How Do You Fix a Leaking Underground Pipe?

damaged pipes

Leaking underground pipes

Winter has finally departed the New Jersey area and your family is outside enjoying the warm (almost hot) weather. At the end of the day, you notice there is a puddle of water around the foundation of the house. You make sure the water hose and sprinkler are turned off, but the next morning, that puddle has gotten bigger. This could be indication that you need a water line repair – and soon. 

You dread this happening, first because of the cost and inconvenience, but you also dread your landscaping and lawn getting dug up. Fortunately, today, in many cases, plumbers have a way to complete a water line repair without digging up the landscaping or lawn.  

First though, you may be wondering how do you know if you have a water leak underground? An underground water leak can create massive problems, even disastrous, if not found and the water line repair addressed as soon as possible. It can go from that small puddle at the foundation of your home to sinkhole fast. 

As a homeowner, you need to be alert to any indication of an underground water leak. Some of the indications could be as follows: 

  • Puddles or unusually soggy areas in the lawn when there hasn’t been any significant rain. 
  • Greener, taller grass around your home, or a moldy surface on the ground. 
  • A drop in the water pressure.
  • Air or dirt in the water lines. 
  • Bulges or cracks in the driveway.
  • Potholes or sink holes in the driveway or lawn.
  • Leaning or unlevel house or structures.
  • A sudden increase or steady increasing in the water bill.

If there hasn’t been any of the signs, but you hear what could be water running underground, as hissing or whooshing sound, you should have it inspected. 

How do plumbers find leaks?

Today, plumbers and water line repair contractors have listening discs that can help them hear sounds of water leaking inside walls, under cement, or underground. This type of technology is just as common for a plumber to use today as a crescent wrench in doing their water line repair specialty. 

Other water line repair tools for finding leaks is heat scanners when the leak may be too deep, or the surrounding area is too noisy for that acoustic technology. These heat scanners find where there is a temperature change from the escaping water and with that, the plumbing contractor will know where the water line repair is needed.  

A third piece of technology that plumbers have today is video pipe equipment. With this technology, the plumber is able to precisely find the leak with a miniature camera that is mounted on fiber optic cable.  The camera send images of where the damage is. With that image, the plumber is able to determine the best way and what is needed for the water line repair. 

How deep is the main water line?

For most states in the southern and western areas, water supply lines that connect to the household plumbing is required to be no less than three feet underground.  In far northern states like New Jersey, the minimum requirement is four feet. When possible, it is preferred the  water supply line be installed a loop system so there is minimal dead-ends. 

What is the best pipe for water lines?

PEX piping is made from a durable plastic and has been the number one choice for many plumbers since 1980s. They are easy to install because they are flexible, they don’t freeze up in the winter, and for any homeowner looking to change out their copper pipes, PEX is the most recommended. However, there are some instances where the plumber may recommend and the homeowner request using copper for any water line repairs.

water bursting from pipe

How much does it cost to fix an underground water leak?

As it is in any state, the cost for a water line repair can vary due to several factors, with one being the how bad and how much line is damaged. Another factor is the location the water pipe repair is needed, they type of materials to be used, and what labor & tools will be needed. 

The average cost of a professional plumber in New Jersey will start around $90 per hour. The cost of materials any additional labor required will be added to that hourly rate. Any after hour, holiday, or weekend calls to repair a water line will usually be charged double that hourly rate or more. 

While summer has finally arrived, homeowners should be aware of possible water line damage from the winter. It could take some time before it starts to become obvious, so being aware and getting water line repairs done as soon as possible is recommended. Use the indicators we listed and keeping your ears and eyes open at all time could save you a lot of money and inconvenience. Call 551-257-6200 today for your pipe repair in Saddle Brook, NJ.