Underground plumbing leaks can go undetected for a long time, especially if the damaged pipe is outdoors. Unfortunately, no matter how minor, a lack of leak detection skills can cause damage to your property and increase your water bill. It's paramount to locate and fix the leak to avoid exposing your home to extensive water damage. Read on to find out the top signs of an underground plumbing leak in your home.
Low water pressure
A minor leak in your plumbing pipes may not affect water pressure in the home. However, a large leak will cause a significant reduction in the water pressure. Before concluding this, ensure that the low water pressure isn't caused by:
- Low pressure from the municipal supply system
- Faulty pressure booster pump
- Faulty bore pump if you use well water
If you use municipal water, check with your neighbours to determine whether they are facing a similar problem. If their water pressure is high, the issue is in your household only. You need to locate and fix the leaking pipe to restore water pressure in the home.
Increased soil moisture
Outdoor underground leaks usually occur due to pipe corrosion, earthquakes, and ground movement. When the pipe breaks, water slowly seeps into the surrounding soil. Consequently, you will notice wet patches in your yard or garden. If the soil around your home looks wetter than it typically is, yet it hasn't rained and the sprinklers are off, you have an underground plumbing leak. You can use acoustic leak detection equipment to pinpoint the exact location of the leak without tearing up your yard.
Slab foundation cracks
If your home has a slab foundation, your contractor may have roughed in the plumbing pipes underneath the concrete slab. Ground movement and invasion by tree roots can cause the pipes to break and leak. As a result, water seeps into the slab foundation and weakens it. Over time, leaks underneath a concrete slab cause the concrete to crack. If there are unusual cracks in your floors and walls, check the pipes underneath the foundation for leaks.
Damp walls and floors
Leaking underground pipes near the house can cause moisture to infiltrate the walls and floors. As a result, these surfaces will feel damp to the touch. Water damage from underground pipes usually occurs near the ground. If the upper part of a wall feels damp, the leak may be coming from the pipes inside the wall cavity. Over time, the moisture on the surfaces attracts mould and mildew, which leaves white, black, grey, or green marks on the walls.
Underground leaks can go undetected for long periods of time. With advanced leak detection equipment, you can unearth leaks without excavating the ground. Contact your plumber for professional leak detection and repairs.