Most property owners would rather not deal with the hassle that comes with fixing a damaged or burst subsurface water line. Repairing a burst underground water pipe could be a costly and time-consuming undertaking that would have serious consequences for your daily life. If you've ever seen what occurs whenever a sewer line breaks, you'll recognise the similarities.
There are ways to avoid this result. If you divide the task of fixing your underground water line into smaller, more doable chunks, you may be able to save money by handling at least some of the repairs on your own. In most cases, repairing a broken water line is less of a hassle than fixing a broken sewer line because water lines are buried much closer to the surface. Even better, the digging can be done manually, rather of investing in an expensive compact excavator.
There are a variety of things you may do if you suspect water pipes are leaking because your water bill has gone up, you've noticed a moist or muddy spot on the grass when there wasn't one before, or you've actually seen water spouting up through the ground. Under any of these conditions, you need to dig further to find out what's causing the issue so you can fix it. Although it may not be simple, a broken underground water pipe can be fixed. Roof Repair & Restoration Systems is the place to go when you need the best roof guttering specialists.
Before beginning any excavating in your yard, it is imperative that you contact your local utility location agency to mark the lines of any services that pass through your property. This is typically a no-cost service. Utility lines in your yard will be painted in different colours to make it clear what each one is for: blue for drinking water lines, red for power lines, green for waste water lines, and orange for steam, oil and gas. You must first find out if there are any leaks. Many of the most typical warning signs of a broken water pipe underground include:
- City water rates have gone raised for no apparent reason.
- The water metre's dial will continue to spin even when there is no running water anywhere in or around the house.
- The yard is full with soft, squishy areas.
- either sunken or elevated terrain
- The water pressure in the home's sinks, tubs, and showers is low.
If a leak is being indicated by something outside, such as recessed ground, make a mental note of where the damage appears to be worse. Please read these guidelines before proceeding with the tutorial. First, contact the local permitting agency to find out about zoning and permit requirements in your area. If you are curious about any easements that may pass through your property, you can check the tax assessor's office in your county and the title documents for your home.
Correct a Water Leak Below Ground
- You need to track down the water leak's origin. Determine the precise location of the leak after you have identified its general vicinity. The water metre located on the exterior of your property can be seen from the inside of your home by constructing a sightline. Drive a stake into the ground next to the water metre and a second stake close to where the water supply enters your home. Braided rope or twine should be used to firmly bind each spike together.
- Activate a stopcock and the water will stop flowing. Find the shutoff valve for your home's water system and close it. You can access the metal water metre box by turning the key. Look for the valve on the side of the metre that is closest to your residence (not the street side). Be sure to rotate it in a clockwise direction. It's highly recommended that you utilise a device made for that purpose if you need to cut off the water or gas. If you don't have a valve cover, you can use an adjustable wrench to cover the valve and a screwdriver to turn it. If you don't have an adjustable wrench, you'll have to go out and get one.
- Obviously, a trench has to be dug. Cover the area with the tarp where you think the leak is occuring. The string or twine you use as one axis and the soil's maximum moisture content as the other will help you find your way.
- Do away with the string. Drill a hole down there. To properly instal the tarp, lay it atop the turf and dirt. In contrast to sewage lines, which can go several feet below ground, water service lines are typically installed between one and three feet below the freeze line in your area.
- The water in the hole needs to be eliminated. Drain the trench by hand by filling a bucket with water. Use a shop vacuum with the wet setting to get rid of any lingering moisture at the very end.
- Fix the Burst in the Water Main Depending on the home's original construction date and the age of any subsequent additions or alterations. You can use a variety of materials, including galvanised steel, copper, CPVC, PVC, or PEX, for your underground water line. The alternative options include PEX and CPVC. The line needs to be replaced, and in doing so, similar materials should be used.
- Typically, this pipe will have a diameter of 1 inch. The majority of construction rules stipulate that a water pipe buried underground must be at least two or three quarters of an inch in diameter and kept at least 6 feet from waste or sewer lines by undisturbed, uncompacted soil.
