Leaking water lines can be somewhat tricky to diagnose. Unresolved problems with your water line can cause your utility bill to spike or leave damage to your property. But how do you know you’re having a problem? People usually don’t know they have a problem unless they can physically see or hear water running without explanation. There are a variety ways to test your water line system to determine if and potentially where the leak or break is occurring.
The most obvious sign you’re water line is leaking or broken is going to be a surfacing of water in your yard or home. If you suspect a leak and your grass is looking healthier in one particular area rather than the rest, there’s probably a good chance that is where the leak is occurring. Other signs include wet swampy areas in your yard that you cannot explain, culverts or sinkholes forming as well as water running down sidewalks or a driveway. If you don’t suspect that a water line is broken outside, look for wet spots in your home. Check all facilities such as sinks, toilets and tubs for discolored or wet areas which could be associated with a leaking pipe. Other common signs of leaking pipes are ceiling rings or wet drywall. Leaks can cause a lot of damage to your home including your foundation. If you notice any of these signs, you should probably call a licensed plumber to assess the situation. Another avenue to diagnosing or simply finding your water line leak is contacting American Leak Detection services. The team at American Leak Detection has over 40 years of experience finding water leaks in hard to diagnose areas like your pool, under basement slabs and large properties with long service lines. It never hurts to contact a professional to diagnose and identify water line issues before things go from bad to worse.
Look Inside for Leaks
So what if you can’t see any signs of a leak? It’s not uncommon to receive a high water bill with no real evidence of excessive water usage. Investigative work will need to be done in order to isolate and determine where the leak might be coming from. The first step is to measure the water meter. Water meters are typically located in your basement where the water line comes into the foundation. Some water meters have flow indicator dials that can detect small amounts of water running through pipes. If you don’t have a meter with a low flow indicator, you will have to take periodic readings of the water meter. It is important to refrain from using any water in order to get an accurate reading from your water meter. If your water meter is not located inside then there is a good chance it is buried on the edge of your property in something referred to as a curb box. If that is the case you can call your local utility company to come out and assess if there is a leak and potentially where it might be located.
Another proactive step you can take is turning your water off where it enters the house. Turning the water off can determine whether or not the leak is happening from the main service line or plumbing in your household. If you hear water running after you have slowly closed the shut-off valve then the water leak has been isolated. This could indicate a leak could be coming from the main service line. If you shut the water off to your home and there is no sound of running water then the leak could potentially be from one of several facilities in your home like a toilet, sink, tub, etc. This can be further tested by turning on a faucet and draining the water out of the lines with the water shut off at the point of entry. If you still hear water running with your lines drained then more than likely you have a service line leak.
Technology to Prevent Disaster
There are preventive steps you can take to identify and prevent water leaks from getting out of control. There are electronic flow meters on the market that will alert you when a water line leak is detected, some will even shut off the water if a leak or break is detected. Flow meters will also detect water temperature and pressure. These meters will send messages to your smartphone via wifi to alert you if it detects a loss in pressure. There is obviously a cost associated with this piece of technology but it can outweigh the costs of damage caused by water line breaks. These detection devices can be installed fairly easily by cutting and attaching the meter to the existing pipe. All that’s required is an AC outlet to plug in the device. These meters are typically fully weather-proofed so they can be installed inside or outside.
If you think you may have a water line problem, don’t hesitate, give us a call at 412-283-4478 or schedule an appointment by clicking here. There are also tons of blogs on plumbing-related problems posted on our Resource section. Please feel free to check out our reviews on Google and remember, “There’s no charge if not resolved, call Mister Sewer problem solved.”