DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Plumbing (
-   -   neighbors tapped into my waterline? (

ofelia 07-01-2012 12:45 AM

neighbors tapped into my waterline?
When we first purchased our home we knew it had been vacant for quite some time. As the years went on I noticed my water bill was substantially high and I asked my parents and other relatives who also live in the area and have the same water company how much they pay. Suprisingly I pay more than they do considering only 2 adults and 2 small children live here and at my parents 3 adults live there and my cousin has 3 adults and 3 children with a much larger yard than mine. For the past 2 years (during summer months) I've gone to my water company because this is when there is a dramatic increase and they told me that my neighbor who has 4 adults living there and have a pool pay less than I do. I know I don't have any leaks in the house because we have all new pipes and a few days ago the water company sent out 2 guys to check my meter because they thought they had incorrectly read my meter. Sadly they read it correctly and confirmed that it was not likely that I had a leak because as we stood there talking my water meter stayed on the same number. They advised me to try a couple of things like shutting the main line off and checking to see if the meter would change, digging up the back yard to see if there was a pipe that lead to the neighbors yard. We tried these things with no luck and I just received my bill which is 4x's higher than my usual bill. Please help I don't know what else to do.

jimmy21 07-01-2012 01:10 AM

39 Attachment(s)
how about you just rent a ditch witch and run a new line from your meter to inside your house?

ofelia 07-01-2012 01:15 AM

I've thought of that but I think he's connected a line in the backyard.

jimmy21 07-01-2012 01:26 AM

39 Attachment(s)
then i would install valves under your house so that you could shut down certain areas. Then you could shut down certain areas of your house and isolate which spot is making the meter spin

a_lost_shadow 07-01-2012 09:02 AM

Have you considered closing off your meter and attaching a pump? Free water if he didn't think to install a check valve. :jester:

Do you have an irrigation system? You make it sound like you think he tapped in there. If so you could use an isolation valve to keep the water off unless its in use. With an automatic system, you could add in a main valve that's automatically turned on whenever any of your other valves are turned on.

On a less nefarious note, if you have an automatic irrigation system, did you consider you might have one or more leaks after the valves?

joecaption 07-01-2012 09:13 AM

If that was true, how come he's getting any water bill?

creeper 07-01-2012 09:35 AM

Tapping into your line is a serious accusation. You said the number stayed the same, but I think its a tiny arrow on the meter that will move even slightly if any water is being used.
Besides, aren't you charged only for usage that passes the meter inside the house?

Alan 07-01-2012 09:39 AM

Notice what time they get up for showers. Then shut it off during what you think would be about the middle of one, and see if anyone comes out of the house in the next 15-ish minutes.

Try the same thing when their irrigation system is on, and see if the sprinklers shut down.

The other thing you could do when they aren't home is to run one of their hose bibbs and see if it makes your meter spin.

CopperClad 07-01-2012 09:41 AM

Many numerous things it could be. How old is the home? You had it repiped? It was vacant, did hoodlums steal the copper? I just wanted you to be aware just because it was repiped doesn't mean there aren't any leaks,plenty of hacks out there. Where is your water heater? Do you have a basement? Where are you located? Do you have a swamp/evap cooler? Do you have automatic sprinklers? I don't see how someone can steal water from the back yard because the only time they would be stealing it is when the sprinklers were on. Turn your sprinklers on, peak over the fence and see if the neighbors sprinklers are on? The only way theft of water could happen IMO is in between the meter and your house. Theft of television cable, sure heard of that plenty of times. Stealing unprotected wifi, sure happens all the time. Stealing water?:) That is a new one to me and if indeed they are stealing the water and you find the source... Please, please take a photo and post it here. Good luck, and I hope you can get your problem resolved.

Javiles 07-01-2012 09:57 AM

I would recommend calling out a plumber and have him check the water service,a few simple test and he should at least know if your main has been tapped into, again youíll need an experienced plumber not a new age no nothing type of plumber that we have trashing the trade now a day, I have run across this over the years here in Miami, a good plumber will know with a couple simple test. If thatís the case youíll need to go back to the water company with your finds, if not then he should be able to determine the loss of water were its going. Youíll be surprised what will bring your water bill up. Good Luck

Lightfoot 07-01-2012 10:06 AM

since you say it's only during the summer months, if they are hooked in to your line, it could be for their pool. (since they still get a water bill of their own) If i were pretty sure that was happening, I'd find a way to hook up some type of leak detection dye to the line then watch where it shows up. It would be funny if their pool turned pee yellow. Then you'd know for sure. It's a pretty serious accusation, but if i were as sure as you sound like you are, i would not hesitate to spend money to find out, then take them to court. If they are doing what you suspect, it would piss me off to no end. I get mad for you, just thinking about it.

oh'mike 07-01-2012 10:17 AM

I returned to my house one morning--and found my neighbor sprinkling his lawn --using my outside hose bib---

These things happen---call that plumber--if your house checks out fine--get a security camera.

Lightfoot 07-01-2012 10:23 AM


Originally Posted by oh'mike (Post 955404)
I returned to my house one morning--and found my neighbor sprinkling his lawn --using my outside hose bib---

Mike, is said neighbor still alive?:laughing:

oh'mike 07-01-2012 11:36 AM

He also stole a lot of tools and gave me may good stories to tell--before his wife threw him out---

A true ,dyed in the wool,low life---

ofelia 07-01-2012 12:14 PM

I know this is a serious accusation but I just can't explain a $200+ water bill. When the guys from the water company came they looked around for any visible leaks and couldn't find any, they also said that I wasn't overwatering my yard because it is a little dry especially in the backyard, also the numbers and arrow did not move while they were here. They peaked over my neighbors fence and saw tools and a bucket filled with more tools and pvc pipes. They said it looked like he might know a little about plumbing and I have also seen him fixing his sprinklers. We do have an irrigation system in the front and back yard. We also had our pipes replaced after coming home from the hospital (3 days later) to a flooded house. The house was completely gutted and repiped. I don't think the neighbor hoodlum stole any copper pipes. I live near los angeles its a pretty safe area. My neighbor on the other hand thinks its ok to use our backyard as a drain and has pushed a pipe which drains his dirty pool water into our backyard and didn't seem to think we'd have a problem with this. My husband asked him to please stop but he has continued to do this I simply push the pipe back into his yard. From what you have all said it does sound like a hard thing for my neighbor to do so I will continue to look for any leaks and hire a plumber. Thanks for all of your advice.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:01 AM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1