- Check the State of the Fix Simply turning the nut counterclockwise will turn on the water at the metre. The water main to your house does not need to be turned on at this time. Make sure your fix is secure by testing it under load. In the event that permission from the appropriate authorities is required for the work to proceed, the trench must be left open until the inspector's arrival.
- Stop Dilly-Dallying and Finish That Hole You Started When the repairs are complete to your satisfaction, you can fill in the trench with dirt. Finally, if necessary, re-turf the area by hand. Turn on the water main to the residence.
Track down the exact spot. You won't have any trouble with this task if you regularly witness the explosion of "Old Faithful" in your front yard. If an abnormally high water bill was the first warning sign, you have some investigating to do. Both the septic tank and a burst water line are simple enough to locate when the ground is dry. Check out the situation from the outside in. Checking for puddles or areas of weaker soil is essential during wet and stormy weather. Roof Repair & Restoration Systems has a large selection of roof restoration experts from which to choose.
Once the leak has been located, the main water valve should be closed. You'll need the assistance of a city waterworks worker if you're in town. The main valve is located in their yard and requires specialised equipment to access. If you are far from a water main, you'll need to disconnect the pump or leave it off when you're out in the country.
Make a trench parallel to the area where water is leaking in. The buried pipe can be accessed by digging down to it. Remove any obstructions from the pipe's path a short distance before and after the leaking area. Dig a hole beneath the pipe that is 1 foot deep. If you need to repair a water line that runs below ground, you must dig deeper than just where the leak is.
Verify the line's condition all the way to the point of the leak, not just the immediate vicinity. In many cases, roots will damage a pipe in one location but not another. You should do a cost-benefit analysis to see if it's really worth it to replace the pipe from the street to your house.
Remove the damaged section, making sure to provide a buffer of at least 7.5 inches on all sides. To finish the portion, you'll need some rigid copper pipe. The pipe should be used in its entirety if it is only available in five-foot sections. Help in minimizing measurement by 1/16 of an inch to 1/8 of an inch, depending on the range. It's important to have some space to relax. Get rid of the covering that has been protecting the old pipe from the outdoors. The ends of the new pipe and the old pipe, as well as any fittings, should be sanded smooth.
Use a wire brush designed for this task to smooth off any rough spots inside the two slip couplings. In order to connect the couplings to the new pipe, slide them on towards the centre of the pipe. When the new pipe for the underground water line is in the right spot, you may connect it to the old pipe by sliding the slip coupling so that one half of each coupling is engaged to the old pipe and the other half is attached to the new pipe.
While heating the coupling from below with a propane torch, place a piece of lead-free solder wire from the spool on the top edge where it connects to the old pipe. In the meantime, make sure the coupling stays toasty. Whenever you see solder dripping from the bottom of the joint, place the soldier on the edge of the coupling that will be touching the new pipe. There will be no need to worry about the safety of the intersection if this is done. This must be done to both of the connections. To insulate the replacement component, tar can be used.
What to Do If You Suspect an Underground Water Leak?
Does water seem to pool in your yard even when it doesn't rain? Has your monthly water bill become completely ludicrous? Both of these indicate a pipe underground has sprung a leak. A pipe leak might cause water to pool on the floor, drop from the ceiling, or dampen the walls inside of your home. This allows us to quickly and accurately identify the root of the issue. While this may be the case, finding a pipe leak in your yard could be indicative of something else entirely. Leaks in underground pipelines are notoriously hard to spot.
So often you find yourself buried many feet below ground, under freeways, or in various similarly precarious positions. What alternatives do you have to hiring a tractor to dig up your yard?
Learning If There Is A Leak
Underground pipe leaks occur when there are breaks or leaks in the piping that supplies water underground. This can happen anywhere along the pipe or at the fittings. Even though natural causes for leaks in underground pipes exist, accidents can occur. Pipe leaks and breaks can be caused by a number of different things, including tree roots that have invaded their territory, the ground shifting beneath the pipes, freezing temperatures, and corrosion. If you suspect water is leaking from a broken fitting or pipe buried in the ground, you can easily confirm your suspicions by conducting the following test.
