No home or business owner wants to deal with leaks, but they do happen. Underground leaks can be cumbersome but ignoring them too long can cause more damage in the long run.
Signs You Have an Underground Leak
There are a few warning signs to look for that might suggest you have an underground water leak. A big indicator is a notable jump in your water usage and bill. To help you confirm that suspicion, here are some other things to look out for:
- Low water pressure inside the building, outside water bibs, or both.
- Puddles of water in the yard.
- Damp or muddy soil around the home, even if it hasn’t rained.
- Flooring or walls that are damp.
- New foundation cracks.
Causes of Underground Leaks
There are many causes of underground water leaks, as your water pipes are subject to a variety of conditions that can affect their integrity over time. Some reasons your water line can crack or leak include the following:
- Increased friction on the water line.
- Soil or pipe corrosion.
- Terrain shift.
- Water chemistry.
- Lines were poorly installed.
- Inferior quality pipe material.
- Water pipes are 15 years or older.
All these scenarios can put additional strain on your water lines, initiating a break, which ultimately causes a leak. These conditions can also cause little pinholes in your water lines that eventually become larger holes, seeping water into the soil surrounding your business or home.
How To Diagnose an Underground Leak
Knowing how to diagnose an underground leak can help you quickly get this leak repaired so you don’t incur any additional fees or ramp up your water bill. Here’s how you can diagnose an underground water leak before getting the leak repaired:
- Shut off every faucet: Shut off every item that uses water, including the ice machine in your fridge and that drip irrigation system in the backyard. Another idea is to shut off the main water valve to your home, which is usually near your water meter.
- Find your water meter: Search around your property for the meter, which is usually encased in a protective box. Sometimes, water, gravel, dirt, or even little critters might be in the box, so be prepared to get a bit dirty when you uncover the meter.
- Leave the water off: After you find and turn off your water line and all the faucets in the house, leave them off for a minimum of 30 minutes. This can help you determine if you have an actual underground water leak or if the problem is something inside the house.
- Make a note of any usage: During this shut-off time, if your water meter detects any changes in usage, it’s a good idea to track it, as this can indicate that you have an underground leak. If there’s no change during this shut-off time, the culprit is likely something in your home, such as a leaky faucet or running toilet.
If there are changes to your water meter when everything is shut off, then it’s time to call an expert. They can help pinpoint where the leak is and fix it.
Repair Options for Underground Leaks
There are a few options for repairing an underground leak. You can call in an expert or try to fix the leak yourself. Calling an expert to help you with your leak can ensure that the repair is done right the first time, and the chances of causing additional leaks or damage are greatly reduced. Here are some of the various repair options one of our experts might recommend.
Trenchless Water Line Repair
Depending on where your leak is and how bad it is, some repair professionals might recommend a trenchless water line repair. This means you don’t have to dig up your yard just to access the leak and repair it. Modern technology allows technicians to access your leaky pipe and insert a new seamless pipe within the old one.
Underground Water Line Repair
Sometimes, a trenchless repair isn’t an option. Going the more traditional route means digging up where the leak is to access the broken or leaking pipe. Then, the repair expert can cut out the damaged section and install a new section to your water line. When it’s all sealed and tested, the displaced soil and aggregate are replaced, and eventually, you’ll have your yard back. This more invasive method takes time for your landscaping and surrounding environment to recover, but it effectively takes care of your underground leak.
How Zest Plumbing Can Help
If you live in the Phoenix Valley area, there are many ways that we can help. Since an underground leak can come from multiple sources, we can do a plumbing inspection to help root out where your leak is coming from. We can also perform a sewer camera inspection that can help find leaks and check the overall condition of your sewer lines. Other things we can help to maintain the health of your water and sewage lines include the following:
- Slab leak detection and repairs.
- Water pipe lining and leak detection.
- Faucet and toilet installation and repairs.
- Gas leak detection and repair.
- Pressure-reducing valve installation.
Do You Have an Underground Leak That Needs Repair?
If you think you might have an underground leak, or one of any kind, it’s best to get a start on detection and repair sooner rather than later. This can prevent more costly repairs in the future. Zest Plumbing and Drain can help you with your leak needs quickly and have the knowledge and expertise to fix your pipes right the first time. Contact us today to see how we can help. We look forward to helping you out.