To detect an underground leak, turn off all water to the home, open the water meter cover, mark the gauge where the needle points and come back in 30 minutes to see if it has moved, advises HomeTips.com. Also look for signs of leaks in the yard.
When checking for a leak, do not shut off the main water valve, notes HomeTips.com. The water should still be available; otherwise, the leak cannot be detected. To detect leaks, follow the steps below.
- Turn off the water
- Access the water meter and mark the gauge
- Look for usage
- Check the yard for leaks
Begin the leak-detection process by turning off all the water inside the home. This includes the faucets and water running to appliances such as icemakers and washing machines. Leave the main shutoff valve on.
Find and open the cover to the water meter. View the gauge. Note where the needle on the gauge is pointing and mark the spot. If the meter has several dials, mark the dial that indicates water usage in cubic feet.
After marking the gauge, wait for 30 minutes and then go back to the water meter. Note whether the home "used" water with all fixtures and appliances shut off. If so, the usage number will have increased, meaning there is a leak somewhere in the plumbing and a professional should be consulted.
Also look for signs of leakage in the yard such as mushy areas and sinkholes. These indicate a problem that requires professional attention.