Detecting underground water leak

My fresh water line connects to the "city" at a meter about 1/4 mi from my house. The water line leaves the meter which is underground and then runs up to my house underground. I guess I own everything from the water meter to my house. If the water line develops a leak somewhere on my side of the meter I think I have to fix it.
My question is: How could I find where the leak is? Do I have to start digging from the meter all the way to my house until I find it or is there another way? Because of the nature of the soil, depth of the pipe and proximity to the ocean, I feel pretty sure that water from any leak would not be seen at the surface. Is there some fancy device that could be used from above ground that might sense the leak? I think the pipe for the water supply is PVC.
Thanks.
Chet
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CGB wrote:

Hi, There is an outfit specializing in this sort of thing using high power microphone. Try to find one in your area or city may find it for you even if it's not their jurisdiction(to prevent wasting water) Tony
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CGB wrote:

Some meters, especially newer ones, have leak detectors on them. If yours does, cut your water main off and check for activity.
http://www.ci.mesa.az.us/utilities/water/waterleaks/waterleaks_1.asp
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John Harlow wrote:

I mean, of course, the water cutoff *inside* the house.
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John,
That would tell me if I have a leak. My question is how do I know where it is.
Chet

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it
Dig till you find the line at the appx mid point and place a shutoff there.
IF it keeps leaking, then you know to move on towards the meter........If not, then you move on towards the house..........
--

SVL





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CGB wrote:

Hey Chet, Unless there is an obvious probable location (ground shift from cars running over it etc), as others have suggested, it might be best for a pro who has the necessary tools and experience to find the leak, although my guess is if there is indeed a leak I'd want to replace the whole thing to be reasonably sure it didn't happen again in the near future. I was just trying to possibly help you avoid an unnecessary service call. Good luck.
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I agree with John. First determine if you actually have a leak, as he said. No sense doing all the work if there is no leak. If you do,have a leak, it usually does come to the surface, but not right away. Of course that sort of depends on the type of soil and whether it's flat or a hill, and other things. It also depends on the size of the leak. A few drips an hour would not show up much, but a gusher would most likely cause an eruption to the surface or eventually a sink hole. To find the actual leak could be tricky. I do believe there are devices that sense it, but of course the average person dont have that stuff. I dont know how deep your pipe is, but if you can get a rough idea, maybe take a piece of pipe and drive it into that ground every 10ft or so (being careful not to go too deep and puncture the line). When you pull your pipe out, see if its saturated. You might also create a path for water to follow to the surface. Be sure to find out if there is anything else down there, such as a gas pipe before you do this.
Mark

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that's not what he asked. he asked how too locate the leak. Call a few of your local big plumbing co.s .many have the service available. I think they use something similar to an ultra sound ( dr. looks at the unborn fetus)
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Playintennis5274 wrote:

Hi, I think some folks have a deficient reading ability. I just wonder what's the matter with them? Tony
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| Playintennis5274 wrote: | >>Some meters, especially newer ones, have leak detectors on them. If | >> | >>>yours does, cut your water main off and check for activity. | >>> | > | > that's not what he asked. he asked how too locate the leak. Call a few of your | > local big plumbing co.s .many have the service available. I think they use | > something similar to an ultra sound ( dr. looks at the unborn fetus) | Hi, | I think some folks have a deficient reading ability. | I just wonder what's the matter with them? | Tony
They're more anxious to display their abilities than they are to make certain they understand the problem. Reading comprehension is a lost art in this country (US), I think.
Pop
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Tony Hwang wrote:

Hi, I think some folks are just jerks. There's no wonder what's the matter with them. John
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they can actually put a camera down any size pipe and look for leaks. You could shut off at the meter and try running compressed air thru the pipe and see if you can hear air hissing out somewhere also would be easy way to check for leak between meter and the house.
Wayne

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Idiot!

my
runs
meter
there
would
used
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