- Find the home's water metre. Almost always, a home's water metre may be found in the front yard, close to the kerb. When not in use, they are kept in a sealed underground container with an above-ground lid. The lids of many such boxes are constructed of concrete like the remainder of the box, and as a result, can be quite cumbersome to lift. With any luck, you'll be able to pry the lid off the box by inserting a hook or a large screwdriver into one of the slots on the lid and then lifting it off. The box, which may be buried in the ground, contains the metre and the primary valve that controls the water supply to your home. So, put on your work gloves and clean up the area around the metre and the valve.
- It is imperative that you turn off the water to any appliance, fixture, or tap that uses water. The ice maker can be disabled by raising its bail wire. Never turn off the main shutoff valve that is close to the water metre.
- Take a close look at the water meter's readings. The dial in the figure is part of some water metres and can be used to detect leaks. If it's moving, then water must be flowing through the meter. The position of the needle can be recorded with a grease pencil if your metre does not have this function.
- If you want to see if the needle moved after you turned off the water, you should wait 30 minutes. There is a leak in your plumbing if this has happened.
- If you suspect a leak and haven't already called a professional, sinkholes and other soft spots on the ground are good places to start. Read on for further details.
Discovering a water leak early on can help you avoid costly repairs and prevent disasters. You may have a water leak if you notice any of the following, in which case you may want to consider calling a plumber.
- One of the greatest ways to tell if a leak exists in your plumbing system is to observe how much water is being used over a given period of time. Stopping the water supply throughout the house is the first step in this direction. Make sure the washing machine and dishwasher are turned off and the water is turned off at the main valve. Next, watch the metre to see if it begins to move. If that's the case, you're dealing with a fast-moving leak. If the meter's reading does not change after two hours, check it again. You may be dealing with a slow leak if it has changed even after you've turned off the water supply. The leak could be happening anywhere beyond the meter, including underground. Remember that any pipework that happens after the metre is the homeowner's responsibility.
- Check out your usage of: The EPA recommends that people check for leaks in their houses by keeping track of how much water is used during the winter. An excessively high monthly water usage of more than 13,000 gallons for a family of four indicates a serious leak in the plumbing system.
- Monitor your water bill carefully. You may have a water leak if it has been steadily rising while your water use has remained constant. You can tell if there is an upward trend in your bills by comparing a few that you've received over the past few months. In order to maintain a "normal" monthly water bill, your usage must fall within a certain range. It's important to remember that part of the plumbing in your home may be hidden underneath. Even if you never learn that there are problems with this part of your system, you'll still have to pay for fixing them if they occur. When in doubt, have a professional plumber check out your pipes. If you feel a warm spot on the floor (a sign of plumbing under the concrete) or hear running water, call a professional right once.
- Get some food colouring and check the flushing action of your toilets to see if they are wasting water. This might save you up to 30 percent on your annual water bill. In order to check for leaks in your toilet, put a small amount of artificial flavouring into the tank and wait 10 minutes. If the dye has made its way into the bowl, it means that water is leaking from the tank into the drain even when the toilet hasn't been flushed.
- Look at how it's being used from the outside. The inside of the home isn't the only place vulnerable to water damage; the exterior is at risk, too. If water is leaking from a connection when the garden hose is being used, you should replace the rubber hose gasket and double-check the connections. Use a garden hose to inspect your outside faucets. At least once a year, you should consider having a professional inspect your irrigation system. Leaks of any size can waste as much as 6,300 gallons of water every month.
- Think rationally: Create a habit of regularly inspecting the spaces behind your cabinets and under your sinks for signs of mould or musty odours, which could indicate the presence of a leak. You could save hundreds on maintenance fees if you respond quickly. An annual inspection by a licensed plumber will help you spot any problems before they become major disasters.
The plumbing system in a property older than 25 years may be nearing the end of its useful life, therefore extra care should be taken. A slow leak can be detected by looking for oxidation or discoloration at the water heater's, pumps', washing machine's hoses', and valves' readily accessible connections. It's important to schedule an appointment with a licenced plumber as soon as possible if you suspect a leak in your plumbing system. Put it off no longer lest it escalate to the point where you have a true tragedy on your hands.
