How to Tell if You Have a Water Leak Underground

July 31, 2019
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Think you have an underground water leak?

If so, you don’t want to ignore it—a water leak can seriously damage your home and lead to costly repairs.

In this blog, we’ll share some common signs of underground water leaks (both inside and outside). We’ll also share a couple of sure-fire tests to know if you have an underground/hidden leak.

Of course, the easiest way to find the source of a leak is to have a plumber find it for you. If you’d like us to locate and repair your leak, call (210) 227-8358 or schedule an appointment online.

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If you notice the following signs, you might have an underground water leak in your home:

  • Noticeable drop in water pressure when using plumbing appliances
  • Hissing or splashing noises
  • Dirty or rusty water (although this could be due to another problem)
  • An increase of mold or water-loving insects in your home
  • Sewage smell or moldy odors
  • Steadily increasing water bill over the last few cycles (without any alteration in household water usage)

What to do if you notice these signs: Contact a professional for help ASAP. If left unchecked, you could risk severe water damage to your home.

If you notice the following signs, you might have an underground water leak in the pipes outside your home:

  • Wet spots in your lawn
  • Potholes or sinkholes
  • Sewage smells
  • One area of your lawn that is unusually green compared to the rest of your lawn
  • Cracking and breaking of paved areas (like a driveway or concrete slab)
  • Flooded water around a sprinkler head or water spurts between sprinklers
  • Steadily increasing water bill over the last few cycles (without any alteration in household water usage)

What to do if you notice these signs: Contact a professional for help ASAP. Outdoor water leaks can seriously hurt your lawn and even potentially damage your home’s foundation.

If you’ve noticed some of the signs we mentioned above and still want to verify you have a leak in your water line, we’ll share two easy ways to check.

1. How to test for a main water line leak

Follow these steps:

Step #1: Make sure no water is being used inside or outside your home (turn off all faucets).

Step #2: Locate your water meter (usually found in a box in front of your house near the street/sidewalk).

Step #3: Read your water meter. If you have a digital water meter, shine a light on the flow screen and see if it is flashing a number above zero. If it is, that means you have a leak. If you have an analog water meter, look for a small red triangular dial or a small silver wheel. If either one is moving, that indicates you have a leak.

Part B: How to determine if the water main leak is inside or outside of your home

Step #1: Locate your home’s water shutoff valve. You’ll typically find this valve in a garage, basement or outside wall.

Step #2: Close the valve, which will shut off the water supply to your house.

Step #3: Go back to your water meter. If the leak indicator stops moving, then you have a leak inside the house. If the leak indicator continues to move, then the leak is outside between the meter and the house.

2. How to test for a sewer line leak

To check for a sewer line leak outside your home, follow these steps:

Step #1: Get any kind of dye (can be food dye, clothing dye, etc.)

Step #2: Pour a few ounces of the dye down the toilet and flush it a few times.

Step #3: After 30–60 minutes, go to the part of your yard where you think the leak is (where there’s a pool of water, or the grass is greener). If the dye shows up, you have a leaky sewer line.

Note: This test only works leaks in the outdoor sewer line, not for sewer line leaks inside your home. If you think you have a sewer line leak inside, you’ll need to have a plumber perform a camera inspection to find the source of the leak.

Contact us today

We’ll quickly find the source of the leak and give you upfront prices on the cost to fix it. When you hire us you can rely on us to provide the best customer service possible—it’s no accident we’ve been around for over 100 years!


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