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Re: Locate water line leak

I was being facetious. I do live in Md. Don't forget the cost just to pump out. I'm a DIY guy, but that's one job I'm glad to be able to pay somebody to do.:)

Nathan Aller
Re: Locate water line leak

Glad this problem was resolved. My situation is different. Water source is spring. Water piped to holding tank, then to cistern near house and pumped from there to house. We are losing water between holding tank and cistern. There are no visible wet spots in the summer. Waterline runs down road at base of a hill. It is deep enough (3'), we prefer not to dig it up but there is one area (where it crosses road) that is shallow. Is there a way to determine if leak is before or after this location? We still get water, but holding tank does not fill up as long as valve is open to cistern.

Re: Locate water line leak

I know this sounds crazy, but check with local old-timers for someone who can 'water-witch'. They can find the 'pooling' where the leak is so you aren't digging up the whole line. I've seen it work too many times to discount it as hogwash. It doesn't always work but it's better than guessing wildly and getting it wrong twenty times :cool:


Re: Locate water line leak

Springs pose a big problem finding leaks, the lines generally run down hill and a leak at the top may cause a wet spot at the bottom rather than the top. Sometimes it is fater and cheaper to run a new ditch and install a new line.


Re: Locate water line leak

A few things to keep in mind when attempting to locate underground leaks between two locations:

  1. If you have an above-ground pump, the foot valve (a special check valve with a screen on one end) at the bottom of the well is a common point of failure. If you have a submersible pump, there will be a check valve either at the outlet of the pump or near the pressure tank on the line coming from the pump. That can fail, too.
  2. Black plastic pipe is typically sold in 100 and 300 foot lengths. If there is a leak at a fitting, there's a good chance it will be at some multiple of 100 feet from one end or the other.
  3. Tree roots can crush black plastic pipe. The pipe can also be damaged where it passes under a driveway.

And for repairing black plastic pipe, you can heat the pipe with a heat gun to make it easier to insert the barbed fitting. Then heat the pipe again when clamping it down, but never so hot that the pipe becomes soft enough to permanently deform. Use two hose clamps at each barb for the most secure joint.


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