water main and sewer leak detection and repair

Plumbing Leak Detection & Repair Services

(Sewer & Water)

We provide leak detection and leak repair services in Riverside, Corona, Norco, Eastvale CA and the surrounding areas.

Water leaks can cause catastrophic damage to your home, as well as horrifying water bills.

Don’t waste time or money, call your trusted plumber immediately if you suspect a water leak.

We provide the following leak detection and repair services:

  • water leak detector services
  • slab leak detection services
  • slab leak repair services
  • sewer leak detection services
  • sewer pipe repair services
  • sewer jetter services
  • sewer camera inspection
  • water main repair services
  • underground water leak detection
  • water & sewer line replacement
  • trench-less sewer pipe repair
  • trench-less water main repair

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three plumbing pipe leak pinholes

Wasted Water & Money $$$ Lost

Because normal residential water pressure is between 40 and 80 pounds per square inch (psi), even a small undetected leak can waste a mind-boggling amount of water.

It can add up to a lot of wasted water and lost money due to higher water bills.

Using 60 psi as an average water pressure for a home the following list shows the amount of water that can be lost for various size leaks.

 

    • A dripping leak consumes about 15 gallons/day, or 450 gallons/month.
    • A tiny 1/32 of an inch pinhole leak consumes 264 gallons/day, or 7,920 gallons/month.
    • A 1/16 in. pinhole leak wastes 822 gallons/day, or 24,670 gallons/month.
    • A 1/8 in. pinhole leak wastes 3,288 gallons/day, or 98,667 gallons/month.
    • A 1/4 in. pinhole leak wastes 13,128 gallons/day or 393,833 gallons/month.
    • A 1/2 in. pinhole leak wastes up to 60,900 gallons/day, or 1,827,000 gallons/month.

What are the Common Symptoms of Leaky Plumbing?

  • Cracks or wet spots appearing in your walls or floors
  • Warm spots on the floor where hot water is contacting the underside
  • Mildew or unusual moisture under carpets
  • Hearing running water when all the fixtures in your home are turned off
  • Higher than normal water bills even though rates haven’t gone up
  • Nasty smells coming from floors or walls near drains or sewer piping
  • Areas in your yard of unusual vegetation growth, wet or sinking ground
  • Shifting or cracking of your foundation/slab

How to Identify Plumbing Leaks


You can also use your water meter to help identify water leaks on your property by using the following steps:

  • Locate the water meter.
  • Find the water supply shut-off valve, usually located where the main water pipe enters the foundation. In a home, this is often near an outside faucet. If there is no water supply shut-off valve, you should have one professionally installed!
  • Turn off all faucets, indoors and outside, and all water-using appliances (washing machine, ice-maker, etc.)
  • Check the reading of the one-cubic foot dial on the water-meter. Then wait at least thirty minutes and re-check the dial. The dial will not have moved if there are no leaks. But if the dial has moved, there is a leak either inside or underground.
  • Now, close the main shut-off valve. If the meter’s one-cubic foot dial stops, it means the leak is inside the home, so you will want to check for running toilets or dripping faucets. But if the one-cubic foot dial changes even when the shut-off valve is closed, the leak is underground, somewhere between the water meter and the shut-off valve.

Plumbing Leak Detection Equipment

Detecting plumbing leaks can be a challenge because your home’s plumbing is often buried in concrete slab foundations and sealed in the walls.

If the source of a water or sewer leak is not obvious, you will want to contact an experienced leak detection company.

Trained technicians and specialized leak detection equipment can quickly find the source and repair it as soon as possible.

The good news is that today’s plumbing leak detection companies and their equipment can avoid tearing up floors, or tearing down walls or ceilings to find the source of the leak and fix it.

There are several different types of leak detection equipment available, including:

  • Video inspection that can see into the pipes by sending a camera down the pipes to find the location and cause of a leak
  • Ultrasonic detection that uses sound technology to measure sound loss variations in the pipes
  • Infrared leak detection that allows plumbers to see what is inside walls,, beneath your floors, and underground the piping under ground
  • Smoke detection in which harmless is pumped into the pipes to emerge where a pipe leaks

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VIDEO: HOW TO TEST YOUR WATER PRESSURE

1. Purchase a water pressure gauge. Go to a nearby home improvement store and ask for a “water pressure gauge” to measure the water pressure in your home.

2. Attach pressure gauge to outside garden hose bib. Turn on water, water pressure should be between 40 and 80 psi. If it’s over 80 psi we recommend replacing the water pressure regulator. It should be right under the valve you’re using. It has a bell-shaped part that holds the pressure diaphragm.

