Underground Leak After Water Meter?


Old 10-07-13, 04:04 AM
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Underground Leak After Water Meter?

Brick house on slab, built 1974. Interior plumbing redone 2002, PVC/CPVC run through attic. It's OK...we're in South Carolina.

Our water bill is showing double the usage this year versus last year, for several consecutive months. Water company says meter is correct an accurate. Since lines runs through attic, leaks would immediately manifest as stains in our ceiling. We know actual usage is not the issue...we have no leaky faucets and both kids are now a college. We actually have half the people living here now vs. last year.

The only place I can figure a leak may be happening is in the 30' or so of underground pipe between the water meter and the house. Is there a DIY check for leaks without having to dig up the entire length of pipe?

Or is the leak somewhere else? Thoughts?

AZ in SC
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Old 10-07-13, 04:37 AM
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You should have a water shut off valve at the house, shut the water off there and read the meter. A major leak would have the little triangle spinning, if it's a slower leak you may need to wait an hour or so and go back to re read the meter.
Old 10-07-13, 05:20 AM
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Another hidden spot it can be a leaking flapper in the toilet.
Just add some red food coloring to the tank and see if it shows up in the bowl.
Old 10-07-13, 06:28 AM
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The meter should have a little pointer or triangle that spins with the slightest water usage. Make sure everything is turned off in the house and go look at your meter. If the indicator is spinning you have a leak somewhere.

The toilet flapper is a common leaker. Put a few drops of food coloring in the tank and see if the water in the bowl takes on a color. If it does then you've found a leak.

The water line from the meter to the house can also leak. Walk between the meter and your house and see if you can find a wet spot or low area. In SC your water line may be buried as shallow as 12" so it might be visible at the surface.
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