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Old 12-18-2009, 01:58 PM   #1
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How does this pipe work, and how do I stop the leak?


We are just a week away on closing on a short sale. Someone hit a pipe on the side of the house and now it is leaking heavily. The only way I can figure out how to stop the leak is by turning the water off at the meter. We would like to fix this even if it is temporary in order to have an inspection of the plumbing. This house is being sold 'as is' so if we want it fixed we have to do it.

Please see attached picture. The leak is located right at the ground in the pipe on the right (which is closest to the street). What is the whole grey assembly on the top? I assume it is designed to shut off the irrigation system, but when turned it does nothing. Could you tell me how this flows, does it come up from the pipe on right and down through the left pipe or other way? Could we just cap it at the break for the time being. If so, what do we need to use. As you can tell, we know NOTHING about plumbing. Thank you in advance!
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:14 PM   #2
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How does this pipe work, and how do I stop the leak?


Where are you located ?
Seems like a lawn watering setup, should have a shut off some where

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Old 12-18-2009, 02:17 PM   #3
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How does this pipe work, and how do I stop the leak?


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Where are you located ?
Seems like a lawn watering setup, should have a shut off some where
Do you mean what state? If so, Florida. We do believe it is where the irrigation system connects to the water line, but we can't find any shutoffs. Also, the dark grey piece at the top turns a great deal, but does not appear to do anything.

Last edited by jamolei; 12-18-2009 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:16 PM   #4
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How does this pipe work, and how do I stop the leak?


That is an anti siphon valve, and it looks broken. Water comes up the right side, down the left side.

Learn more here:

http://www.irrigationtutorials.com/instal07.htm
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:47 PM   #5
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How does this pipe work, and how do I stop the leak?


I am somewhat confused. You say you are a week away from closing, so the house is not yet yours. Under what authority would you fix a plumbing problem in a house you do not own? You also say you want to fix the leak to allow for a plumbing inspection, but I don't see the relationship between the leak and the inspection. Unless your inspector is saying they cannot inspect a house with a leak?

This looks like a relatively minor, inexpensive repair, probably requires that the water be temporarily shut off at the main valve in order to allow the pipe to be replaced. The type of job normally done by a plumber. I suggest you get the inspection done, close on the house, then hire a plumber to repair this pipe. There may be other work the plumber should do at the same time, presumbably the inspection will identify any other issues.
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:51 PM   #6
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How does this pipe work, and how do I stop the leak?


That is for an underground lawn irrigation system. It is generally called an anti-siphon/shut-off valve. The water supply does indeed come in from the pipe on the right, goes through the combo valve, and then into the pipe on the left which feeds your underground system. The black round handle should shut off the water supply to the system but will not stop the leak you have mentioned. If you have a leak at ground level on the pipe on the right after someone has bumped it--you will have to dig down to find probably an elbow fitting, which has cracked due to the bump, and repair the PVC piping at this area. Now, being as the house is being sold "AS IS" you might want to dig down into this area, find the horizontal run of PVC (plastic) pipe, cut it back and cap it. You are honest enough to state that you know nothing about plumbing so you may have to hire someone to do this. Good Luck, David
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:32 PM   #7
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How does this pipe work, and how do I stop the leak?


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Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
I am somewhat confused. You say you are a week away from closing, so the house is not yet yours. Under what authority would you fix a plumbing problem in a house you do not own? You also say you want to fix the leak to allow for a plumbing inspection, but I don't see the relationship between the leak and the inspection. Unless your inspector is saying they cannot inspect a house with a leak?

This looks like a relatively minor, inexpensive repair, probably requires that the water be temporarily shut off at the main valve in order to allow the pipe to be replaced. The type of job normally done by a plumber. I suggest you get the inspection done, close on the house, then hire a plumber to repair this pipe. There may be other work the plumber should do at the same time, presumbably the inspection will identify any other issues.
The problem is the inspector cannot check for leaks inside the house for two reasons:
1. with the water turned on at the meter, water pours from this broken pipe and floods the neighbors yard. We already had to leave it on the other day for another inspection and the ground is still saturated.

2. the inspector wants to look at the meter and see if it is spining with all faucets shut off in the house to check for hidden leaks; however he can't do so because if the water is turned on at the street then the meter is spinning like crazy because of this leak.

We would like the complete inspection for piece of mind.

Yes, buying a short sale or foreclosure is way different than a conventional sale. No one will know or care what we do to the house, and they definitely won't care if we have done something to fix it. I have heard of people patching walls, putting roofs on, etc prior to closing...I wouldn't go that crazy, but I am willing to spend a few bucks on PVC. The seller and the bank refuse to make any repairs, so if we want the inspection then we will need to stop the leak.
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:33 PM   #8
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How does this pipe work, and how do I stop the leak?


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Originally Posted by Thurman View Post
That is for an underground lawn irrigation system. It is generally called an anti-siphon/shut-off valve. The water supply does indeed come in from the pipe on the right, goes through the combo valve, and then into the pipe on the left which feeds your underground system. The black round handle should shut off the water supply to the system but will not stop the leak you have mentioned. If you have a leak at ground level on the pipe on the right after someone has bumped it--you will have to dig down to find probably an elbow fitting, which has cracked due to the bump, and repair the PVC piping at this area. Now, being as the house is being sold "AS IS" you might want to dig down into this area, find the horizontal run of PVC (plastic) pipe, cut it back and cap it. You are honest enough to state that you know nothing about plumbing so you may have to hire someone to do this. Good Luck, David
Thank you for the advice!
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:34 PM   #9
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How does this pipe work, and how do I stop the leak?


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Originally Posted by Aggie67 View Post
That is an anti siphon valve, and it looks broken. Water comes up the right side, down the left side.

Learn more here:

http://www.irrigationtutorials.com/instal07.htm

Thanks for the link!
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Old 12-19-2009, 01:18 AM   #10
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How does this pipe work, and how do I stop the leak?


From the looks of the water on the side of the house, you do have a pretty good leak. At least that means that you have good water pressure! You might want to get an irrigation contractor to repair this. Yes a plumber could and would do the fix, but an irrigation contractor should be less expensive. Talk to the neighbors, or friends to see if you can find someone that they use and are happy with. Get a relationship going with them, it sounds like you'll be using them from time to time.

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Old 12-20-2009, 07:45 PM   #11
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How does this pipe work, and how do I stop the leak?


Thank you for all the advice. A landscaper friend stopped by and repaired the leak with no problems.

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