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How do you know if you have a leak from outside plumbing?

Views: 28     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2019-05-16      Origin: Site

As the weather warms up and we spend more time outdoors, now is a great time to check your outside plumbing to make sure everything is in working order. Here are a few quick checks you can perform.


Check outside faucets

Although many outside faucets are “frost proof” by design, they can still have a freeze break if you've left a water hose attached to them during a freeze.

A frost-proof faucet works by shutting the water off inside your home and allowing the water close to the exterior wall to drain out of the actual faucet so there is no water left to freeze. However, if a garden hose is attached, it doesn’t allow the water to drain out, leaving the possibility of it freezing and bursting the pipe.

Most times, you won't know the pipe is busted until you go to turn the outside faucet on for the first time. Then, surprise, you’ve got water dripping or running out of the faucet, the bricks or (unfortunately sometimes) back into the interior walls! You can perform a quick test on each of your faucets by turning them on for a bit then turning them off. If you see water in places it shouldn’t be, you’ve got yourself a busted pipe in the wall that will need to replace.

Water boxes

So what exactly is a water box and why is this important?

Most houses are equipped with a shut-off valve close to the house from which you can turn off the main water supply coming into the house. These are typically located in a valve box in a flowerbed (or possibly under some bushes or shrubbery).

It is important to know where yours is located in the event you need to shut the water off to your house quickly to prevent water damage in the event of a leak. Taking a few minutes to find yours and ensure it is in working order might save you some heartache later on. If you can’t seem to locate your valve box, locate the round meter box near the street and follow a straight line towards the house. You might need to dig around a bit to uncover it.

Once you’ve located it, remove the lid and take a look inside. If you see water in the box (and it hasn’t rained recently), you might have a leak. You also want to make sure this guy will work when it needs to. Old valves tend to rust out, sometimes leaving no handle at all! If you find yours in this condition, it’s time for a new one. If you see a round handle, this is most likely a gate valve that shuts the water off by lowering a gate as you turn the handle. These guys are notorious for sticking (either in the open or closed position). Handle with care because you don’t want to turn it off only to discover you can’t get it to turn back on! We recommend replacing this type of valve with a quarter-turn ball valve with a lever handle. 

Quick Tip: If you do need to operate an old gate valve, do so with care and by turning two turns down, one turn up … two turns down, one turn up until you get it turned all the way off. This can help break up the calcification, but it's not a long-term solution for operating an old valve.

Yard leaks

Check to see if you have any wet or soggy spots in the yard, or possibly a wet sidewalk. These are telltale signs of a water leak in the yard.

Did you find some water? You will need to determine whether the leak is coming from your main water service to the house or your irrigation system. Although water travels in the path of least resistance, if the soggy spot is nowhere near your main water line, there's a good chance the leak is on the irrigation system.

One way to find out is to isolate your sprinkler line from your house line. First, open your meter box to reveal a counter or series of dials. Most modern meters have a red triangle that readily spins when water is flowing through it. Is the triangle spinning? That means that water is running somewhere on your property. Next, find the irrigation box (or double check valve box), which you'll typically find close to the street near the round meter box. If you turn that off and the meter stops spinning, you know the leak is on the sprinkler system, and you need to call an irrigation company. However, if the meter continues to spin, the leak is on the main water line to the house and you need to call a plumber!

Quick Tip: When shutting the water off to your home, be very careful when turning the water back on and go slowly. Changing the water pressure on old plumbing valves can cause them to leak. We recommend having someone inside monitoring fixtures and shut-off valves (behind toilets, under sinks, behind washing machines, water heaters, and so on) to ensure no leaks spring up.

So what if I have a leak?

If you find that you have a significant water leak outside, you can always shut off the water when you don’t need it (at night or while your away at work) to conserve water.

You'll need a special tool called a meter key to shut off the water supply at the meter. We believe every homeowner should have one of these, which can be purchased at your local hardware or plumbing supplier. This can buy you some time to get estimates for repair or replacement of the line, while minimizing usage and inconvenience.

By the way, most utility companies will be lenient in their assessment of fees if you let them know that you are intending to make the repairs in a timely fashion. This is especially important when the only indication of a leak is revealed through an extraordinarily high water bill.

PQWT Professional Water Leak Detection

We provide a professional instrument for water leakage from water supply companies, heating companies, municipal construction companies and property companies. They are mainly used to find and determine the location of leakage points of water supply pipeline, and they can also be used to detect the leakage of other pressure piping systems. When the fluid in pipeline erupts through leakage source due to the pressure, the noise produced by the impact on internal wall will spread along the pipeline or along the buried layer medium to the ground, and the instrument determines the leakage source through the amplification of leakage noise and the analysis of the spectrum signal.


For more details,  please contact PQWT Team!



Tel:  +86-731-82237112