Tracing a suspect pipe path and finding a leak

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Hi guys,

As the topic suggests, I'm suspecting that our external mains leaking pipe, which is running somewhere from the main road to our kitchen. However, firstly I need to establish:

  • What type of pipe do we have?
  • Which path is it running along?
  • How to check it for a leak?
Can you please help?

Thank you.
 
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Can you see the pipe where it comes into the house? It's likely to be the same material all the way along, if unsure, post a pic, and we'll identify it. Probably takes the shortest route to the road, but not guaranteed, and pipe should be laid with a slight 'snake' in it to allow for movement.
What makes you think its leaking?
 
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Hi Hugh. Unfortunately, I can't see the pipe coming into the house. I followed backwards from the new stopcock and it's copper, but then this goes somewhere under the kitchen floor, to which we have no access.

The possibility of a pipe leak is actually a suggestion from our member JohnD, who suggested that I post in the plumbing section. I have lots of condensation in basement and in the whole house and have tried every remedy possible. The basement has more than 90% humidity and there is a damp patch in the floor of the cellar, which is clean water.

Have a look at my other thread: https://www.diynot.com/diy/threads/ongoing-window-condensation-problems.489083/page-3#post-3999453
 
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Have you got a water meter ? If you have turn the water off in the house leave the mains stop cockopen and seen if it registers a small reading overnight.

Dig up the basement floor where the water is .......its probably the first thing I'd do !!! Might be then an easy fix !
 
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Get a couple of wire coat hangers and make some "Dowsing Rods" to show where the pipe run is.
 
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Unfortunately I haven't got a water meter.

How wide and deep would you recommend I dig?
 
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Then you would have groundwater @ a higher level than the basement floor :idea: leak or not . Get a long screwdriver on the stopcock and put it to your ear - with the stopcock off you should not hear any noise. The age of your house may indicate type of service pipe underground. Maybe lead. It won't go under a basement floor that's for sure ;)
 
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Thanks Nige. I won't be able to do this straight away due to being away from home. But whilst I'm waiting to get this task done, can you please tell me..... Assuming there is no leak and the water is in fact higher level ground water, what's the answer to fix this?
 
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Pretty much the only way is some kind of tanking system to the basement. But worth checking rainwater pipes/drains around the house first.
 
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Hello again. I've now cleared up the old basement industrial shelves and started knocking a hole through the ground.

As suggested, I've also used a long sds drill-bit (approx 45cm) and drilled multiple holes all the way down. The soil is pretty wet and stinks of damp, but no water pressure as yet.

How far and wide should I go?

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if you think the waterpipe is in the drive at the side of the house, make another pit next to the wall on that side, then elongate it to see where maximum wetness is.
 
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Because the drivway slopes up, in order to make another pit just to reach to the cellar floor level, I'd need to dig down about 2 metres. This though mate, I'd want to do as a last resort.

I'm just wondering whether it's worth digging a larger hole inside the cellar?
 
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If there was a serious leak, I'd expect to see water pooling under that concrete, the fact it isn't may point more towards groundwater and a high water table. You've already said the driveway is considerably higher outside, bearing in mind a water service will only be about 3ft deep, if it was leaking I would expect to see a lot more obvious signs.

Have you had the drains CCTV surveyed? Issue would more likely be a broken drain, (where there isn't a constant flow of water), what runs alongside the house drainage wise?
 

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