The constant presence of a mysterious water puddle in your yard typically means that you have a hidden leak somewhere. So how can you find the hidden water leaks in your yard? The first step you could take would be to look at any visible signs of the leak.
Water leaks can happen for many different reasons. For example, it could be due to erosion, shifting of the ground soil, or a sudden increase of pressure on the pipes.
In this article, we will discuss how to tell if there are water leaks on the ground by looking at the common symptoms that indicate that you have a water leak. You can also read more about what you should do to nip this arising plumbing problem in the bud.
Signs of Sneaky Leaks Outside Your Home
Here are the signs that you have a water leak.
1. High Water Bill
Your monthly water bills are expected to say in the same range month in and month out. Unless you have guests in your home and host parties frequently, it will be around the average each month. One of the easiest ways to tell that you have a water leak would be to look at your water bill from the previous months. If you notice a drastic increase in your water bill, you might need to call a plumber and have them inspect your plumbing system inside and out to check for signs of a leak.
2. Water in the Street
The pipes in front of your house can burst. Since the water has nowhere else to go, the water will most likely head to the street. It could be the main water line or the pipe leading to your house. Whatever the case, it's wise to call your utility company to check them out if you ever see water strangely building up in the street.
3. Unpleasant Smell
Another sign of a possible water leak in your yard is when you start smelling an unpleasant odor. The bad smell is usually a sign that the dirty water is not flowing through properly. This may be caused by a cracked or broken sewer pipe. Dirty water is unsanitary and may harbor harmful bacteria. In this case, it would be best to call a plumber to check on your sewer pipeline right away.
4. Water Discoloration
Your tap water should be clean at all times. If you find dirt or air in your water, it is a sign that there is an issue somewhere in your outside pipes, causing your water to be contaminated.
5. Wet Spots or Cracked Foundation
These two are common signs that you have a broken or cracked pipe leaking or seeping through your home. Once you notice that there are wet spots or crack, make sure to take action right away. If this is not corrected early, it could weaken the house's foundations and ruin its construction, which may put you and your family's safety in jeopardy.
6. Bulges in the Driveway or Cracked Pavement
When the underground pipes are cracked, they could create a visible impact on the surface. Some indicators include bulges on the driveway or cracks on the pavement.
7. Potholes on the Yard
The holes in your yard indicate that there might be a cracked pipe under it. The sudden appearance of sinkholes and potholes in your yard is something very serious, and you should be calling a plumber to inspect as it could lead to a more severe issue in the future.
8. Patches of Greener Grass
Every homeowner wants to have a lush lawn, but if the area in your yard is much greener and is growing faster than the rest, it could also be an indicator that there is a water line leaking directly under that spot. If the water is profusely leaking, there could also be puddles on the surface.
9. Low Water Pressure
If you have low water pressure and the water services company has not notified you about it in advance, there could be a leak. It could be a sign that the pipes are clogged, ruptured, or eroded. This usually happens when there is new construction in the neighborhood. Notify the authorities to check the drains outside.
Use this simple hack to check if you have low water pressure: Turn the water on in the shower and flush the toilet simultaneously. If the shower stops, it is an indication that you have low water pressure.
10. Possible Issues with Older Homes
Older homes are more likely to have water leaks and other plumbing issues compared to new homes. If you're living in a really old house, you might need to schedule a plumbing inspection because the old pipes may have been corroded and may need pipe relining.
DIY Technique for Checking Underground Water Leaks
Leaky or damaged pipes are not something you should neglect. It can cause sinkholes in the yard, structural damage to your home, and many other different plumbing-related issues.
You can also do a DIY check for an underground leak using these steps.
- Find the water meter: The water meter is usually located outside near the driveway. It has a heavy lid and is easy to see.
- Turn off the shutoff valve and shut down all the water. The shutoff valve is usually located in the basement or outside the house.
- Make sure to turn off all the faucets at home.
- Mark where the needle is located in the water meter.
- Check after 30 minutes. If the needle has moved even without water supply in the house, you should call the plumber to check for leaks.
Check for Sounds Coming from the Pipes
Listen to your pipes. If sounds are coming from the pipes, it is a good time to call a plumber to check the conditions of the pipes. The plumbers would then use a small camera to look for any cracks or damage to the lines.
Sounds you may hear from the pipes:
- Splashing: the water is flowing around the pipes
- Clinking: there could be stones or pebbles that are flowing through and banging the pipes
- Hissing: there is a decrease in water pressure
- Bubbling: the pipe is either broken or clogged
A water leak in your round can lead to severe damage if you leave them unattended for long. Early detection of water leaks can save you a lot of time and money. But bear in mind that not all leaks are caused by a damaged pipe. However, it would be best if you addressed them promptly to avoid any possible water damage.
Using the signs we have listed above, you now know when to call a plumber to inspect your pipes. A plumber will diagnose the problem and use the right solutions to fix the leak in your yard.