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How To Detect A Leak Underground

How To Find A Hidden Water Leak

A sewer line aims to transport wastewater through a plumbing system effectively. When there is a pipe leak, it can cause water damage and potential health conditions for those inside the building. Water leak detection is complex since sewer lines are typically found underground. Experts share the signs of an underground leak in this blog and how plumbers can fix them. 

Secret Signs of A Water Line Leak

water bill

A sewer line can leak for a few different reasons. The outdoor environment may impact the seams and joints of pipes depending on where the line is located. Tree roots are one possible cause of cracking. 

Clogged pipes are another common cause of underground water leaks. Severely clogged sewer pipes affect the water flow over time, creating immense pressure and causing pipes to break. Regular maintenance can often detect potential problems before a sewer leak occurs.

Running Water

The sound of constantly running or dripping water can be a sign. This may be trickier to detect, considering water noises can easily blend into the background. It may be more difficult to notice if a house is located in a rural area.

Tenants are advised to turn off faucets and check toilets. Running water that can be heard in the walls or ceiling indicates a sewer line leak. Hidden leak repair is not solely based on running water, but it is a significant clue. 

Changes in Water Colour

Although tap water is not necessarily pure, its color should be clear. Water that has a reddish hue may be due to rust or chemical build-up on the actual faucet. Water that is brown or has a green tint is generally due to plumbing issues that do not relate to the structure of the sink. Corroded pipes made of copper can also turn the tap water green. Regardless of the exact reason for the color change, it is likely due to a plumbing problem.

Slow Drainage

One way to detect a leak underground is to pay attention to above-ground changes. Monitoring sink drains one way to do this. Hair, soap, and food can cause significant buildup over time. If a sink is slow to drain, this is likely from a blockage in the pipe. If the sink drains at a languid pace, this can signify pipe leakage. 

Unusual Odours

An unexplained odor is usually the first noticeable sign of a water leak. If this leak comes from a sewer line, the scent smells similar to eggs or sulfur. This can occur in multiple house areas and is not restricted to under the sink or in the bathroom.

Hidden plumbing leaks release sewage gas into the air. If inhaled over long periods, this may cause health-related issues. This smell strongly indicates sewer line leakage for newer houses that no longer use natural gas for heating fuel. The pipes have already been compromised by the time tenants smell sewage gas. It is essential to call a professional to reduce the chances of further damage. 

Sagging Floors

Not only are sinks and bathrooms at risk of malfunctioning from an underground leak, but so are walls and floors. Squishy carpets may be a sign of hidden sewer leaks.

Leaks that occur in the slab foundation of a building are known to cause water to seep upward. This is especially true with concrete foundations. Floors compromised by sewer line leaks may eventually sag from water pressure, causing the foot to bend or rot. This does not necessarily mean the floor will need to be replaced, but it does signify the sewer line should, at the very least, be examined. 

How To Monitor The Water Meter

A water meter helps tenants measure how much water is used regularly. The water meter should register at zero if all appliances are turned off. If all devices are turned off and the meter is still running, this is a sign of faulty plumbing. 

Instead of shutting off every individual appliance, many homeowners and tenants use the main shut-off valve. Although each home is different, many main water valves are found in the basement or garage. Other access points include closets where the water heater is located or near the kitchen sink. 

Fixing an Underground Leak

professionalUnderground water pipes are difficult to access without the right equipment. To examine the sewer line for leaks, trained professionals use specific techniques to access underground pipes.

Helium leak detection equipment is often used to track pressure. Gas will travel directly into the crack by pumping helium into the pipe. Infrared equipment can also locate a leak through drywall and concrete.

Plumbers also frequently use electronic listening devices to locate running water. This tool is similar to a stethoscope in its ability to hear highly soft noises. This method is a quick way to spot a leak without deconstructing a building or yard. 

Without the proper training and equipment, it is tough to find the exact location of an underground line leak, much less repair it. Hiring a licensed technician for underground plumbing is recommended. 

About Guardian Plumbing and Drain

Guardian Plumbing and Drain are committed to the safety and comfort of its neighbors in Cobourg, ON, and the surrounding areas. They provide same-day service, free estimates, and offer various options to fit every homeowner's needs and budget. Call them today for sewer line repair or replacement in Cobourg, ON.  


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