3. (If needed) Turn off water main. Test water valve to ensure water is off. Remove the water pressure relief valve. Take it to the home improvement store and ask for or find an exact match.

4. (If needed) Replace water pressure relief valve. Turn water main valve back on. Examine for leaks. test water pressure again. Verify it’s under 80 psi.

main water pipe burst and leaking

Water-Main Leaks

This section discusses:

  • What the water main is and does
  • The importance of maintenance for water mains
  • The importance of periodic inspections for older water mains
  • Water main leak detection
  • Water main repair options

What is the Water Main?

The water main is the water pipe that connects the public water supply to your house or business. It runs underground from the street, under the front of your property (or yard), and usually (but not always) connects to the house somewhere at the front.

If your home is 20 years or older, then you should have the main line inspected every 1-2 years.

Water main pipes deteriorate with age, and need to be cleaned out, as hard-water scale, mineral deposits and corrosion from municipal water interactions collects in the line.

It will likely be to your advantage to replace your older water main even before any leaks occur, because when they do occur, they can be serious, even catastrophic.

Your plumber can help you decide whether replacement or a simpler maintenance plan is the best course of action.

Modern water mains are made with polyethylene tubing (as PEX), or copper, or PVC. But water main lines in older homes (built around or before 1970) probably have galvanized steel piping.

Forty-five year old galvanized piping is likely already due to be replaced, and it’s never a good idea to wait for it to burst before replacing it! Also, galvanized piping is made using a very impure zinc coating, which often contains lead. It’s good to replace it even if it’s not ready to fail yet.

An older water main line needs to be monitored. The problem is that it’s underground and not accessible without digging. But there are some precautions you can take to recognize signs of water main trouble.

Signs that you may have a water main leak include:

 

  • Decreased water pressure:  Rust, scaling, and mineral deposits can build up inside and narrow your water main pipe significantly.
  • Increased water usage & bill:  Periodically check the water usage in your home to see if there’s a sudden and unexplained spike in water use and water bill. A spike is often a sign of a new leak going unnoticed. With a smaller and slow leak in the underground water main, damage may go undetected for months or years until it becomes too large to repair inexpensively.
  • Soggy areas in your yard:  With a large enough water main leak, the water shows up on the ground’s surface around your home. Squishy, muddy areas that aren’t caused by faulty sprinklers are likely coming from underground. Unchecked, underground water main leaks can damage landscaping, adding landscape-repair costs. It’s better to detect and fix or replace the water main early.
  • Fouled water coming into your home:  Traces of rust or dirtier water coming from your faucets likely come from a deteriorating or split water main.

Help!  How do I Shut Off My Water Main?

There are at least two places a water main may be shut off.

  1. One is for the resident to shut off in case of a leak inside the house.
  2. The second is to stop a leak running from the water meter to the main house shut-off.
  3. A third is at the street, but can only be shut off by city personnel.

NOTE: Everyone in your household should know how to locate and shut off the main water line, even before you call a plumber. It can save you thousands of dollars in water damage.

If, say, the supply line next to a toilet should split before the toilet water supply’s shut-off valve, there is no way to stop it from blasting water into your house except by shutting the valve that allows pressurized water into the house’s plumbing pipes. Shut off the water main, then call us!

In these cases, where a water emergency is inside the house, the shut off valve is where the main water line enters your house (not your yard).

The house shut off is usually found by the front hose spigot or in the garage. But it may also be near the water heater. It can usually be turned off by hand. It usually has either an eight-sided handle to shut, or a lever handle that shuts in a 90 degree turn. Just turn the valve handle clockwise to turn off all water to the house.

A second shut-off valve is sometimes located at the water meter, which is often under a concrete cover-plate in your front yard, closer to the sidewalk. Shut off this line if the water main is leaking between the meter and your house, that is, if there are signs of leakage outside the home.

The water meter should have a valve before the meter that requires a special key, this valve is to only be used by city water department and requires a special tool to turn it. Next is the water meter itself, and then sometimes there is another shut-off valve just above the meter which is between the meter and the house.

Find your water main’s shut off valve, keep any needed tool handy, and make sure everyone of reasonable age in the household knows how to shut it off.

Repairing or Replacing Water Main Lines

The water main may be repaired by either re-routing pipes, excavation and replacement, or cured-in-place pipe-lining. See the information below for more details. This is a job better left to licensed professionals. Contact us for a FREE estimate.

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slab leak detection equipment

Slab Leak Detection

A slab leak means that potable water supply pipes, or sewage system drainpipes (embedded in or under the concrete slab beneath your home), develop holes, split, break, or burst. We provide professional home leak detection services. Call us today at (951) 533-5071

Because the leaking pipes are basically inaccessible to the homeowner, these water leaks require a proper slab-leak detection company with a professional plumber, and highly specialized equipment for a sure and thorough detection process. It is essential that slab leak detection services be conducted by trained technicians.

