Water leak in yard

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We left town for a couple of nights Easter weekend and came back to a flooded front yard. I marked where the water was coming out of the ground, then turned the water off. Water Dept. won't fix it (it's in my yard), my homeowners insurance and american homeshield both told me they could'nt help, so I'm stuck trying to fix a major problem with little knowledge of plumbing and a tight budget. I called a plumber for an estimate, and before they came out, I dug a 2ft. wide hole about 30 inches deep where I had it marked, thinking I would hve the pipe exposed for them, but I found nothing. They basically told me the leak could be coming from anywhere in a large area of the yard,so I need to dig a 12inch trench along the entire front of my house until I find where my water connects to it, and then I would need to dig a trench straight to the meter, and they could come and lay the pipe. I'm sorry for rambling, but I was hoping someone out there can give me some hints on finding the area where the water pipe connects to the house, or any other information that would be useful. Thanks so much , Dean
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Generally it becomes your problem to fix anything on your side of the connection to the city's pipe. Likely at the turn off.
If you have a turn off near the front of your property and you know where it water comes into your home (likely in the basement) unless you are on a slab and then it may not be apparent. Usually the pipe runs in a straight line between the two.
However why are you doing all the digging? It is possible to find those lines electronically and most companies that work on this type of problem can find the line and usually the location of the leak without digging up your whole yard.
If you have old pipes it may be wise to replace the whole pipe however.
-- Joseph Meehan
26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
We left town for a couple of nights Easter weekend and came back<BR>to a flooded front yard. I marked where the water was coming out of the<BR>ground, then turned the water off. Water Dept. won't fix it (it's in my<BR>yard), my&nbsp; homeowners insurance and american homeshield&nbsp; both told me<BR>they could'nt help, so I'm stuck trying to fix a major problem with<BR>little knowledge of plumbing and a tight budget.<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp; I called a plumber for an estimate, and before they came out, I dug a<BR>2ft. wide hole about 30 inches deep where I had it marked, thinking I<BR>would hve the pipe exposed for them, but I found nothing. They basically<BR>told me the leak could be coming from anywhere in a large area of the<BR>yard,so I need to dig a 12inch trench along the entire front of my house<BR>until I find where my water connects to it, and then I would need to dig<BR>a trench straight to the meter, and they could come and lay the pipe.<BR>&nbsp; I'm sorry for rambling, but I was hoping someone out there can give me<BR>some hints on finding the area where the water pipe connects to the<BR>house, or any other information that would be useful. Thanks so much ,<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Dean <BR>&nbsp;&nbsp; <BR>&nbsp;<BR><BR> <P> <HR>
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Most will say replace it all and in the end it may be the best option,quite an expense. I have no experiance , but if you could hear the leak you would know where to dig, maybe someone has a sound locator, maybe a pipe driven down could transmit the sound, putting ear to pipe and moving pipe till sound is loudest. Or dig till you find it and maybe a clamp will work or it may collapse as it could be to rotted to repair. Plan on the worst but you may get lucky, or get bids it may not be that expensive. You have to go below frost codes, hand digging may be extremely hard and just not worth it.
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In most areas, before you dig in an area that is likely to have underground utilities, it's a requirement that you first have the location marked to determine where gas, water, electric, etc. lines are. Here in NJ there is a single number you can call to have it done and it's free. In this case, that would tell you not only where what you want is located, but also help make sure you don't hit something else. If that happens and you didn't have it marked out, you're in big trouble and will wind up paying for all the cost of repairs and possible fines.
After marking it out, if you decide to do it yourself, depending on the length, I'd consider the option of getting a backhoe to open it up for you.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

800-DIG-SAFE
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--WebTV-Mail-26278-7620 Content-Type: Text/Plain; Charset=US-ASCII Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7Bit
Thanks for the help! Yeah, I'm shutting the water off outside, and plan to do as much digging as possible to keep labor costs down. My biggest problem is trying to figure out where to dig, finding out where the water connects underground to the house. Right now we just use a 1/2 in. to turn the water on at the meter long enough to get what we need. I work the 2nd shift and haven't been able to spend the time I need on this, but this weekend, one way or another, it's going to be fixed! It's great how ya'll help other people out, Thanks, all of you, Dean
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I would guess if you let it run the leak would make a hole showing you its location . Measure where you incomming pipe is, measure over outside, run a line to the box shut off to find it. And call your utility to find the gas line.
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I hope you are taking into consideration that the water you are now getting should be considered suspect. You should no longer consider it safe to drink out of the tap.
-- Joseph Meehan
26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
Thanks for the help! <BR>&nbsp; Yeah, I'm shutting the water off outside, and plan to do as much<BR>digging as possible to keep labor costs down. My biggest problem is<BR>trying to figure out where to dig, finding out where the water connects<BR>underground to the house.<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp; Right now we just use a 1/2 in. to turn the water on at the meter<BR>long enough to get what we need. I work the 2nd shift and haven't been<BR>able to spend the time I need on this, but this weekend, one way or<BR>another, it's going to be fixed! <BR>&nbsp; It's great how ya'll help other people out, Thanks, all of you,<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Dean<BR><BR> <P> <HR>
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Ah, the false security of a home warranty policy.

