How to Find a Water Leak Underground

Underground water leaks are caused by underground water pipe bursts or damage. This problem can go undetected for a very long time. Like everything related to water damage, the longer it goes undetected, the more damage it causes. In severe cases, water leak damages may become evident on the surface.

As a commercial or residential property owner, water leak detection is an essential service to catch this problem and prevent disasters from happening. It also saves you money on extensive repair costs and ensures the proper water pressure for indoor use.

While residential underground water leaks may be easier to detect, commercial properties often experience difficulty detecting these issues. This difficulty can primarily be attributed to the construction strength and materials.

Irrespective of how hard it is to detect the source of the underground leak, doing it is essential. Find below everything you need to know about how to find an underground water leak repair service.

What Causes Underground Water Leaks

Underground water leaks are caused by various factors. In fact, many of the factors causing this problem are not directly due to human actions. Here are some common causes;

Underground Chemicals:

Underground pipes are buried deep inside the ground to protect them and prevent frequent contact. However, the soil surrounding the pipes contains several chemical compounds that can act on the pipes and degrade them. This degradation effort can happen over a long period, causing the pipes to erode. The eroded portions may begin to crack due to continuous chemical interactions, thus causing water leaks.

It is important to note that underground water leaks often start small. Over time, the water pressure and chemical interaction may force the cracks open, leading to significant losses.

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters like tremors and earthquakes can also cause underground water leaks. These natural disasters shift and unsettle the earth, which can pressure the underground pipes in unusual ways. The pipes may also shift with the earth, causing them to move, crack, or break.

Wear and Tear

Piping materials have different lifespans, meaning that over the years, they lose their integrity and quality, which affects their ability to carry out their tasks effectively. The degradation from wear and tear can cause the pipes to crack, leading to leaks.

Poor Installation

Poor installation is one of the avoidable causes of underground leaks due to low-quality installation materials or improper installations.

Signs of Underground Water Leaks

Finding underground water leaks requires you to know the common signs that indicate this problem. Knowing the signs can prompt you to take immediate actions to save your commercial or residential property. Here are the common signs of underground water leaks.

Unusually Wet Soil or Areas

An unusually wet area on your property may not mean much, especially after heavy rain or water-related action. However, wet areas on perfectly sunny days indicate a brewing water problem. They may be a pointer to underground water leaks or other water-related issues that need immediate attention.

A Sudden Increase in Water Usage and Costs

Homes and businesses usually have an idea of what their utility costs are. A sudden spike in water usage or cost with no explanations deserves investigating. If you cannot find a ready answer in the form of surface water leaks or damaged plumbing, chances are high that you’re dealing with an underground water leak.

Cracked Pavement Area

A cracked pavement may result from many things, including an underground water leak. Pavements are made from cement mixes that are capable of soaking water. Your pavement may absorb moisture released from underground leaks until it reaches its breaking point, leading to cracks.

Visible Potholes

Visible potholes on your driveway or walkway may also be an indication of an undetected underground leak. Potholes are caused by leached or settled soil. The potholes may also become a pool of visible water, indicating an underground water leak.

Unpleasant Smells

Your commercial or residential property may give off unpleasant smells due to undetected water leaks. The unpleasant odors are often a result of moisture-laden areas and organic matter decomposition. This could be a major indicator to alert you to a possible water problem.

Reduced Water Pressure

A noticeable drop in water pressure can significantly affect your quality of life. This problem can be due to underground water leaks and should be investigated immediately. The faster you can trace the problem, the more you save.

Steps For Finding Underground Water Leaks

With underground pipes, out of sight is usually out of mind. Underground pipes are often the last point of call when plumbing problems occur. This is mostly because they are hard to reach and are often expensive to repair. However, if every other plumbing fixture checks out, you may need to investigate your underground pipes for water pipe repair or replacement. Here are the recommended steps.

Check Your Water Meter

Your water meter usage can often tell you if you’ve been above regular usage limits. If this is the case, start by shutting off your home’s main water valve.

After shutting off the main water valve, do these;

  • Check around to make sure water isn’t running inside your home or business
  • Inspect the water meter for the leak indicator signal. A small red, blue, or white triangle often indicates this. The indicator spins when the main water valve is turned on, but if it continues after shutting off the main valve, there’s an underground leak.
  • For meters without leak indicators, take a water meter reading after shutting off your home’s main valve. Leave the valve shut off for 30 to 60 minutes and compare the reading after. If the reading changes, then there’s a leak.

Contact A Professional Water Leak Detection Service

Detecting water leaks is one part of the problem; identifying the source is another. Professional water leak service providers are trained to detect and fix water pipe leaks, whether above or underground. These professionals can help you determine the problem’s source and how best to address it.

If you’re looking for trusted and reputable Maryland water pipe repair services, BFMD has the requisite experience and expertise to deliver a solid result. Our trained emergency plumbing services are available to check out water leaks, perform leak detections, and fix the problem rightly. 


4219-A Hanover Pike Manchester 

(410) 440-5814