Detecting Leaks In Main Water Supply Lines In Your Slab Foundation

Leaks within potable waterlines may be located using electronic amplification equipment. An electronic detector “listens” for the sound of leaking lines to narrow down the general area of a leak. Then technicians use electromagnetic pipeline locators to identify lines by inducing a small electric charge through the pipe. A wand passed over the area can then map out line locations. The technician can then listen for leaks using geo-phones.

Sometimes an area has too much noise for the plumber to effectively make out the sounds of a leaking pipe. Also, very deep leaks may render listening equipment ineffective. In these cases a gas tracer system will use specially designed probes to help pinpoint leaks.

Detecting Leaks In The Sewer System In Your Slab Foundation

Hydrostatic Testing:

Leaks within the sewer system’s drain lines may be located using hydrostatic testing. Variously sized test balls are sent into place and inflated inside the plumbing lines by an air hose. With a test ball inflated inside the main drain line, the plumbing system is filled to the slab level, and the water is shut off. With no leaks, the water level will remain in place, but if it drops, water is escaping through at least one leak.

Technicians will continue to isolate segments of the plumbing system, introducing test balls through drains, traps, clean-outs, toilets drains, and even roof vents to perform hydrostatic tests on isolated portions of the sewer system.

Infrared Video Camera:

In the final stage, an in-line sewer video camera uses infrared technology to pinpoint leaks visually. The camera is inserted into the sewer system through existing clean-outs, roof vents, drains, traps, and toilet drains to see inside and and analyze the condition of a sub-slab drain system.  The camera reveals obstructions, breaks, stoppages or deteriorated pipes, and determines the necessary repairs.

REPAIRING SLAB LEAKS

re-routing water lines to repair slab leak

If there are leaks in or under your slab, repairs must be done by an experienced plumber. Call us today at (951) 533-5071

In the past, the detection, locating, and repairs of such leaks were extremely costly because they involved removing flooring and breaking up and removing portions of the concrete slab foundation. A family would may even have to vacate the house for days or weeks and have the furniture removed while the repairs were made.

Re-Route The Water Line

Fortunately, many water line leaks can simply be re-routed without the need for breaking up your floors and slab foundation.

For other more difficult situations there are new technologies that provide in-line repairs of the pipes. With in-line repair technology, slab leak repairs can be done in as little as one day, and at a significantly lower cost.

Trenchless Sewer & Pipe Repair

The newest technology is often called Trenchless Pipe Lining, or Cured-in-Place Pipe (CIPP). While trenching may be a cost effective option for exterior repairs, trenchless pipe lining is often the answer for in-slab or under-slab leaks.

With trenchless pipe-lining, pipes can be repaired in place with a patented permanent pipe lining approved by all regulatory agencies using a product that has a 50-year warranty.

Some of the benefits of Trenchless Pipe Lining (a.k.a. Cured In Place Pipe, CIPP) include:

 

  • No extensive excavation is required.
  • It is less expensive – pipe relining may cost 50%-70% less than excavation.
  • The new lining is very strong and not subject to rust or corrosion
  • It saves your floors – it’s nearly impossible to find new tile, marble, or terrazzo to match what was installed in the past.
  • It is a much faster process. Pipe lining usually takes one day, rather than the two or three weeks required for excavation and replacement. When necessary, water will be shut off only for a few hours.
  • In most cases, you can remain in your residence because pipe relining is done from outside the structure.
  • It’s cleaner. Lines can be repaired in place without introducing their mold or sewer bacteria into your home or business, and there is no need to sanitize the property afterwards.
  • Pipe lining is environmentally friendly and approved by the EPA

How Strong Is Cured-in-Place Pipe Lining?

Cured-in-place pipe-lining becomes a strong, new, inner pipe. Even if the old “host” pipe deteriorates completely, the new liner will remain open and be a load-bearing pipe.

The lining has a 50-year engineered life and conforms to the required environmental and physical standards set by ASTM.

The pipe liner is a fabric tube which becomes saturated with a 2-part epoxy resin. Then it takes about thirty minutes for an exothermic chemical reaction in the resin to heat itself to 180 degrees Fahrenheit and become a rigid new inner lining as strong as a new pipe.

How Safe Is Cured-in-Place Pipe Lining?

Your plumber’s pipe-lining materials are approved by the National Sanitary Foundation (NSF) that validates anything relating to human food consumption.

