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Best Techniques To Locate A Leak In An Underground Pipe

There are a variety of pipes connected to your home that you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about. The two that have the potential to cause you the most issues are the water pipe and the sewer line.

It’s worth noting that you are responsible for the sewer line up to where it meets the main drain, usually at the edge of your property. In contrast, you are only responsible for the water pipes after the meter. This can be in the street or in your home.

If you are responsible for the pipe and you realize you have a leak you need to have an effective technique to locate the leak and then fix it.

Invest In A Drain Camera

The first thing you need to do is find a good quality drain camera for sale and buy it. This is something that you can use several times a year to keep an eye on the condition of your sewer lines. The drain camera is fed into your sewer line and stays connected to a screen that you keep next to you. It allows you to look at the walls of the pipe, spot clogs, and even find breakages in the pipe.

Not only does the drain camera help you to locate the issue, but it will also give you a measurement regarding how far it has travelled. This will help you to identify exactly where the issue is and minimize the disruption involved in removing and replacing a section of pipe.

If you are looking for a leak in your sewer pipe and one doesn’t appear to be obvious you may find it beneficial to pour water down the pipes and watch where it goes on the camera.

Thermal Imaging

Thermal imaging cameras can also be a useful way to test for leaks, especially if you are looking at leaks under your home and on the supply pipe. These types of leaks can be very hard to find.

A thermal imaging camera can be held above the surface and will map the temperatures below the ground. It should help to highlight any water pockets and large amounts of moisture. You’ll then be able to target a repair, minimizing the disruption caused and without using destructive testing techniques.


Another option, but one that is generally best left to the professionals, is to use gas. The pipes are charged with nitrogen gas. This type is chosen because it is inert and presents no danger to you or the pipes.

Once the pipes are charged a probe is pushed into the ground and the technician listens via headphones using an amplifier. This allows them to hear the hissing sound made as the gas escapes from the pipes.

They will keep moving the probe until they find the issue and then you can discuss the best repair options.

Again, this means the repair is less destructive than it could be.

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