How To Detect A Water Main Leak

March 21, 2023 2:30 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

How To Detect A Water Main Leak

Our homes rely on water as long as it’s safely contained in a pipe, sink, tub, sewer line, or appropriate appliance, like a dishwasher. But water can fast become the enemy if it goes where it shouldn’t, potentially damaging a home’s structure or furnishings. Plumbing leaks, unfortunately, are pretty common, even in newer houses.

Listen To The Water

When your water main is leaky, you may be able to hear it from inside your home. The closed system of your pipes muffles the sound, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be heard. The sounds of a leak travel down your pipe wall for hundreds of feet in every direction. This is because metal pipes, particularly iron mains between 6 inches and 12 inches and copper services, transmit the sounds of a leak much farther than asbestos-cement or PVC pipe. It also depends on the material of your pipe and the location it is buried in. Leaks in fresh-buried pipes will be easier to detect than leaks in old, deteriorating pipes. Listening to the water is one of the most important things you can do if you suspect a leak in your water main. It will not only alert you to the fact that there is a problem, but it will help you determine where and how big a leak is before you call a plumbing contractor.

Look For Signs Of Damage

Damp spots and wet or bubbling patches are common signs of a main water line leak. They can appear on floors, walls, and ceilings that should not be wet. Another sign is dirty or discolored water. This is caused by dirt and debris that make their way into the pipes as a result of a leak. If you notice this issue in multiple areas of your home, it is probably time for a water main repair. The sooner you have it taken care of, the more likely you will be to avoid bigger issues in the future.

Check Your Water Meter

The simplest way to detect a leak is to check your water meter. This is usually located at ground level in a concrete or plastic meter box. Carefully lift off the lid and lay it to one side (use a screwdriver if necessary). Look inside the meter box and inspect the smallest dial, called a leak indicator. If this dial is moving, you have a leak somewhere. Once you find this dial, turn off the water in your home and leave it off for an hour or two. Then check the meter again and see if the numbers have changed. If they haven’t changed, your leak is likely inside the house. If the numbers have changed, it’s likely that the leak is outside between your meter and your shut-off valve. Contact us for help today!

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