How to Locate An Underground Water Pipe

The smallest leak in your water pipe could waste at least 10,000 gallons of water in one year. That’s a lot of money to spend on water you don’t use. If you can find your underground water pipe, you can identify and fix leaks before they become expensive problems.

Keep reading for ways to locate your underground water line.

Locating an Underground Water Pipe

The best way to find a water line is by using a sonde transmitter. A sonde transmitter is a device that sends waves into the ground and then listens for the echo to come back. Construction workers use this device to find underground water lines and PVC pipes.

You can also ask a contractor where the pipe is. If you have access to someone who has already worked with your property, they can tell you where your water line runs underneath it.

Using a metal detector is another option. However, this is an unreliable method because the device can’t distinguish between a water pipe and other metal objects. If you have an underground fence or a buried electric line in the area, it could give you false readings.

Locating Water Line With Sonde Transmitter

Sonde transmitters fit within a drill head housing and send out magnetic fields that determine the depth of buried assets. Attach the sonde to the end of the reel the manufacturer included with it. Afterward, you can send the device into an available pipe and the device will send signals back to the surface.

Sondes can send signals through concrete walls without losing accuracy. They won’t miss their target even if it’s covered by asphalt pavement or dirt piles. By eliminating unnecessary excavation, sondes make finding water lines more affordable.

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Finding Underground Water Pipes Without Sondes

Making a map of your yard is an important first step in locating an underground pipe. You don’t need to be a cartographer, but it’s helpful to lay out basic information and measurements on paper so that you can get started.

The most important thing is to have a plan. You should start by drawing the property boundaries and then plotting out the locations of existing structures. Measure the distances between each point on your map so that you can estimate how far away pipes might be located.

Then, you can use probe rods to get an idea of where the pipe is. Stick the probe rod into the soil until you feel something. If it’s a deep water pipe, you might need a longer probe rod.

Some probe rods have an LCD screen that displays readings in numbers, so you can see how far away the pipes are. You can use probe rods to find all kinds of things, but they’re especially useful for locating underground utilities.

Repair Your Water Line

Repairing your underground water pipe is a lot easier when you can find the problem. If you need to replace an entire section of pipe, it’s best to know where it is so you don’t accidentally cut into something important like a gas line or electrical wire. Sonde transmitters can help with this.

Our tech section has a lot of gear that can help you find and repair things around your home. Read a few articles so you can improve your DIY skills.

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