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Troubleshooting A Plumbing Leak In The Landscape


pipe leakIf you've noticed a tall, lush green patch of grass in your yard you may have a plumbing problem. Go over and step in the area and your foot will probably sink to your ankle. This grass is greener and more healthy than the surrounding grass because it is getting more water and/or nutrients. In other words, you probably have a pipe break underground.

The leak may be occurring only when the irrigation system is on, or it may be leaking all the time. You can check your water meter for movement when all other house fixtures are off.

Grab your shovel and start digging in the area of the soft turf. It's probably going to be a lot like a marsh...soft and muddy. You will need to dig to a level where you find the problem. It may be close to the surface, it may not be. It helps to dig a little, turn on the irrigation, and watch for water rising out of the mud. At least then you'll know where to focus your digging efforts.

Once you find the broken pipe, you will need to dig around it so that you can work in the area. Keep the water off so the ground can absorb some of the water, and use a small cup will help you get the water out (tearing a fast food cup in half works well for this).

Inspect the pipe for damage. If you can't see obvious damage, you will have to turn on the irrigation briefly to find it. Let the area dry out and repair the break.



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