Leaks can develop in water supply and waste lines for a number of reasons, including corrosion, impact damage, poorly joined fittings and soil or foundation movement. Leaks in underground plumbing lines that are visible and accessible can often be detected and corrected fairly quickly, minimizing property damage, wasted water and repair expenses. But leaks that occur in underground plumbing lines are more problematic. These hidden leaks can go undetected for long periods of time.
It's smart for home and business owners as well as for building managers to be on the lookout for telltale signs of underground plumbing leaks. These signs might include a sudden spike in your water bill that doesn't accurately reflect water usage in the building. If the leak is happening just under a concrete slab or just outside a concrete foundation, moisture could be coming through the concrete, darkening and dampening the masonry – another telltale sign.
Fixing underground water leaks is important. In addition to wasting water, an underground water leak can cause spot flooding and soil erosion that causes other problems such as slab and foundation damage.
If you suspect that there's an underground water leak, it's smart to search out a full-service plumber who can solve your problem. To make sure you're getting a plumber who can provide expert leak detection services, confirm that the contractor has underground leak detection equipment.
Water makes a sound when it leaks out of a pipe though a small opening, especially if the water is under pressure. Water leakage can also cause a vibration in the water line where the leak is located. Sophisticated underground leak detection equipment utilizes a highly sensitive microphone and computerized correlation technology to isolate different sounds in the soil and locate the leak. If your plumber has this specialized underground leak detection equipment, you can be confident that your leak will be located and fixed. If not, prepare yourself for a more prolonged trial-and-error process.