Nitrogen, an inert gas, can be charged into the pipes and used to help professional leak detectors find a leak that has occurred below the surface. If pressurised gas detects a leak, it will begin to blow out and make a loud hissing noise. A probe can be inserted into the ground, amplified, and used with headphones to pick up the hiss. A leak detection expert will move the probe in the direction they think the leak is coming from. Here are some of the procedures shown in the video:
When Is It Time to Get Help from the Experts?
Fixing a broken water line beneath the ground is a time-sensitive project. Your home will have either a very low supply of freshwater or none at all until the pipe can be fixed. A plumber should be consulted if you have doubts about your capacity to finish the task in a timely manner. If a plumber needs to fix a single leak in a water main, it usually only takes a few hours. Roofing experts in Melbourne—are you looking for them? Repair and Restoration Systems for Roofs will take care of it for you.
For the most part, homeowners would rather not have to deal with the trouble of repairing a broken or leaking underground water line. A broken water pipe underground is easier to repair than a damaged sewage pipe. Rather than spending a lot of money on a tiny excavator, the digging can be done by hand. To learn more about the zoning and permit requirements in your area, you should get in touch with the relevant regulatory office. Mark the location of the water metre and the point at which water enters your home with stakes driven into the ground.
Securely bind each spike with braided rope or twine. The hole must be drained of its water. Hand-drain the trench. To remove any remaining moisture, use a shop vacuum equipped with a wet mode. Water service to the house should be turned on.
If an unexpectedly high water bill was the first hint of trouble, further investigation is warranted. If you are in the country and close to a water main, you can leave the pump on. Create a 1-foot-deep hole directly underneath the pipe. Digging deeper than the spot where the leak is is necessary when repairing a water line that is buried. Pipes that carry water underground can spring leaks if they develop cracks or deterioration.
There are several natural causes for underground pipe leaks, and accidents can occur. You can quickly confirm your concerns that water is leaking from a broken fitting or pipe buried in the ground by performing the following test. It is common for water metres to be located in the front yard, in close proximity to the kerb. They are stored in a buried storage unit with an external cover when they are not in use. Many of these containers have concrete covers, which can be a pain to raise.
Following the EPA's advice, you should monitor your water consumption in the winter to detect any potential leaks. An extreme leak exists if a family of four uses more than 13,000 gallons of water each month. In the event that you feel a warm patch on the floor (a telltale sign of plumbing under the concrete) or hear water running, you should contact a professional immediately. Find out if your toilets are wasting water by inspecting the flushing mechanism. Check the condition of your outdoor water fixtures with the garden hose.
Get a professional to look at your sprinklers. The average monthly water loss due to leaks is around 6,300 gallons. After twenty-five years, the pipes in a house may have seen better days and need to be replaced. If you have a professional plumber check it out once a year, you can catch small issues before they become costly disasters. Looking for oxidation or discoloration at the hoses and valves connecting the water heater, pumps, and washing machine can help you spot a slow leak.
- There could be significant disruptions to your everyday life if you were to repair a burst subterranean water pipe.
- Splitting the job of repairing your underground water line into smaller, more manageable portions may allow you to save money and undertake at least some of the work yourself.
- Repairing a burst water pipe underground is possible, but it may not be easy.
- Get in touch with your local utility locating agency to have them mark the lines of any utilities that run through your yard before you start digging.
- Investigate the source of the water leak. After locating the broad area where the leak is occuring, pinpoint its exact location.
- Locate the water main shutoff valve and secure it. Put the tarp over the spot where the leak is probably happening.
- Make a hole in the ground at that location. The hole must be drained of its water. Fill a bucket with water and drain it into the trench by hand.
- Repave the Water Main That Has a Broken In It That depends on how long ago the house was built to begin with and how long ago any additions or renovations were made.
- You don't have to switch on the water main to your residence just yet. The last step, if necessary, is to re-grass the area manually.
- Water service to the house should be turned on. Locate the precise location. When the ground is dry, it's easy to spot the septic tank or repair a broken water line.
- Once the source of the leak has been identified, the main water valve should be turned off. Dig a trench perpendicular to the leaking wall. Create a 1-foot-deep hole directly underneath the pipe.
