Finding Hidden Water Leaks

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By an edhat reader

My "Flume" water device tells me that there is a consistent water leak of about a gallon an hour on property.  This is divided between inside and outside (when I close outside water line leakage drops by about one half and same if I close inside line).  All the usual culprits have been examined--not toilets, not hose bibs, not water heater, not drip system. 

There is no obvious dampness or water damage anywhere.  Does anyone on edhat have a recommendation for a water sleuth company to go further in discovering the leak(s)?

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SantaBarbaraObserver Jun 15, 2022 12:18 PM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

Call a specialty leak detector. Do not call a general plumber. They are not the people for this stuff. In order to find these you they need some specialty tools: Air pressure tanks, sonar, extremely sensitive audio equipment, etc. Find a specialist. Not a plumber. There is also a cool new product called a water pea, which is a small pea sized glob of material that you can send down the pipe and it will automatically find and fill the leak. But start with the leak pros. There are several in town.

ParvoPup Jun 15, 2022 04:33 PM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

Its called AquaPea, made out of the UK. My well guy used it on a leak at my mountain cabin up North, but I seem to recall he had to order it from Australia or New Zealand as he could not find it in the States. But that was a few years ago.

CS805 Jun 15, 2022 12:44 PM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

GLS Companies is a LeakTronics partner in Santa Barbara. LeakTronics makes leak detection devices for pools and plumbing and that's what you'll need to find the leak.

chico berkeley Jun 15, 2022 01:47 PM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

You can try doing it your self with a Divining Rod made out of a metal hanger wire.
You can find videos on YouTube I suspect and it is quite easy.
I'm not kidding. Have done this dozens of times myself.
Hanger must be iron wire.
You can practice with a hose with the water on and you can test yourself before spending $$$$.
Having said that, the Digital stuff made today is really cool.

a-1655338795 Jun 15, 2022 05:19 PM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

Don't waste your hanger, divining rods have been scientifically proven to be as accurate as chance guesses.

a-1655339730 Jun 15, 2022 05:35 PM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

1:47 - This sort of ignorance about basic principles of reality is just stunning.

chico berkeley Jun 16, 2022 09:02 AM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

Sorry if you don't know that it actually works but, as an engineer in that field I would say your ignorance is glaring.
Have witched a well that went 500ft.and slipped thru a crack in the roof of an underground lake.
Set the pump at 600ft.
Driller put his hole 36 inches away and hit solid rock.
Came back out and checked it again and the driller didn't punch the mark the first time.
Made it through the next time.
Anonymous paid subscribers know that they can be get away with being A@#$%^&*s' while hiding behind a #.
Just when you think all science is permanent, it will show you you are wrong.

a-1655419535 Jun 16, 2022 03:45 PM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

Some people believe the most outlandish nonsense, just because they want to. Facts aren't germaine to their world view, but any kind of woo is readily embraced, since it makes them feel special.

a-1655924823 Jun 22, 2022 12:07 PM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

Oh CHICO, you are not a very good engineer if you think people providing you with proven, scientific facts are being rude. Divining rods are pseudoscience, that is scientifically proven, peer-reviewed, repeatable, fact. Doesn't get much more factual than that.

SBREADER Jun 15, 2022 02:03 PM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

Most water utilities have experts on staff and are happy to help you especially right now during the drought. Call your water utility, if it is the City of SB call Water Resources.

mp805 Jun 15, 2022 04:24 PM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

This exact thing happened to me. Flume monitor detected a first thing was to check inside to see if I had something running ie leaking toilet or maybe a sink that wasn't closed or checked my hose outlets etc....everything was shut down inside so onto step two, I closed my irrigation valve and then closed the main valve and the water meter was still running...So that's when i called American Leak Detection out...(its not cheap for the inspection) but they found the leak in about 15min and had it fixed. This was about 6 months ago and everything is running again perfectly...the leak was 3 feet below the surface and there is no obvious water spots either...Anyway just wanted to say I can 100% recommend American Leak Detection if you go that route

a-1655342876 Jun 15, 2022 06:27 PM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

Thanks for this. I used ACME service a good while back for a much more serious leak which they found. As you say, not cheap but worth the cost for that problem.

edney Jun 15, 2022 05:01 PM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

ACME Leak does a good job.
On the interior leak, do you have an icemaker? If so, move the refriderator and look for both ends of the connection

a-1655338941 Jun 15, 2022 05:22 PM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

For the inside leak, how did you determine it was not the toilets? Did you turn the water valve off at every toilet? Check meter, then turn on one at a time? While a running toilet is easy to notice and fix, slow toilet leaks can be difficult to identify. Good luck.

a-1655342760 Jun 15, 2022 06:26 PM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

Yes, I turned off the stop valve at the toilets and waited. I then turned them on at half hour intervals and the leak continued. Thanks for the thought.

CMKR Jun 15, 2022 07:40 PM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

I second the recommendation for GLS companies and their leak detection division:

padron Jun 16, 2022 06:31 AM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

I used American Leak Detectors several years ago when my pool level was dropping faster than could be explained by evaporation. They charged a flat fee and found the leaking underground connection quickly.

oops Jun 16, 2022 08:05 AM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

interesting cuz I had the same issue with my pool and called ALD (and paid) twice and they have never found a leak.

paglinsb Jun 16, 2022 09:08 AM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

We called American Leak Detectors a couple of times over the years. Very happy with their quick professional response.! Highly recommend. (Our plumber had recommended them.)

patrick Jun 16, 2022 02:16 PM
Finding Hidden Water Leaks

Yeah, I’d try the coat hanger trick, but then I’m high on Ivermectin.

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