A water leak in an outdoor supply line to your home can go undetected for days, if not weeks, if you aren't vigilant. This can lead to increased water bills and a higher repair bill, since an undetected leak also usually results in more damage. The following guide can help you quickly confirm and locate an outdoor leak if you suspect a problem.
Check the meter
Begin with a meter check to make sure there really is a leak at your home. The process is simple. Turn off everything in the home that uses water. Don't overlook items that draw water quietly in the background, such as refrigerator ice makers or some swamp cooler models. Once everything is off, check the meter and note the reading. Now, leave the house for an hour or two to ensure that no water is used. When you return, check the meter a second time. If water usage occurred with everything turned off, you can be reasonably assured that you have a leak.
Track down the water lines
If you are lucky, you will be able to trace where the water lines connect to the house. First, determine where they connect to the main line. You can usually do this by locating the manhole access cover in the street or a small pipe-size access in the street or near the sidewalk. Once you have this location, find where the pipe connects to your home. This is often at or near the meter box. This will give you a general area to look for leaks.
Walk the yard
You only have a narrow area to walk if you can trace the water line, otherwise you will need to carefully inspect your entire yard. You are looking for signs of leaks. This includes wet spongy or swampy areas, areas with increased fungal or grass growth, or areas that sink easily when you step on them. If you find areas like this, you either have a water leak in the spot or a drainage problem.
Get a leak inspection
Now that you have verified the leak and that it is in the external supply pipe, it's time for a leak inspection. A plumber will send a camera down the pipe to pinpoint the exact spot of the leak. Then, only that area of the lawn needs to be dug up so that the pipe can be repaired. In some cases, the entire pipe could be old and damaged, which means you will need a replacement instead of a repair.
For more information, contact A Absolute Plumbing & Heating or a similar company.