Where are leaks found underground?
A significant amount work that we carry out is on underground water leak detection. Firstly because they are a fairly common water leak cause. Secondly, it is fairly common in properties to have water pipes underground from things such as:
- Mains water to your property – see our guide on responsibility for water leaks
- Central heating and plumbing pipe leaks within the house
- Underfloor heating leaks, which is more common on modern houses
- Underground waste or sewage pipe leaks leaving your property
The final reason we get a lot of requests for underground water leak detection is that it is something that requires a leak detection specialist such as ourselves. Underground water leaks are much harder to find than something more visible like a leaking tap and therefore require specialist leak detection methods. For that reason, it represents a larger percentage of the demand for our services in helping to locate a leak.
We have trained leak detection engineers locally. As well as their training, they have have access to specialist systems and leak detection equipment to help maximise the chances of finding your leak. To help with underground water leak detection, here are some of the systems we use:
- Moisture mapping – mostly using non-invasive damp / moisture meters
- This includes non-invasive Pinless Moisture Meters
- Acoustic leak detection – to listen to the sound of a water leak, using;
- Acoustic listening devices – various kinds
- Thermal imaging leak detection – to spot the heat (or cold) signs of a leak
- Tracer gas leak detection – using specialist gas sniffers to find a leak
- Water meter readings (even if you don’t have a meter) – to see the size of leak
- Pipe detectors – to trace the path of pipes in hidden locations
- We have other tools that we use, but these are the main ones.
- Often they work together with each other to collect evidence on where the leak is.
- Finding a leak with just one of these pieces of equipment would be harder
- There is no ‘one size fits all’ leak detector that can be used
- If is very difficult to do underground water leak detection with a non-professional device
How do you do underground water leak detection to find a leak underground?
So what is involved in carrying underground water leak detection?
Well, as we said above, there are various elements and bespoke systems and processes that we follow. Other than the equipment that we just mentioned, it also includes:
- Gauging the scale of the leak (there are several ways we do this)
- Looking for evidence both directly and indirectly
- This can be similar to our article on the signs of a water leak
- We will use our equipment to find other signs too
- Collecting other useful information about the property to accompany that
- Collating this evidence together to focus in on likely causes
- Focusing in on these, in detail, to help pinpoint a leak
- All the above relates to the ‘trace’ part of trace and access
- Clearly the next part is the ‘access’…
We cover this in our guide to finding a leak between house and meter.
Once we have done the above and are confident about a possible location of a leak, or in some instances to aid the above (e.g. a small hole to put a borescope inspection camera in) we then move to the access stage of a leak. Depending on what surface the leak is under, this will determine how we best access the leak.
Once the underground water leak detection is completed and the leak is found. We will then determine what needs fixing. Sometimes this is a small repair, other times it can be large, especially if there are multiple leaks which can happen. After that, we will make recommendations for what water damage restoration and repairs, including drying is required. We also offer this service.
You may find our Boiler Pressure Low? – Leak Calculator beneficial with some underground water leaks as they can often be on central heating leaking pipes as we covered earlier in this guide. Equally, we mention underground water leak detection in our article (with video) about Mr Muscle Drain Gel.
You may also be interested in our:
What causes underground leaks?
Underground water leaks can be caused by a number of things. This can include – ground movement / heave which damages the pipes, wear and tear over time, corrosion (which surprises some people), accidental damage or even tree roots. Finding out exactly what the cause of an underground leak can be tricky and will likely involve accessing it, especially if a repair is required.
What does an underground water leak sound like?
The sound of an underground water leak will vary depending on the type of leak, how bad it is (how much water is escaping), what the surrounding area is (soil, concrete etc) and how deep it is. A trained underground water leak detection will not only have the equipment to hear underground leaks but also a trained ear to recognise them.
Are underground leaks hard to find?
Underground water leaks can be tricky to find without specialist knowledge and tools that water leak detection experts like us have. We use a variety of specialist tools and equipment, coupled with experienced leak detection engineers to help maximise the chances of finding a water leak. Once an underground water leak detection has located a leak, it then needs to be accessed.