Because the liners are used to restore pipes, drains, and culverts that send runoff into lakes and the ocean, the resins are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Pipe-linings are also approved by IAPMO, a third-party listing agency specializing in plumbing and mechanical products.

CIPP is used in hotels, restaurants, hospitals, high-rise residential buildings, commercial buildings, airports, schools, and other public buildings, and even U.S. Naval ships.

Which Kinds of Pipes Can Be ReLined?

Cured-In-Place Pipe (CIPP) is versatile. It can repair the following types of pipes:

  • cast iron pipes (some sewer pipes prior to the mid-1970s)
  • clay pipes (some sewer pipes prior to the mid-1970s)
  • storm drains
  • drinking water lines
  • sewer lines
  • water mains
  • HVAC pipe repair

CIPP is versatile enough to be used for potable water pipes, chiller lines, as hot water circulation systems, fire sprinkler systems, and HVAC systems.

Protect copper water lines with a pipe-liner. Today’s municipal water treatment systems have increased amounts of chloramines and other chemicals which eat away at copper water lines like never before.

Even new copper water line systems can show extensive pinhole leaks in as little as five to ten years. Pipe-liners seal and protect copper water lines from this kind of pipe-damage.

When Should I Choose Cured-In-Place Pipe Lining Over Excavation?

Basically, it depends on the location of the pipe needing repair or replacement.

You want a new pipe-lining where

1) pipes are not easily excavated, such as in or under the slab; and

2) where there is a long run of pipe to replace, even if exterior to the house or building.

Excavation can make replacing pipes 50% to 75% more expensive than lining them.

Lining the pipes is a non-invasive process, eliminating most destruction to buildings or landscape. The amount of necessary reconstruction for pipe-lining is minimal compared to excavation and replacement processes.

However, the materials for re-lining larger diameter pipes may cost more per running foot than most new pipes do.

If there is a small portion of pipe that needs to be replaced, and it is exterior to the building structure, a simple excavation and replacement will sometimes be more cost effective.

You will need a plumber to inspect your specific situation to determine whether excavation/replacement, or CIPP  re-lining will be the most cost effective option.

What are the Cost Factors for Cured-In-Place Pipe Lining Over Excavation?

  • Access: Pipes might be accessible via a rooftop, digging a large hole, or even a street access hole that requires traffic control.
  • Pipe Condition: Your existing pipe may require more extensive cleaning for obstructions, hard-water scale build-up, etc.
  • Pipe Diameter: Liners for pipes over 3″ diameter use more liner fabric and resin, and require a more expensive technology to get the liner installed into the pipe.
  • Project Size: Because the expense of required special equipment and processes, pipe relining costs become less per running foot the larger the project is. Conversely, the shorter the pipe to be lined, the more it costs per ft.

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How to Repair a Sewer Pipe Under a Concrete Slab

1. The Existing Pipe is Cleaned Out

Water jetting and/or pipe reaming first clears the pipe needing repair. From outside the house, access to the pipe is gained and high-pressure water jetting cleans out old rust, sludge, and hard-water scale or mineral deposits.

When necessary, tougher hardened scale can be removed by snaking out the pipe with special pipe reaming heads that clear out burrs and obstructions.

Finally, a water hose flushes out all the the loosened debris. Now any cracks and holes in the pipe will be visible for Step 2.

2. The Inside of the Pipe is Visibly Inspected Through Video

A video camera is run through the pipe to how much has to be relined and where any the incoming pipe connections are located.

3. The Liner is Prepared

The new  pipe lining fabric is prepared with cut-outs for the intersections of incoming pipes, and is cut to the correct length. Self-hardening resin is introduced into the liner. A powerful roller is used to force the resin throughout the inside of the pipe lining fabric until it is thoroughly saturated.

4. The Liner is Pulled or Inserted Into The pipe

The resin-saturated liner will either be pulled into the pipe using a cable, or shot into the pipe using pressurized air.  In either case, it must be precisely inserted so that the prepared cut-outs match the intersections of incoming pipes.

5. An Internal Calibration Tube is Inflated

Once the liner is properly installed inside the pipe, a calibration tube  is inflated and kept in place for 2-3 hours while the resin mixture reaches its curing temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit and thus hardens the liner into a new, full-strength pipe.

6. A New Video Of the Restored Pipe is Made

Cured-in-place pipe liners are expected to last a good 50-years. A video is made showing the interior of the new lined pipe to satisfy warranty requirements for future

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RT Olson Plumbing. Five-star rated plumbers in Riverside, Corona, Norco, and Eastvale CA. Licensed, bonded, insured. CA Lic #997337

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11550 Orion St
Riverside, CA 92505

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