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Leak in Galvanized plumbing

After a couple of months of an extremely high water bill, it appears we have a leak in our galvanized plumbing. The house was built in 1942 and has plumbing partially buried in a crawl space.

According to the plumber either the leak is from the main water line or under the house. The plumber is unsure of the location of the leak. I haven't noticed any puddling of water in the yard so I'm guess that the leak is likely under our house.

The plumber is supposed to come out again next week to provide an estimate for repair. He mentioned that we might have to have all the plumbing completely replaced since the galvanized plumbing is so old. Isn't that going to be difficult (and expensive!)since it's in a crawl space and will need to be excavated?

I was hoping for some opinions? I guess I'll call another plumber for a second opinion - but I thought I'd post here for further insight. Thanks for any advice!


Re: Leak in Galvanized plumbing

Find an infrared thermographer we can find water leaks.I find them all the time in Charlotte.Your pipes may need replacing but you still need to find the problem. Some plumbers have bore scopes and infrared and ultra-sound.You can call a leak detection company they are all over.Either way if the plumber needs to replace everything it would but their advantage to know where the pipes are and any leaks.

A. Spruce
Re: Leak in Galvanized plumbing

The cost of pipe replacement will depend on the design of the house and how thorough the replacement job is. If the house is a single story with 90% of the pipes accessible from the crawl space and the crawl space pipes are the only things replaced, then it won't be that bad. However, if you want the sections within the walls replaced as well, then you'll have interior wall repairs as well as the added pipe replacement. Another determining factor will be whether the repipe is done in CPVC, PEX, or copper. When you say you have to excavate the crawl space, is this to have physical access to the area or to unearth some of the pipe in question? Minor digging to get to a single pipe is no big deal, excavating 6 inches, or more, dirt from under the structure is a job unto itself. I agree with Infraredsurvey that the leak should be found BEFORE any decision to repipe is made. From your description it sounds more like the plumber is hoping the repipe will cure the leak, rather than knowing where the leak is and what caused it. Definitely get a second and a third opinion with a written estimate. You can kill several birds with one stone by not only requesting cost analysis for the leak repair, but a potential repipe as well, with all associated cost and work outlined (excavation, interior access/repair, etc )

Re: Leak in Galvanized plumbing

Thank you for your responses!

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