be fixed or replaced, and that means either buying the parts and doing the work yourself, or hiring someone (frequently at great expense) to do it for you.
Back in July a tenant complained that her newly received water bill (for June) had sky-rocketed to around $500, that there was no way she could pay that, and that something was clearly leaking. Since the water meter was running at an increased speed the problem was pretty much guaranteed to be on the house site of the meter (as opposed to the street side). This meant the city was NOT going to be responsible for fixing it, but we had no idea where the problem might lie. There was no sign of water in the yard, and the tenant hadn’t reported finding any leaks, but a problem existed, so I bit the bullet and called a plumber.
The plumber went out and found a leaky pressure valve on the hot water heater, and a leaking expansion tank, and a leak relating to a tub faucet, and replaced all of those parts. However, when they finished and went outside to check on the water meter it still appeared to be running — with nothing (as far as they knew) turned on in the unit. As a result, they speculated (much to my despair) that there might be another leak under the slab. They said they’d need to go back and try to locate it, but in the meanwhile they had a couple of emergency jobs come up for a hosptial and a fire station that had to take priority.
In August the tenant complained that her bill was now up to $800 (total, not for one month) and that the City was threatening to cut off her water, so I called the plumber again to find out when they were going back — or if they already HAD gone back and simply hadn’t informed me. They hadn’t gone yet, but did coordinate with the City Water Department and send a copy of the repair bill to verify that there had been problems leading to the increased water bill/ They also verified that those had been worked on, and that they would be going back ASAP. The City said they would adjust the water bill, and would not disconnect the tenant, so I could only wait for the plumber to go back — and for what I expected to be a horrendous plumbing bill if they really had to find and bypass a slab leak. I still shiver or wake up in the middle of the night with cold sweats just thinking about it!!
However, on September 12th I got a call from the plumber that had me singing hymns of joy!! They had gone back to the unit, and reported that with no one at home the meter was not running at all. They observed it for a while, and it never budged, so the field tech believed that when they had checked the meter after their initial repairs someone in the unit (probably one of the kids) had been running water, or had flushed a toilet, thus leading them to assume there was still a leak somewhere because the meter was running. They also speculated that the extra charges on the water bill received in August had probably actually been run-up prior to those repairs in July, and were simply reflected in the next bill.
So it appears that I won’t have to pay a fortune to bypass a slab leak after all, and with luck the City will forgive the tenant for the overages created in June and July. Fingers crossed.
I love good news!!!