How to Find a Water Leak Underground

underground water leak

No one wants to deal with leaks. They damage your home, waste water, and run up your water bill. On top of all that, they’re hard to find. As frustrating as pipe leaks are, few are as irritating as underground leaks.

Underground leaks are usually linked to your sewer line or water main line. This makes most underground leaks pretty serious. Fortunately, knowing how to find a leak can help you avoid costly repairs and replacements.

If you want to learn how to find a water leak underground, keep reading for some guidance. If you find a leak, contact your local Mr. Rooter® Plumbing immediately and let the pros take it from there.

Learn more about finding underground leaks and get the answer to an important frequently asked question about this issue:

3 Methods for Finding Underground Water Leaks

Unlike pipe leaks inside the home, underground leaks typically show minimal signs. You can’t rely on common leak-finding techniques like listening for dripping sounds and keeping an eye out for wet spots.

Because of this, underground leaks often go undiscovered for weeks. Still, there are a few ways to identify an underground water leak:

1. Check Your Water Meter and Water Bill

Check your water meter while your home’s main water valve is off. Any water flow measured while the main is shut off indicates an underground leak. Your water meter is usually located near the edge of your property. Once you’ve located it, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the water in your home using the main water shut-off valve. This valve is usually located near the water main.
  • Find the leak indicator on your water meter. It’s usually a small red, white, or blue triangle. The indicator spins when the house is using water. If you shut off all water to the home, the triangle should be still. If it’s spinning, you have a leak underground.
  • If your meter has no leak indicator, write down the current meter reading, then leave the main valve off for 30 to 60 minutes. Then, go back to record the meter reading again. If the reading changes while the water is shut off, you have a leak underground.

Typically, the first thing you will notice with underground leaks is increased water bill costs. This increase may happen gradually over several billing cycles or suddenly in one month.

2. Inspect the Ground Near Your Water Main

Sometimes, there will be no increase in your water bill. In a case like this, look for the following signs of underground leaks:

  • An area of unusually wet soil in your yard.
  • An area of thick vegetation or grass that is growing faster than surrounding areas.
  • Sinkholes in your yard.
  • A noticeable decrease in water pressure or flow volume.
  • Rust, dirt, or air in the water supply.

There are other possible reasons for this issue, but an underground leak is most likely.

3. Hire a Professional to Inspect Your Property

Spotting an underground leak isn’t easy, but hiring a professional can help you find the leak quickly. A professional plumber can identify the exact location of the leak using technologies like sewer cameras. Once they’ve found it, they’ll provide you with an action plan and a quote.

Underground Water Leak FAQs

What are the common causes of underground water leaks?

Even if you fix an underground leak, you may not have fixed the root cause of the issue. Here are five of the most common causes of an underground water leak:

  • Corrosion: Over the years, most pipes will start to break down. This generally takes a very long time, sometimes more than fifty years. If your pipes wear down due to corrosion, you need to inspect your whole plumbing system.
  • Excessive water pressure: High water pressure isn’t good for your pipes. If the water pressure in your main water line or sewer line exceeds the pipes’ limits, they may burst. Regularly check your water pressure to ensure it’s within the recommended limits.
  • Tree roots: Even if you don’t have a tree right next to your water line, its roots can still cause problems. Tree roots are notoriously persistent in their search for water. They’ll eventually crack open your water line if they have the time and opportunity. Unfortunately, the only way to fix this issue is to get rid of the tree that caused the damage.
  • Seismic activity and ground movement: Sometimes, a water main is installed while the ground is still settling after construction. Ground movement may apply enough force to break the pipe. Earthquakes can also break pipes.
  • Clogs: If you routinely flush baby wipes or pour grease into your drain, you might run into a sewer line clog. You can avoid this issue by only putting liquids down your drains and using your garbage disposal properly.

Call Mr. Rooter Plumbing for Expert Underground Leak Repairs

When it comes to finding underground water leaks, delaying action only leads to wasted water and money. You can count on the team of experts at your local Mr. Rooter Plumbing for reliable water leak detection services. We have the tools and experience to identify the source of your underground leak and quickly make any necessary repairs.

Call your local Mr. Rooter Plumbing or request a job estimate online for water leak detection and repair services.