How to Detect a Water Leak NYC

March 9, 2023

If you see water surfacing in front of your property or have low water pressure, there is a good possibility that your water main is leaking.

Low water pressure

If you are experiencing low water pressure the first step is to determine if the problem persists on the house side of your main control valve, or the street side. The “house side” refers to your internal plumbing. The “street side” refers to the pipes running out towards the roadway.

Your plumber should disconnect your water main at the main control valve and perform a pressure test. If the pressure test displays low pressure coming in from the street, there is a strong chance your external piping has a leak. If the street pressure is good, you now have to start investigating your internal plumbing.

Water leak surfacing

If a leak has surfaced in the front of your property there is a good possibility that the water leak is from your main. Before jumping to conclusions, it is best to have your plumber perform a noise test on your main. The test is performed using a sono scope listening device. This device is the same as a stethoscope that a doctor would use on a human. The device is seeking the movement of water, which would sound like a hissing or rumbling noise.

How does the test work?

the main control valve on the pipe going out to the street must be closed. In theory all water in the pipe should be sitting still since nobody can utilize the water. Now the sonoscope is placed on the pipe while the technician is seeking any form of noise. If noise is detected, it is a strong sign that water is moving through a crack or hole in the pipe.

In this case it is suggested to call DEP and your licensed plumber to continue with an investigation. In the event that the pipe is leaking, your plumber will follow the standard process of replacing the pipe with copper or ductile iron.

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