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Loosing 50 gallons of water per day

sawyermgmt Member Posts: 1
I manage a 40 unit condo property comprised of 3 buildings with one steam boiler heating all 3 buildings. We have a meter connected to the water feed to the boiler system to periodically check for undetected leaks. Recently we have noticed that the system is using approximately 40 -50 gallons of water per day. That's right per day!! We have thoroughly checked all areas of the 3 buildings looking for obvious signs of water but have not found anything. This now leads us to believe that somewhere in the 3 buildings under the concrete slab floor their is the possibility of a return line leak. We think that if there is a leak in an underground return line that the opening in the pipe is probably pointing towards the ground under the concrete slab allowing the water to be absorbed by the dirt and thus not being detectable anywhere else in the 3 buildings.
I am at a loss as to what to do. someone mentioned hiring a leak detection company. I have never used this type of service nor do I know any reputable company that performs this type of service in the Boston area.
Any suggestion's on locating the leak or finding a company that could do this would be greatly appreciated.



  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,402
    I located a leaking underground return line with a baby IR camera. Works best from a cold start though, to give you the highest ΔT to look for.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,091
    Yike! That much loss amounts to almost a total loss of return from one of the buildings. How do the building returns tie in in the boiler area? Is there a possibility that you could figure out a way to monitor the return from each building individually? That might help narrow down your search.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,573
    edited January 2017
    Thank god for makeup feed water meters!
    Is there a lot of steam exiting the chimney, indicating a boiler leak?
    Are these buildings separated from each other, or side by side?
    Are the pipes running in a duct of some sort or just buried in the earth?
    That amount of water loss should eventually run along the pipe, and wet the basement wall around the pipe.
    If they are of sufficient size, and straight, maybe a sewer line inspection camera would find the leak location.
    A new return could be run on top of the floor.--NBC