How To Detect A Water Leak

It is common to notice a leaking water line when you see water seeping through roadway, foundation wall of your house or the sidewalks. It is essential to immediately take action and, if necessary, call for assistance when you notice a leaking water line as it may cause inconvenience to your family and neighbors.

If a leaking water line is ignored, it may also cause damage to your home’s foundation. This guide will help you in detecting a water leak so that you can solve this problem immediately.

leak detection

How Do You Detect A Water Leak From Your Water Pipe?

If you see a water leak in front or back of your house, you cannot essentially conclude that the water is leaking from your pipe. Basically, when water leaks from a pipe, it travels to the weakest place in the ground through cracks in road, sidewalks or valve boxes on sidewalk.

There is also a possibility that the water seen in front or backside of your house is coming from the water pipe leak of your neighbor’s house. So in order to take any necessary action for dealing with this problem you should first find out the actual place of of the leak.

But you’re not always so lucky at tracking down the starting point.  Many times you hear water leaking, but cannot identify where it’s coming from.


How To Determine The Water Leak?

You can hire a licensed sewer and water main contractor to perform a sound test on the pipe.  This test will help in determining the leakage in your pipe. The contractor will shut off main house control valve first in order to stop all the running water throughout your house. At this time, when the contractor carries out sound test with a sonoscope, water line must be completely silent. If a rumbling or hissing sound is heard in this test, there is a definite possibility of leakage in your pipe.

How To Resolve The Leaking Water Line?

There are advanced leak detection equipment used to find a hidden leak, if you cannot find it by yourself, it’s not something to ignore.

“Ignoring a leak can end up increasing your water bill and cause extreme damage to the home, it’s like throwing away money” says Nick Bechwati, owner of the leading San Mateo plumbing company, Express Plumbing.

What Kind Of Sounds Indicate A Water Leak?

  • A ‘Whoosh’ or ‘Hiss’ noise can be heard from the main water line that experiences a reduced pressure.
  • A ‘Thumping’ sound comes from the leaking water line that is striking the surrounding soil or a wall.
  • A ‘Clicking’ sound is usually resulted by the pebbles or stones when they bounce off of your water pipe.

What Are The Factors That Affect The Sound Of The Water Leak?

Following factors may play a role in inducing certain sounds that indicate a water leak:

  • Amount of the water pressure
  • Depth of the water pipe
  • Density of the soil surrounding you water pipe
  • Size and material of the water pipe

Usually copper, steel and ductile iron pipes produce a louder noise than the pipes made of cement or clay and PVC. Regardless of the pipe material, smaller sized water pipes tend to produce louder noises as compared to the large sized water pipes. Depth of the water pipeline also plays an important role in detecting a water leak as it becomes difficult to hear the noises if the water line is deep.

So as you’re walking around the house, keep those ears open and listen to whoosh or a thumping noise, most importantly, if you hear it, you cannot simply ignore it, you or a professional need to quickly detect the source of the leak.

Resources: Express Plumbing – A Bay Area plumbing company for residential and commercial plumbing including Engineering Services.



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