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Need help with a mystery.


sepefrio
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Went over to a friends house today for a quick look at a problem they said they had. They report they found puddles of water in two locations. One in the front of the house about center and the other in the rear of the house closer to the corner.

When I got there, the water was gone. I went into the crawlspace, and found LOTS of water (about 2"standing over a 20-30sqft area) and mud. I use a cut off paint roller ground down to a semi flat end to swipe away spider webs and stuff. I stuck in into the ground and with almost no effort it suck all the way in, almost 2ft. So there is a lot of DEEP mud. This also tells me the water problem has been going on for a long while and the ground there is saturated.

I followed every pipe, vent and wire in the whole crawl space and no leaks found. BTW, I had turned on the water all over he house, every fauct, shower, even the dishwasher and washer machine. I had the owner flush the toilets too. Nothing found.

Then while looking at the main AC trunk, I noticed it sagging and wavey. I stuck my knife into it and it was like I turned on a faucet. I know the insulation can absorb water and that is the most likely caue here, but I double checked anyways. No pipes of any sort are run through the ducting, none near it are leaking.

Now, one thing I did notice is that there are water channels caused by erosion. I'm sure if I took a water hose and ran it at either spot of the puddles the owner found last night, that eventually it would follow these channels and flow to the other side. So I think it's just one leak spreading both ways.

This was just a friend stopping by real quick to help another friend and we both had places to be. As I was cleaning up, she mentioned that when she runs the pool pump, after about 45 minutes, water starts to bubble up from in between the expansion join of the concrete patio between the pump and the pool.

This last bit, combined with all the water makes me think the line for the pool pump may be broken underground. I said I would return later and look again, this time we would run the pump.

But I'd like to ask for "it could be this" or "Check for that" comments. I honestly believe it is an underground issue and beyond my ability. But maybe one of you have had something similar.

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Hi,

Did you check to see if the water meter was spinning at full speed?

It sounds like you've got two issues; underground water (either from a broken pool circulator or a pool leak or from a broken supply line between the meter and the house) and a clogged/overflowing drainpan under the A-coil that's allowing water to drain into the ducting.

Of course, my mother and sister lived in VB for about 18 years and I know that the water table is very high in the ground there; has it been raining a lot lately? If it's in a neighborhood where the homes are fairly close together, check the meters at the properties on either side to see if those meters are constantly running.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Actually the meter is running, forgot to mention that, and we made sure the everything was turned off, no toilets filling etc. Didn't check the neighbors. I also told them to get the last years worth of utility bills so we can look for a sharp increase.

hasn't rained here in about 10 days, but we are about to get blasted with a 2 day nor easter.

After I typed this, I'm sitting here thinking, can the pool be using city water? (I don't know squat about pools except they mean drink more beer) If the pump had a leak, then the pool would be constantly filling too no?

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Hi,

I don't know much about pools either; there's a huge one about 20 miles long and two miles wide about a quarter mile from my door. If I need to go swimming, I drive over there. That said, aren't some pools equipped with an auto-fill device that's supposed to replace water lost due to evaporation or a small leak? If so, bet that's the water.

Here's my theory. Something broke below ground and water perked up to the surface until the ground beneath the leak became fully saturated and began to accept water more readily. At that point, the surface water drained into the ground and now the broken line is saturating the soil. Tell her to go outside, turn off the meter, and call a plumber and request he get over there stat.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I'd ask how often she has to top off the pool. If it's not that often then you can rule that out as the source of at least some of the water. If she adds water a little to frequently, you might guess that the pool is contributing to the problem.

I would guess the latter, since running the pump causes ground water to move (you have at least a small leak there) and she called you instead of a pool company. Most people will know when their pool is leaking enough to flood their yard.

Tom

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