- When the new pipe for the subterranean water line has been positioned appropriately, it can be joined to the existing pipe by sliding the slip coupling so that one half of each coupling is engaged to the existing pipe and the other half is attached to the new pipe.
- Place a piece of lead-free solder wire from the spool on the top edge where the coupling attaches to the old pipe while heating the coupling from below using a propane torch.
- Maintain a warm connection in the interim. Soldier up on the edge of the coupling that will be in contact with the new pipe whenever solder drips from the bottom of the connection.
- Both of the interfaces need this treatment. These two things together point to a broken pipe underground. Because of this, we can zero down on the source of the problem with greater efficiency.
- A pipe leak in your yard could be a sign of something else, but it's possible that this is the case. Subterranean pipeline leaks are notoriously difficult to detect. Leaks in subterranean pipes can occur for a variety of reasons, including those that occur naturally.
- You can quickly confirm your concerns that water is leaking from a broken fitting or pipe buried in the ground by performing the following test.
- Try to locate the water metre serving the house. The metre and the main valve that manages your home's water supply are housed in the box, which may be buried in the ground.
- Work gloves are needed for cleaning up the space around the metre and the valve. The main shutoff valve can be found in close proximity to the water metre; never turn it off.
- Check the water meter's readings carefully. There should be at least 30 minutes between turning off the water and checking to see if the needle has moved.
- If this has occurred, it is likely due to a plumbing leak. If a water leak is found in its early stages, it can be repaired for much less money and no disasters will occur.
- Finding a leak in your plumbing system can be difficult, but tracking your water usage over time might help.
- The first step in that direction is turning off the water mains to the entire dwelling. Next, keep an eye on the metre to see whether it starts to move.
- That would indicate a rapid leak. If it has changed after you've shut off the water, you may have a slow leak on your hands.
- Keep a close eye on your water bill. If your water bill has been going up even while your usage has stayed the same, you may have a leak.
- Your monthly water bill is considered "normal" if it falls somewhere in this range. Keep in mind that some of the plumbing in your home can be underground.
- In case of uncertainty, it is best to have a licenced plumber inspect the plumbing. To see if your toilets are wasting water due to improper flushing, get some food colouring and test them.
- You might potentially reduce your annual water cost by as much as 30% if you implement these measures. Put a few drops of artificial flavouring into the toilet tank and wait 10 minutes to see whether any of it escapes into the bowl.
- Take a look at the outdoors usage. Water can cause problems both inside and outside a house.
- Check the condition of your outdoor water fixtures with the garden hose. The average monthly water loss due to leaks is around 6,300 gallons.
- If you have a professional plumber check it out once a year, you can catch small issues before they become costly disasters.
- Properties older than 25 years may have plumbing systems that are nearing the end of their useful life and require special attention.
- If you think you have a leak in your plumbing system, you should call a professional plumber right once to inspect it.
- A professional leak detector will point the probe in the general direction from which they believe the leak to be emanating.
- Plumbers typically just need a few hours to repair a single leak in a water main.
Frequently Asked Questions About Water Leak
Steps To Stop An Underground Water Leak.
- Shut Off Water Supply At The Main Control Valve.
- Open The Sewer/Exit Line.
- Install A Clamp Around The Leak.
- Install A Sump Pump.
- Contact A Professional Plumber.
The ground penetrating radar (GPR) system is used for underground water detection. GPR is a promising technology to detect and identify aquifer water or nonmetallic mines.
Signs you have an underground water leak inside
- Noticeable drop in water pressure when using plumbing appliances.
- Hissing or splashing noises.
- Dirty or rusty water (although this could be due to another problem)
- An increase of mould or water-loving insects in your home.
- Sewage smell or mouldy odours
Groundwater is detected using a portable electronic device. The unit measures the electrical properties of the earth and produces a profile showing the structure of the ground, showing rock layers, fault zones and areas that are best for the drilling of boreholes.
HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) pipes are considered the best for underground water lines. What makes this type of piping so great? HDPE pipes are non-toxic, tasteless, and considered a green building material. The pipes are designed to be high crack- and corrosion-resistant.