Water flow rates?

A friend of mine has a son who is being sued because of his leaky toilet in his apartment. It is a commercial toilet with no tank. They said it was running and he never told management to fix it. They had since repaired it. The last month of usage for the apartment building was 105,800 gallons. The month in question was 1,232,400 gallons or an increase of 1,126,200 gallons. This is about 26 gallons per minute.

I am trying to help him come up with some analogies of this equivalent flow rate. I don't know the pipe size but what would the line pressure be to accommodate that type of flow for a given diameter pipe running at full capacity? Would that pressure be too high for a water line with municipal water service?

The conservation toilets flush 1.6 gallons so I was thinking this would have to flush 16 times per minute or running wide out.

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Dear gtslabs:

If they don't have a water meter on his apartment, they don't have a case.

1 inch would do this without too much line loss. 1/2 inch would do this, assuming it was pretty short and straight, but it would kill all of 30 psi or so.

These can be from 80 to 100 psi. Usually regulated down in an apartment building to about 30 psi at the floor.

I'd seek a lawyer.

David A. Smith

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N:dlzc D:aol T:com (dlzc)

I doubt that the toilet was running wide open for the entire month.....unless the friend's son is pretty tolerant of noise. A flow of rate of 26 gpm 24/7 would be pretty lound (esp at night)

A very healthy garden hose flow, wind open, is about 10 gpm max.

Can anyone prove how long the toilet was leaking? What about other leaks in the building? Does the landscaping have sprinklers? Could other leak sources have caused the loss?

They must have come to investigate the huge jump in usage

Is the son totally unaware of his surroundings?

Could the toilet have actually been gushing water down the sewer 24/7 for a month?

If so, he had a responsibility to inform the landlord / landlord rep about the leak to prevent the loss.

A leaky toilet is one thing.......a gusher is another.

At high water rates ($$$ / People's Republic of Berkeley), we're talking about something in the range of $5000. At cheaper rates, maybe a few $1000's. At really cheap rates just over a $1000.

Negotiate, cut a deal.....cheaper than an attorney by a bunch.


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I ran into this video today. I thought it might be appropriate to this topic:

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how many cats in the building I wonder ...

David A. Smith

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