Talk to a different plumber. I've see where they dig at the house, dig at the street, and run a flex pipe right along the old one. I don't know if this can be done all the time, but a good plumber can also find the main line fairly easy. When I lived in the city, water mains were replace right under sidewalks with no trench.
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Maybe we are all missing something. You said you turned off the water. Did this stop the water from bubbling up from the ground? Just were did you shut it off? By the water meter? In your house? At the buffalo box? Typically, shutting off the "main" in a house will not stop a leak if it is in the main line feeding the house. I don't know where the OP lives, but this sounds like something was frozen, cracking the pipe and then thawed out starting the leak .... depending on the climate area.
snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

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We left town for a couple of nights Easter weekend and came back to a flooded front yard. I marked where the water was coming out of the ground, then turned the water off. Water Dept. won't fix it (it's in my yard), my homeowners insurance and american homeshield both told me they could'nt help, so I'm stuck trying to fix a major problem with little knowledge of plumbing and a tight budget. I called a plumber for an estimate, and before they came out, I dug a 2ft. wide hole about 30 inches deep where I had it marked, thinking I would hve the pipe exposed for them, but I found nothing. They basically told me the leak could be coming from anywhere in a large area of the yard,so I need to dig a 12inch trench along the entire front of my house until I find where my water connects to it, and then I would need to dig a trench straight to the meter, and they could come and lay the pipe. I'm sorry for rambling, but I was hoping someone out there can give me some hints on finding the area where the water pipe connects to the house, or any other information that would be useful. Thanks so much , Dean
Where did you turn the water off -- at the street? If you turned off the main valve inside the house and the water stopped, that suggests a leak in piping that feeds faucets in the yard or a garage. The water has then also gone through your meter, so you'll have a substantial water bill (assuming the meter is near your main valve inside the house).
If the leak is along the feed pipe from the street to your house and the meter is in your basement, then it's likely that you won't be billed for the water; but it is time for a plumber. They have tools for locating the leak. Once you see the leak, you'll be able to tell whether a patch or pipe replacement is necessary. Usually, of course, a replacement is best since pipes do corrode over time and one leak usually leads to another. Plumbers can also use a digger that makes just a slit in the ground. That makes replacing the pipe fast with little mess.
If you are in an area where the ground freezes, you probably just didn't go down deep enough when you dug. Here in northern Ohio, the required depth is 3 feet for such pipes.
TKM
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Calling the "Call before digging" number should get a number of your utilities marked out for you. They may even mark out the water line.
-- Joseph Meehan
26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
We left town for a couple of nights Easter weekend and came back<BR>to a flooded front yard. I marked where the water was coming out of the<BR>ground, then turned the water off. Water Dept. won't fix it (it's in my<BR>yard), my&nbsp; homeowners insurance and american homeshield&nbsp; both told me<BR>they could'nt help, so I'm stuck trying to fix a major problem with<BR>little knowledge of plumbing and a tight budget.<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp; I called a plumber for an estimate, and before they came out, I dug a<BR>2ft. wide hole about 30 inches deep where I had it marked, thinking I<BR>would hve the pipe exposed for them, but I found nothing. They basically<BR>told me the leak could be coming from anywhere in a large area of the<BR>yard,so I need to dig a 12inch trench along the entire front of my house<BR>until I find where my water connects to it, and then I would need to dig<BR>a trench straight to the meter, and they could come and lay the pipe.<BR>&nbsp; I'm sorry for rambling, but I was hoping someone out there can give me<BR>some hints on finding the area where the water pipe connects to the<BR>house, or any other information that would be useful. Thanks so much ,<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Dean <BR>&nbsp;&nbsp; <BR>&nbsp;<BR><BR> <P> <HR>
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