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How to find underground water leak

Homeowners are often left scratching their heads while holding their unusually high water bills. Either that or they are concerned about the water pooling up in their yards, even on a hot and bright day. However, they are unable to pinpoint the problem, no matter how hard they try. That is because the issue lies hidden below the surface, in the form of an underground water leak that is never easy to find.

If there is a pipe leakage inside your house, pinpointing it is a pretty straightforward task since there are visible signs and indications all over the house. These signs include water on the floor that is dripping from the ceiling or wet walls. However, identifying a leak in your yard is a totally different ballgame. Finding an underground pipe leak is difficult because they are several feet below the surface, sometimes underneath driveways, or in other complicated and unobservable areas.

What Causes Underground Water Leaks?

There are many reasons why an underground water leak might occur and how it could damage your house.

Firstly, there are certain chemicals and other elements existing in the water or soil, which might damage your underground pipes. These chemicals force the tubes to erode, leading to holes that deposit water in the ground below your house, or in the basement.

Other than chemicals, natural disasters like an earthquake or a tsunami can move the ground, causing excessive load and pressure on the pipelines. Eventually, the pipes would give in to the pressure and crack, and the water will shift to the soil below the slab.

These structural changes caused by natural disasters can cause safety concerns and make your house extremely dangerous for residing.

How to Decide if a Leak Exists?

As mentioned earlier, you can suspect a water leak by casting a glance at your water bill or checking the soil of your property. If you doubt that an underground pipe or fitting is damaged, causing a leak, you can perform the following test to confirm your suspicion:

  • Turn off every single appliance that consumes water in some way. However, keep the key shutoff valve open.
  • Open the water meter’s cover so that you can observe the gauge.
  • Check the direction of the needle and mark the rim of the gauge accordingly.
  • Keep the water turned off for about twenty-five minutes to half-an-hour, and then go back to check if the needle has shifted from the original point. If so, you can be confident that there is a leak somewhere underneath your property.
  • Try and search for an indication of a leak, but it is likely that you will not be able to find it on your own and may require assistance from a professional.

How to Find an Underground Leak?

If you do not have sufficient knowledge and expertise to fix a plumbing problem yourself, it is advisable to call a professional plumber. However, it is important to practice due diligence and contact the right kind of professional – someone who is an expert in problems related to underground leakage.

It is needed to be understood that every water supply causes underground leakage. Certain leaks might be due to damaged drain lines, or the sewer.

Professional plumbers most commonly charge the pipes with nitrogen to spot an underground leak.

The coerced gas, upon spotting a leak, emerges with a blow that causes a very prominent hissing sound. The next step is to push a probe into the surface, and, using an amplifier and earphones, the sound is made clearer and more audible. Once the sound is clearly heard, the specialist will go along the suspected course and, using the probe, will eventually reach the point of the leak.


Underground water leaks are often tiny at start, and often go unnoticed. However, if left unchecked, such leaks can cause significant damage to not only your property, but also to your and your family’s life and health. This is why it is preferable to identify them as early as possible, so you can start focusing on the treatment, and minimizing any potential damage. A professional, with the right tools, proper expertise, and effective methods, will assist you in identifying the source of the leak and stopping it dead in its tracks, to make sure that  your home is left with no to minimal lasting damage.

A professional plumber uses tools like infrared cameras, sound tools, and other state-of-the-art equipment, along with other requisite material. He makes sure to diagnose and understand the problem without causing any damage to the flooring.

 If you notice or suspect a water leak in your home or commercial property, call Pipeline Plumbing Los Angeles to assess and fix the problem.  Our highly trained and incredibly skilled plumbers use the most advanced tools and industry-approved techniques to pinpoint seemingly hidden and hard to discover leaks and work diligently to get it fixed with utmost precision and perfection.