As our cities and neighborhoods age, the infrastructure of underground water and sewer pipes and natural gas lines are aging right along with them. Aging leads to leakage, and that leads to problems.
To resolve a leak problem, the first step is to determine where the leak is coming from. If it’s obvious like gurgling water bubbling to the surface next to an outdoor water faucet, a simple call to a professional plumber will usually solve the issue.
If, however, you smell natural gas, safety is paramount. You should leave the area and call your gas company and or the appropriate emergency number for a gas leak. This is something you should be aware of ahead of time. In the case of a hidden water leak such as water draining from under your foundation and you have no idea where the leak is coming from, the first step could be to call a leak detection specialist or a plumbing company that can do both the leak detection and slab leak repair. Sometimes the best solution is to just reroute the water line and forget about a costly leak detection and all the expense of breaking up concrete and repairing that as well.
Waterline leaks - Water leaks can be deceptive and not noticeable to the eye. A spike in your water bill might be the first sign of trouble. After performing visual inspections on all of the usual suspects like your water heater, under sinks, outdoor faucets and sprinklers and other water users with no luck in seeing a leak, call in a leak detection company.
Underground leaks – Underground leaks in water, sewer and natural gas line within your property line are usually the responsibility of the homeowner. Utilizing custom pipe inspection equipment like video cameras, ultra sound, thermal imaging and ground penetrating radar, leak detection specialists can detect the source of the hidden leaks and recommend action needed to fix and repair the problem.
Slab leaks – No one wants to hear the sound of running water when all the water is turned off in the house. That means trouble. The same applies to finding a hot spot on the floor or cracks in the floor and walls or finding excessive moisture under your carpet. All of these indicate a possible problems with the pipes below.
Locating under-slab leaks can be done using modern tools like electronic amplification equipment and electromagnetic pipeline locators. Once the leaks are found, the repair plan can be formulated.
The repair might be as simple as lifting one floor tile, drilling through the slab, and repairing the leaking water pipe. The repair could also require jackhammering a large part of your house slab, replacing entire lines, and pouring a new slab. Often, the best most cost effective solution is rerouting the water line when possible.
Pool leaks – Backyard swimming pools provide hours of enjoyment to the whole family, but they do require upkeep in cleaning and the proper chemical balance. What no one wants to see is a sudden lowering of the water level faster than the normal 1/4" of water nature takes daily in the form of evaporation.
A pool is basically a large hole in the ground lined with vinyl sheeting or concrete or stucco or combinations of the materials. When water begins to disappear, you know you have a leak.
To have your pool checked for leaks, you should call a leak detection company that specializes in pool leaks. This is almost never a plumber. A professional pool leak detection specialist uses his range of visual scanning and audio equipment to locate the leak and recommend repairs.
Natural gas leaks - The first sign of a natural gas leak in your home is the unmistakable odor of sulfuric, rotten eggs. The artificial scent is added to odorless, colorless natural gas for that very purpose: to warn of a leak.
A natural gas leak is nothing to fool around with. If you’ve checked your stove and hot water heater and the pilot lights are on, immediately leave the area and call your gas company and notify them of the leak. Although it's usually a minor problem, In some extreme cases, there might be a rupture in the main gas line and the entire neighborhood could be in jeopardy.
As to who is responsible to repair the leak is sometimes questionable. Normally, the gas company will make repairs on any pipes on the street side of the gas meter. If the leak is under the owner’s property, it is usually the property owner’s duty and cost to have it repaired before service can be restored. They will usually recommend you contact a licensed plumber to repair the gas line.