Detecting A Water Main Leak Under Driveway

Opinion & Expertise
July 20, 2015

by David Balkan

Detecting Water Main Leak Under Driveway

Dealing with a broken water main is usually a once-in-a-lifetime event. Thus when faced with a leaking main, many homeowners become confused, or even panic. The average lifespan of a water main is around 50 years, although some can last significantly longer while others fail prematurely. Natural wear and climatic events are the most common reasons for a water main failure to occur. Poor plumbing, including improper installation of piping or failing to use code compliant fittings when connecting to your home or the city water main, may also cause premature leaks or breaks. Do you know the signs of a water main leak under driveway to look for?

Detecting Water Main Leak Under Driveway

A water main leak under driveway will usually produce a stream of water that appears as pooling water on surface of your property, on the driveway, or can even come through a foundation wall. Although pooling water is the most common sign, water always flows toward the path of least resistance or a low point. So the leak may have even originated from a neighboring property, or a point far from where it first became visible. Digging to perform a repair without doing some sort of leak detection can lead to needless excavations.

Rumbling or hissing at the point where the water main enters the house while there is no water usage can also be an indication there may be a water main leak under driveway, roadway, or other area. A loss of water pressure inside your residence is another strong indication that the water main in your property could have issues. Always contact a licensed water main contractor to confirm the presence of any possible issues with the water main on your property.

Pinpointing the exact location of a water main leak used to be a messy and time-consuming proposition, especially if the leak was located under a driveway. That is because a concrete or asphalt driveway will not allow leaking water to easily rise to the surface above the point of the leak. The procedure would involve digging up the entire length of the main from the street to the house to find the problem, frequently making an attempt at a repair more costly than a full replacement. These days, state-of-the-art leak detection equipment, which uses sensitive audio technology, can pinpoint the location of the many water main breaks. This can make extensive digging and disruption unnecessary. Naturally each water main break has its own unique set of circumstances.

Bear in mind that even without the use of sophisticated equipment, frequently a reliable leak test can be performed to verify a leak. This is a good 1st step before getting heavily invested in terms of time and money. With that said, here’s a commonsense leak testing guide.

If you suspect you have a water main leak under your driveway or anywhere else on your property, contact the professionals at Joseph L. Balkan Inc. Sewer and Water Main Specialists. We will provide you with a comprehensive inspection of your water main and sewer systems by a highly trained and experienced professional.

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David Balkan

David Balkan is the CEO of Balkan Sewer And Water Main, the largest and most trusted service in New York City. David is extremely active in various NYC plumber organizations being the Chairman of the Subsurface Committee in the Master Plumbers Council, and Vice President of the Subsurface Plumbers Association. In addition David’s expertise is respected by officials of New York City agencies such as the NYC DEP, NYC DOB, and the NYC DOT. He frequently provides valuable input on a variety of industry related matters.

Dave Balkan

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