The sound of water running is a welcome sign in many households. This is not the case for those who have a leak outside their home, where it can cause serious damage and cost thousands to repair.

The first step to finding out if there’s a problem with your outdoor plumbing system is to look at your lawn. If you notice patches of brown or green grass, an increasing number of weeds, or any other strange changes in the soil then you might have found the source of trouble!

The article details how homeowners can find leaks using visual clues on their yards and what they should do next. It also provides helpful tips on what steps people should take when looking for leaks outdoors as well as some common problems that may arise during this process.

How Can You Tell Where A Water Leak Is Coming From?

If you happen to notice that there’s a puddle in your yard or the ground just feels soggy, even when it hasn’t rained then chances are pretty high that you may have a water leak underground. But where is that leak coming from?

Well, more often than not the two most common culprits are…

  • a problem in your main service line
  • a leak from your irrigation system

While both leaks are very different and require different methods to fix, locating them is the same.

How To Test The Main Service Line For Leaks

The main service line is an underground pipe that connects to your water meter which is connected to your city’s water main. This is how water gets into your home.

The first step to testing your main water service line for a leak is to look along the street curb. If there are any puddles or wet spots in the asphalt, then it may be where water is escaping from an underground pipe which would need to be reported immediately as this may cause damage to your home.

Following are steps to follow to test the main service line connecting to your home.

Step 1 – Turn off the main water valve to your home. This is usually found in your garage or basement.

Step 2 – Check your water meter. If it’s still running then it’s a very good sign that your main service line has a leak.

Read more here about how to check and read your water meter.

Leaks along this main water line normally occur at the fittings or at a junction where one type of pipe connects to another. Oftentimes the pipe coming from the shutoff valve is copper and the rest of the piping is PVC.

So, wherever there is a junction like this or two pipes are connected together, the chances of a leak are higher than other areas of the pipe.

Test Your Irrigation System For Leaks

Before you can fix a leak, you have to find it.

As precautions for your own safety, turn off all power to your irrigation system before testing it for leaks.

If you’re not sure how to do this or don’t know what type of system you’ve got, call in a professional.

Your second step should be to do an overall examination of your sprinkler system. Raise yourself up onto a ladder and take in the whole of it: this will allow you to notice any issues that are out-of-place or otherwise amiss.

Walk around the yard and make sure all of your sprinkler heads are working properly. Walk through each area, keeping an eye out for any signs that there may be water damage on buried pipes or external leaks which you can fix right away!

Check for discoloration, missing pieces or parts of metal that have rusted. These can all indicate a leak nearby if they’re not attended to quickly.

Sometimes a leak might even occur further down line from the actual ruptured pipe, but not far enough away that it has been undetected by the damaged sprinkler head.

You should always make sure to look for wetness or discoloration in the ground if you don’t see a visible pipe problem nearby. If there is none and it’s been around long enough, chances are that crack may not be above-ground yet!

A leaky sprinkler can waste up to 9000 gallons of water every year, so it’s important that you get the problem fixed immediately. A faulty valve in your plumbing system can also cause leaks, especially those made from plastic. Make sure you check them regularly and replace any that seem worn or rusted.

Is There A Tool To Detect A Water Leak?

The tool that we use here at Atlantis Plumbing is an ultrasonic leak detection tool.

This is a non-invasive tool that can be used to detect water pipe leaks. With this method, you have the use of an amplifier and head set in order to listen for any sounds coming from a faulty valve or fitting. It’s not just about listening though; if there are no such noises heard with these tools then it usually means there isn’t anything wrong!

The success of this type of leak detection depends on soil conditions, depth and material (a metallic pipe such as copper will carry the sound while a plastic like polybutylene muffles it).

The cost of a leak detection service ranges anywhere from $75.00 to $350.00. It depends on the extent of the damage which then dictates the amount of time required to find the leak(s) and the amount of equipment needed to do the job properly.


It’s time to take action. Leaks don’t just disappear on their own and it’s important for homeowners to be proactive about finding leaks when they happen, before the problem gets worse or more expensive.

If you’re still not sure if your leak is worth fixing, call a reputable plumber like us at Atlantis Plumbing today so we can help figure out what needs to be done next. We are happy to answer any questions you might have along the way!

If you have any questions about water leaks or are having some problems with it, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.