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How can A and B be connected if there's nothing to connect them?
February 15, 2009 5:58 PM   Subscribe

When our pool equipment runs, it triggers the sound of a leaky pipe in a wall adjacent to our hot water heater. By triggering the valve on the hot water heater when the water to the house is off, I can stop the noise. How can I fix this?

This is a very odd situation. So here's the detail:
1. House is slab foundation.
2. Pool equipment is outside kind of far from the hot water heater. No house plumbing connects to the pool equipment. The only common link between the pool equipment and rest of the house workings I can find is electricity, via a fuse box.
3. When the pool equipment goes on, it triggers the sound of a leaky pipe in the wall where the hot water heater is adjacent to. Minimal water appears on the floor after several hours on the hot water heater side of the wall, but no other water indicates any kind of leak.
4. If you turn off the water to the house at the street, the sound in the wall stops.
5. If you fiddle with the pressure release valve on the hot water heater while the water to the house is off, you stop the noise in the wall. Pool equipment must be off.
6. If you fiddle with the pressure release valve on the hot water heater while the water to the house is on, the noise doesn't stop.

We've had a plumber out, it's driving us a little crazy. These two things just don't seem connected. Am I grasping at straws? What other things should I check? It seems to coincidental to me, since the water system of the house isn't connected to the pool equipment.
posted by pokeedog to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
 
open the wall
posted by patnok at 6:12 PM on February 15, 2009


Yeah, definitely open the wall. There's no way around this, since you're going to have to repair an obvious leak of some sort in this location.
posted by orme at 6:21 PM on February 15, 2009


We're trying to avoid opening the wall because it will likely require we disconnect the hot water heater. That requires permits and no water for a few days...
posted by pokeedog at 6:36 PM on February 15, 2009


"2. Pool equipment is outside kind of far from the hot water heater. No house plumbing connects to the pool equipment."

How do you fill the pool? hose? or my guess, a float valve in a pit by the pool (connected to the house water?).
When the pool filtering comes on and fills the filter, the pool level drops and float valve starts "leaking" water into pool.
If you depressurize the house the "leak" sound stops, #3 #4 #5 and #6 check.

If a pool float/auto fill valve was installed in the pool deck where the valve was at pool water level there would then need to be a back flow prevention device at the source.

My wild guess is someone hid a back flow preventer in your wall, and it's leaking when the pool auto fill draws water.

Open the wall.
Permits to disconnect, explore and reconnect? whhhhhaat? 5-7 hours, less if you don't want pretty (barring crazy plumber surprise plate. ymmv).
posted by blink_left at 8:27 PM on February 15, 2009


Blink I think you're on to something, we're calling the pool guy today. Yes, permits are required to disconnect the water heater, it's gas. Our city requires permits for the installation of hot water heaters. I'm not going to risk removing/reinstalling without permits, we got caught by the city before (and it's a f***in' nightmare).
posted by pokeedog at 6:18 AM on February 16, 2009


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