Your home is likely your greatest investment. Water pipe leaks can create higher than average water bills and can often lead to property or structure damage if not repaired. Many pipe leak issues can be identified visually if above ground. Common leaks found visually may be those hiding beneath a sink, faucets not turning off completely or even a quietly running toilet.
Many water pipes however are installed below ground or beneath a slab on grade foundation which can make finding leaks much more difficult without the right tools and experience. In years past the best technologies included shovels, coat hangers and expensive guesses. Fast forward to today, leak detection technologies have greatly improved. Today’s technologies include highly sensitive ground microphones and other electronic leak detection tools. Some of the more advanced tools may include leak correlators and loggers, plastic pipe locating tools, utility locators using electromagnetic technologies and tracer gas technologies and equipment that utilize Helium and Hydrogen.
Most leak issues can be located and repaired at a fraction of replacement costs. I’ve personally located nearly 500 leaks per year since 2010. I have to say that my average customer is a once in a lifetime which tells me that pipe leaks are not a commonly recurring issue for most homes. From personal experience, many pipe leaks are caused by tree roots, a faulty connection, a past repair or ground movements. It’s my experience that once a pipe leak is remedied by a reputable plumbing repair service there are often no future leak detection needs on that property. I do get referred to neighbors of past customers because their experience with my help was good and therefore referred my help forward.
Once a leak is located for repair I highly recommend that the repair contractor provide (you) a little piece of the pipe repaired for future reference. I suggest this because most homeowners (including myself) have no idea of the quality of the pipe installed between a meter and the house. Having just a little piece in a home owners house file allows future reference to the pipe should it ever leak again. This little piece of pipe can now be taken to any plumber on staff at any local hardware store for unbiased information about the material. If the pipe material is of good quality and another leak issue is needed to be fixed, having this information will help any homeowner best decide to replace or simply locate for another repair.