You just got your water bill and it's double what it was last month! If you haven't seen any obvious signs of a water leak, then this may be your first clue that you have a water leak either underground or somewhere in your home.
What do you do?
The first thing you can do is to check your water meter to your home. They are normally located outside in the front yard, in the sidewalk or in the easement between your front sidewalk and the road.
Use a screwdriver or something similar to lift the cover to the meter box. Inside you will see the water meter. If there is a cap on the meter go ahead and remove it to read the meter.
On the face of the meter you will see a "leak indicator" which could be a red triangle, a blue circular item or another shape but if it's moving - then that indicates that you do have water running through the meter.
If your meter does not have a leak indicator, then look at the sweep hand on the face of the meter. This hand, like the hand of a clock moves very slowly. So, you will want to mark where it currently is, come back in 20 minutes and if that hand has moved, then you know that you have a leak.
So Now You Know For Sure You Have A Water Leak
Now that you've determined that you DO have a water leak, you will need to find out if the leak is inside your home or outside your home, underground.
Here's what you can do.
- Find the main shutoff valve that's in your home and shut it off. This valve is usually in the garage or the basement.
- After you've shut this off, check the water meter to see if the leak indicator or the sweep hand are moving which would indicate that water is still going through the meter.
- If the water meter shows no movement - then you know that the leak is inside the house
- If the water meter shows movement - then you know that the leak is outside the house
Locating Possible Causes Of A Water Leak Underground
Now, we can tell you that the two most common culprits of a water leak in your yard are...
- Your sprinkler system
- The main service line between your home and your water meter
Is The Leak From The Sprinkler System?
We'll first test to see if the leak is coming from your sprinkler system.
- Make sure your main shutoff valve in your home is turned back ON
- Make sure all your faucets inside your home are turned off (also make sure any appliances that use water are not running water)
- Turn off the water to your sprinkler system. This is normally the valve after your backflow preventer.
- Check your water meter - if it's not running then you know the leak is coming from your sprinkler system
Normally, we have found that leaks in the irrigation lines are usually in the pipe line that connects the backflow preventer and the valve box. We also have found that leaks often occur because of a valve inside the valve box that has malfunctioned for some reason.
Is The Leak From The Main Service Line?
If you've determined that the underground leak is NOT from your sprinkler system then the next step is to identify if it's coming from the main water line.
We recommend you follow the pipe that goes from your shutoff valve into the ground. The junction between that pipe and the pipe underground (which may be a PVC pipe) often breaks and causes a leak.
Essentially, anywhere the underground pipe may turn to go under a driveway or around some structure - there may be a leak simply due to the fittings (joints) that are put in place.
Locating leaks, whether they be behind walls or underground is a very time consuming and frustrating project. The proper equipment can make the job easier and faster. Call the plumbers at Atlantis Plumbing, our leak detection services have helped thousands of families and businesses across the Atlanta area.
If you need help with underground leak detection and repair, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are here for you 24 hours a day - 7 days a week!.
We Offer Water Leak Services in Metro Atlanta and Surrounding Areas
Fulton County, Bartow County, Cobb County, Paulding County, Cherokee County, Gwinnett County, and Douglas County.
Acworth GA, Atlanta GA, Austell GA, Cartersville GA, Doraville GA, Douglasville GA, Hiram GA, Kennesaw GA, Lawrenceville GA, Lithia Springs GA, Loganville GA, Mableton GA, Marietta GA, Powder Springs GA, Rockmart GA, Roswell GA, Smyrna GA, Tucker GA, Villa Rica GA, Vinings GA, Woodstock GA, and Surrounding Communities.