Most homeowners never want to deal with a broken or cracked underground water line.
Similar to a damaged sewer pipe, a severed underground water line seems to be a costly, lengthy project that’s just plain upsetting.
Thankfully, there’s a much better way to do this.
By simply dividing it into steps which you can manage, you can fix your broken underground water leak yourself, or in any case handle some parts of it, and reduce the overall cost of the project.
Underground Water Leak: Safety Tips
Before digging up your yard, make sure the utility lines are marked by the area utility location service.
A technician will typically mark your yard with paint for free to indicate potable water lines with blue, electrical cables with red, sewer pipes with green, and gas with orange paint.
For scheduling, call 8-1-1.
Check If There’s a Leak
Leaks in your underground water line are usually indicated by mysteriously higher water bills, soft, mushy spots in the yard, spinning water meter indicator while all water is turned off, and low water pressure from showerheads and faucets.
Shut Water Supply to the House
- Locate and turn off the shutoff valve for your home.
- Open the metal water meter box and turn it clockwise carefully.
- Preferably, you may use a dedicated gas/water shutoff tool.
Underground Water Leak: Dig the Trench
- Lay the sheet beside the area where there is a suspected leak, and place the dirt and sod on top of it.
- If you intend to reuse the sod, use a spade to cut it out carefully and place it sideways in another area.
Drain the Trench of Water
- Use a bucket to bail out water from the trench.
- Near the end, use a shop vacuum on wet mode to drain the remaining water.
Fix the Water Line
Depending on how old your home is and any succeeding modifications, your underground water leak may consist of copper, galvanized steel, PVC, PEX, or CPVC.
Use similar materials to replace the line.
Run a Test
- Turn the nut on the meter counter-clockwise to turn on the water.
- You may not turn on the water supply to your home at this time.
- Observe your repair work under pressure in order to ensure it is secure.
Fill the Trench
- When the repair is satisfactory, put the soil back into the trench to fill it.
- At the end, if applicable, use your hand to replace the sod.
- Turn on the water supply into your home.
When Do You Need a Professional?
Underground water line repair is a time-sensitive task, given that your home will lack fresh water until the repair is done.
If you’re not sure you can finish this project on time, then you’ll need to get a professional plumber.
With a professional, your underground water leak can be fixed under a few hours.
Check out our article on PVC Pipe Repair