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How to Find Out If You Have an Underground Pipe Leak

If you suspect that water may be leaking from a broken pipe or fitting somewhere underground, here’s how to know for sure:

Check the water meter's dials.©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

Check the water meter’s dials.

1Turn off every faucet, fixture, and appliance that uses water—even the ice maker. Do NOT turn off the main shutoff valve.


2Open the water meter’s cover so that you can see the gauge.


3Mark the rim of the gauge where the needle is pointing (if there are several dials, mark the one that indicates 1-cubic-foot increments).


4Leave the water shut off for 30 minutes, and then see if the needle has moved from the mark. If it has, your plumbing is leaking somewhere.


5You can look for signs of a leak, such as sinkholes or mushy areas of ground, but you may have to have a professional find it.

Home Plumbing System

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