September 29, 2021
I Have a Leak, Now What?
Let's face it. We all will experience a leak at some point in our life. Plumbing materials age with time, becoming susceptible to damage and corrosion. Nationwide, nearly 1 trillion gallons of water is wasted annually, wreaking havoc on both the home and finances. Underground water leaks can by far be a homeowner's worst nightmare.
Leaks originating underground from the water pipes that run to your home can be harder to detect. If you have an unusually high water bill and noticed any of the following, you may have a leak.
- Low water pressure
- Dirt or particles in your tap water
- Air coming from your faucets
- Cracks in your foundation
- Unusually high water bills
- Puddles or mud patches in your yard
- Foul water odor
- Unusual patches of fast-growing weeds
- Begin by cutting off all the faucets both in and outside your home. Turn off all water-related appliances and irrigation.
- Locate your water meter and open the lid. Look for changes. Watch our how-to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZgNeIvhtWc
If you see a change, you may have a fast-moving leak. Otherwise, check back in 30 minutes to detect the slower leaks.
- Did your bill increase over time, abnormally high, or does it fluctuate? Tip: Houseguests, pressure washing, and watering the lawn contribute to fluctuations in your water bill.
- Inspect your water heater and all toilets for leaks. Tip: Food coloring can help identify leaks in toilets. See how: https://www.facebook.com/100165771391977/photos/a.139298804145340/300844414657444
Common areas of leaks happen near the home's shut-off valve and at pipe joints or fittings. Understanding the location of your underground pipe will help narrow down the area of interest. Look for cracks in your pavement, foundation, puddles of water or muddy areas in your yard, unusual spots of fast-growing weeds. All of these are indicators of where your leak may be. If you have identified that your leak is underground, shut off your water at the meter and contact your local plumber. ( Turn off your water heater during this time to prevent damage to the unit. ) Most repairs require excavation work and assurance there are no buried utility lines in the vicinity. A certified plumber will have the experience and the tools to identify the source of the leak and to make repairs.
Harmful contaminants can make their way into your home's plumbing when there is an underground leak. Stagnant water in pipes can also contain harmful sediments and metals that are not safe for drinking and cooking. Once the leak is repaired, it is recommended that you flush your water from an outside faucet closest to the leak first. Then, flush the interior home starting on the lower level, bypassing any water softeners. Please read the following how-to article for flushing: https://www.flintregistry.org/tips-on-how-to-flush-your-pipes-after-your-water-has-been-restored/
Reducing the Cost of Repairs
Qualifying Eastside Utility customers, that have not opted out, have coverage for the high water bill through the ServLine® Protection Program. All customers are auto-enrolled in this program. Repairs to the water lines from the meter to the home are the responsibility of the homeowner. ServLine® offers extended coverage to cover costly line repairs. We encourage all customers to expand their coverage to include the ServLine® Line Protection to offset the costs of repairs. To enroll, call ServLine® at (423) 771-9988.