Should I Call a Plumber or the Water Utility Company?
Are you seeing water bubble up out of the ground? It can be hard to know who to call for a water leak. Do you call your water utility company or a plumber? Does the utility company check for leaks? It will depend on the situation, but here are a few tips to help you decide.
Signs of Underground Water Leaks
Assuming you haven’t called in a plumber with expensive water leak detection equipment yet, here are a few ways you can tell that you have an underground water leak:
- Puddles in the lawn when it hasn’t rained
- Water sounds when the water isn’t running in the house
- Excess water on the driveway
- Consistently muddy areas
- Damp floors or walls
- Cracks in the foundation
- Low water pressure
- Increased water usage and higher water bills
Is Your Water Bill Increasing?
The rule of thumb is that anything before the meter is the utility company’s responsibility. Any leaks after the meter is the homeowner’s responsibility. If your water bill is increasing, that means that water is flowing through the meter before it gets to the leak. Most water utility companies will charge a fee if they have to send someone out and the leak ends up being on your side of the meter.
Check which side the leak is on by going to your main water shut-off valve and shutting off the water to your home. If your water meter is still moving, that means the leak is on your half of the plumbing, and you need to call a plumber to repair the leak.
If the water meter is not turning when you shut off your water, then that means it’s on the water company’s side. Call your water company to report the leak, and they’ll have someone come out and look at it.
Who to Call to Report a Water Leak In Lexington & Louisville
If you see an outside water leak and you’ve checked that it is not on your side of the meter, it’s time to call the water utility company. Report city water leaks as soon as you can to help the city avoid damage and conserve water.
To report a water leak in Lexington, Kentucky, call Lexcall at 311 or fill out this water leak report form online.
To report a water leak in Louisville, Kentucky, call (888) 535-6262 or submit a water main break form online. Customer Care representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m. For after-hours emergencies, call (502) 583-6610. It will sound like you’ve been disconnected while it transfers you to the after-hours line.
Are You Worried About a Massive Water Bill After a Big Water Leak?
If you’ve had a major break in your water line and a lot of water was spilled, you could be rightfully worried about a huge water bill. Don’t panic just yet; many water utilities will offer customers a one-time credit, or at least an adjustment, to their bill after a major water leak.
Call and explain you had a leak, and offer to provide a plumber’s invoice to show you’ve had it fixed, and ask if they would be willing to make a leak adjustment to your water bill.
How Are Underground Water Leaks Fixed?
Usually, underground water leaks in your yard are difficult to repair for the simple reason that it is difficult to get to them. Professional plumbers will either have to do precision excavation or replace the line entirely.
To do either, the plumber must first locate the water leak using a water leak detector. Once found, the repair method will be determined. Some repair options include precision excavation repairs, full-line excavation replacement, and trenchless pipe replacement.
Precision excavation requires knowledge of the exact location of the problem. Older pipes may be deteriorating in several places, so replacing only a single section of pipe is not advised. Older water lines should be replaced rather than spot-repaired.
Full-line excavation is the standard method of replacement in many instances. Plumbers dig a trench, remove the old pipe, and replace it with a new one.
Trenchless pipe replacement is a handy option to limit excavation and cost. When pipelines run under sidewalks, driveways, flower gardens, and other landscaped areas, sometimes trenched replacement is prohibitively expensive.
There are a number of options for trenchless repairs, but one of the most common for water lines is pipe bursting. Access to the pipe is dug on both ends, and a wire is threaded through the pipe. Then, a special bursting head is pulled through the pipe with a winch. Behind the bursting head, a new pipe is pulled through and into place. The pipe bursting process allows for pipe replacement with limited excavation.
Call Dauenhauer if you have a water leak on your property. We offer emergency water leak repair for residents in Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky. Schedule an appointment for a FREE quote and get your leak fixed fast.