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How Does a Plumber Find a Water Leak Underground?

Do you suspect an underground water leak in your home? Call Champion Plumbing immediately at 405-504-3649 for a fast solution.

Water leaks are already bad enough when you can see them. Over a short period, such leaks can cause a range of problems, including mold growth, wood rot, and more. Now, imagine when you can’t see the leaks.

Burst pipes underground waste your water, but they can cause even more serious damage depending on the size of the leak and the position. How does a plumber find a water leak underground? How do you even know it’s time to call in a plumber?

As the number one choice for dependable water leak repair in Edmond, OK, we have the answers.

What Causes Underground Leaks?

Underground pipes leak when there are small punctures in them. The causes of these punctures are usually external, but the pipe’s makeup can also contribute to leaks over time. Some of the most common causes of underground leaks we see include:

Wandering Roots

Trees need water to survive, and the roots will hunt down a water source wherever it might be. A tiny pinhole leak is all it takes to make the underground pipe attractive to tree roots. Once the roots pick up the trail, they will continue to grow in that direction until you have more serious leaks on your hands.

Pipe Corrosion

Corrosion is a common problem with copper pipes. Once pipes corrode, they become brittle and weak. Some of the common causes of corrosion include:

  • Distortion in pH levels
  • Oxidation
  • The use of drain-cleaning chemicals
  • Abnormal water pressure

A corroded pipe is more prone to pipe bursts and damage from external elements. You should also keep in mind that although old pipes are the most likely to corrode, new ones can also corrode with enough triggers acting on them.

External Factors

The fact that these pipes are underground and at the mercy of the elements is enough to put pressure on them. Other factors like ground movement, construction work above, and sharp temperature swings can all trigger leaks somewhere in your pipework.

Signs of an Underground Leak

If you’re asking, “How does a plumber find a water leak underground?” it means you suspect that something is wrong.

It may take a while to know that you have an underground leak, but there are some signs that should call your attention to a problem somewhere.

Water Meter Running

The water meter test is one of the simplest ways to confirm a potential leak on your property. It’s simple: Turn off all the water outlets in your home, making sure there are no faucets running.

Check appliances that use water, such as the dishwasher, washing machine, toilets, and filter systems, to ensure they are not running. Next, go to your water meter and see if it changes. If you see a change after a few seconds of looking, it’s a sign of a serious leak.

If you see a change within a few minutes, it means you don’t have a heavy leak, but you still need to wait up to thirty minutes to confirm. If the water meter changes within this timeframe without anyone using the faucets or flushing the toilets, it shows you have a slow leak underground.

 Low Water Pressure

Have you noticed a sudden decrease in water pressure within your home? That’s one of the biggest signs of a water leak within your home. Even if the drop in pressure isn’t too drastic, it still indicates you have a leak.

If the water pressure issue is only noticeable on one faucet, it shows a problem with that particular fixture. However, if the problem is widespread across your home, it’s a strong indicator of an underground leak.

Sudden Rise in Water Bills

Your water bill can alert you to a leak. In most cases, you’ll receive a consistent water bill for months with negligible variation in the numbers. However, if you suddenly get a water bill that’s 15% more than the previous month without any change in your water usage habits, it’s a sign of a bigger problem.

Water Pooling Across Your Yard

If you suddenly find muddy patches, puddles, and water runoff that seems to come from nowhere, it’s a sign that you have a serious leak. The puddles also give you some idea of where to look for the leak.

How Plumbers Find Underground Leaks with Pinpoint Accuracy

The methods we’ve looked at above are all good indicators of an underground leak; however, they are not foolproof. If you see some of the signs above, the best thing to do is to call a plumber for a definitive diagnosis. So, how does a plumber find a water leak underground?

Use of an Infrared Camera

Infrared cameras are good at detecting moisture beneath the surface and can pick up on underground leaks easily. The camera detects temperature changes around specific areas, helping the plumber to see the exact location of the leak.

There won’t be any need to dig up large areas of land to find the leak location.

Acoustic Listening Devices

A professional plumber can detect water leaks by listening with special acoustic equipment strong enough to detect even the faintest underground water runoff several feet below the ground.

It’s almost impossible for a qualified plumber to miss underground leaks with the combination of these types of equipment and the visual signs we have discussed above.

Get Expert Help for Your Underground Leaks Today

Now you know the answer to “How does a plumber find a water leak underground?” do you know a plumber with the right gear for the job? That’s where we come in.

We have state-of-the-art equipment to detect underground leaks with impeccable accuracy. Once we have the leak location, we’ll devise the least intrusive plan to fix it.

Call the Champion Plumbing team in Edmund, OK, today at 405-504-3649 to discuss your underground leak or get answers to your plumbing questions.

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The next time you need a plumbing contractor, call Champion Plumbing if you’re in the Edmond, OK area at 405-342-3571 and give us the chance to earn your business.