How to Find a Water Leak Outside Underground

How to Find a Water Leak Outside Underground

Water leaks can be a costly and frustrating problem, especially when they occur underground. Detecting and fixing these leaks promptly is crucial to prevent further damage and wastage of water. Here are some steps to help you find a water leak outside underground:

1. Examine your water meter: Start by turning off all water sources in your home and ensure that no appliances or faucets are using water. Then, locate your water meter, usually found near the street or sidewalk. If the meter is still running, it indicates a leak.

2. Check your water bill: If you notice a sudden increase in your water bill without any apparent reason, it could be a sign of an underground leak. Compare your current bill to previous months to determine any significant changes.

3. Look for soggy areas: Walk around your yard and look for areas that are consistently wet or soggy, even during dry weather. These damp patches could indicate an underground leak.

4. Monitor plant growth: Unusual plant growth or patches of lush green grass can also be an indication of a water leak. Constant moisture from a leak can cause plants to thrive in certain areas.

5. Listen for running water: Pay attention to any unusual sounds of running water in your yard, especially when no taps or appliances are in use. This could be a sign of a hidden leak.

6. Use a water leak detector: These devices are specifically designed to locate leaks underground. They work by listening for the sound of water escaping from pipes. Walk around your yard with the detector, listening for any unusual sounds or fluctuations.

7. Hire a professional: If you’re unable to locate the leak yourself, consider hiring a professional leak detection service. These experts have specialized equipment, such as ground microphones and thermal imaging cameras, to find and pinpoint underground leaks accurately.

8. Call your utility company: If you suspect a leak in the main water line, contact your utility company. They will be able to assist you in locating and fixing the problem.


1. How can I determine if the leak is in my water line or the irrigation system?
To determine the source of the leak, turn off the main water supply to your property. If the water meter stops running, the leak is likely in your irrigation system. If it continues to run, the leak is likely in the main water line.

2. Can I fix an underground water leak myself?
Fixing an underground water leak can be challenging and may require professional assistance. It often involves excavating the affected area, repairing or replacing the damaged pipe, and then filling in the hole.

3. Will my homeowner’s insurance cover the cost of fixing an underground water leak?
It depends on your insurance policy. Some policies cover the cost of repairing the damage caused by the leak, while others may not. Review your policy or consult your insurance agent to determine your coverage.

4. How much does it cost to repair an underground water leak?
The cost of repairing an underground water leak varies depending on the complexity of the issue, the location of the leak, and the extent of the damage. It is advisable to get multiple quotes from reputable professionals before making a decision.

5. How urgent is it to fix an underground water leak?
It is crucial to address an underground water leak promptly to prevent further damage and excessive water loss. Ignoring a leak can lead to increased water bills, foundation damage, and even mold growth.

6. Can underground leaks cause sinkholes?
Yes, if left unaddressed, underground water leaks can erode the soil beneath the surface, leading to sinkholes. These can pose a significant danger to people and property.

7. Are there any preventive measures to avoid underground water leaks?
Regularly inspecting your plumbing system, promptly fixing any visible leaks, and monitoring your water bill for any unusual changes can help detect and prevent underground water leaks.

8. How often should I check for underground water leaks?
It is recommended to periodically inspect your property for any signs of water leaks, especially after extreme weather events or major plumbing work. By being proactive, you can catch leaks early and minimize potential damage.