Water bill doubled, found water running out of pipe under house

The pipe where water is running out comes straight down through the floor, running to the ground. I turned the main water off at the meter and it slowed down to a dribble. It appears to be directly under where my electric water heater is. What is that pipe? Why would it run water out? What do I need to do from here without calling a plumber or spending the least amount of money. I want to DIY. I'm on a fixed income. Thanks for help. I would take a picture but it is too dark and don't have good enough camera.
  14 answers
  • Ranger Ranger on Mar 06, 2016
    I would ask any man - friend, neighbour, relation - they always know what to do. Is there a downpipe from any roof guttering (rainfall) that could flow that way? It could be fairly easy to redirect that. If you had the electric water heater put in, could those workmen have left a little something unfinished?
  • Sandy Sandy on Mar 06, 2016
    a plumber to diagnose the problem should not be very much. You don't have to let him fix anything. It might be cheaper in the long run to pin point it. (Asking friends and neighbors to have a look can't hurt.)
  • Bill B Bill B on Mar 06, 2016
    Shut off water just to see if it is the water heater. Could be the pressure relief valve on the heater or it could be a leak in the heater or it could be a busted pipe. Should be a valve near the heater. Any other questions email me at wbwb12345@gmail.com
    • Hess Hess on Mar 07, 2016
      @Thank You Bill B it was the valve relief . It had a pipe running from it through the floor onto the ground. Also found out my water will not shut off at the meter. I turned it off, I thought, and it kept running water to the tank and the valve was dumping water through pipe to the ground. So I can't fix valve until next week when they can fix their end. But they said I would still have to pay the bill. Just wonderful people to have a monopoly! Thanks for the help
  • Denny S Denny S on Mar 06, 2016
    It could be the pressure release valve
  • Susan N Susan N on Mar 06, 2016
    See if your town or county has any repair resource programs for residents on fixed incomes. You may be able to get an estimate and have the problem fixed for little or nothing. Try that first and if you have no luck, you can always call a plumber or a handyman. Be sure to ask friends and neighbors for referrals. Not all contractors are ethical...
  • Ray Phillips Ray Phillips on Mar 06, 2016
    As a retired (always tired) builder mu guess is a bad relief valve. when they go bad the water will run all the time. an easy fix turn off incoming valve and replace relief valve an turn water back on. hope this helps.
    • See 2 previous
    • Hess Hess on Mar 07, 2016
      @Ray Phillips I wish it was one there, but someone put no shutoff valves anywhere in this place. Not any of the 5 sinks, water heater, toilets, none what so ever. That's why I have to wait until the water department puts in a new meter and shutoff capability before I can do anything. Thanks anyway for that tip cause I didn't realize that until this problem occured.
  • R Walter R Walter on Mar 06, 2016
    Could either be the drain on the relief valve or if you have a pan under the hot water heater, could be from that drain. A good handyman could assess and possibly fix the relief valve if that is the problem. If it is coming from the drain pan if one is present, that would require replacing the tank. If you can see the pan that the heater sits in and it contains water that is likely the culprit. I have seen heaters replaced several times and if you have soldered pipe joints and are familiar with that type repair, and can lift the tank into position, it is simple to do. I installed an electrical cut off, with the help of my brother, and saved over $200 on the quote the plumber gave me to install one. Parts cost about $20. and my labor was not included because I leaned a new skill in doing it my self. Just make sure the electrical is off before attempting any repairs.
  • Bobbie Littlefield Bobbie Littlefield on Mar 06, 2016
    You should have homeowners insurance (and/or title insurance) which should help ID what the problem is and may provide funding/professionals to have it repaired. The co-pay for mine is only $75 - well worth the cost!
  • Barbara C Barbara C on Mar 06, 2016
    That little pipe is keeping the water from running into your house.It is doing it's job.
  • 861650 861650 on Mar 06, 2016
    Please check to see if you have "Senior Services" in your town. Most do and they can assist you in many ways. Some Ministries and churches will help you as well.
  • Elwanna Elwanna on Mar 08, 2016
    Make sure your pipes are wrapped under your house. Could be a broken pipe due to a freeze? You are brave to try and fix this yourself. Wish you an easy venture with this.
    • Hess Hess on Mar 08, 2016
      @Thank You Elwanna thanks for responding and good wishes.
  • Susan S Susan S on Mar 09, 2016
    Remember to drain your hot water heater. Hot water has more sediment and should be drained at least twice a year.
    • Elwanna Elwanna on Mar 09, 2016
      @Susan S I'm a real estate broker and I never knew this Susan. Really thank you so much. I assume when it is drained the sediment comes out each time. Amazing. I can't believe not one contractor has relayed this to me in 24 years. It totally makes sense.
  • Susan S Susan S on Mar 16, 2016
    That's funny you told me that you are an RE agent...that's why and where I learned this tid bit. I spent 20 years peddling dirt in Los Angeles area. Maybe the inspectors and contractors think why bother to tell you that since it would be covered under the HBPlan if something goes wrong.
  • Susan S Susan S on Mar 16, 2016
    But, then I have found the RE laws governing in Ca are more comprehensive than in TX
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