I have evicted drug dealers. I’ve had trees fall on homes. I’ve had hostile tenants confront me. I’ve been sued. But nothing compares to the stress and anxiety caused by an underground water leak. I think the increased stress is caused because the problem cannot be seen. You can visually see the aforementioned issues but underground leaks, at least in one of my parks, are a mystery. A terrifying mystery.
This park sits on top of an old strip mine. I’ve watched water disappear into the soil in a matter of minutes. I’ve never once seen a water leak surface. This park has public utilities but the water lines are mostly black iron pipe with the occasional schedule 40 and schedule 80 plastic sprinkled in. To make matters worse, the lines are not looped and I have only one shut off in the park besides the one that shuts off the entire park.
I have been hunting for a water leak for 3 months. The leak keeps getting worse and worse as money continued to evaporate into the air. The water and sewer authority would not write off any of the extra consumption until I “corrected the issue.” I tried everything; dug holes and tested for chlorine, crawled under every home in the park and inspected the risers, meticulously poured over sub-meter readings, performed time studies at 2am, called plumbers, hired plumbers, called Leak Detection companies, etc.
Given my mix of plastic and metal lines, even American Leak Detection told me they gave me a 5% chance of finding the leak. But, I told them I didn’t care and hired them to come to the park anyway. Well, they underestimated themselves. After a period of head scratching, they found the leak and then used their correlation equipment to nail down the exact location. And, of course, it was directly under the oldest home in the park. A sweet 1972 model.
On Monday, my go to plumber came out and bore a hole under the home using a “missile.” While they were there, I had them install two more curb boxes throughout the park so I had more control over the shut offs and had them install new main lines on my two vacant lots.
I know this will not be my last leak but at least I now have the confidence to not fear it the way I did before. I’m sure many of the operators on this forum have handled water leaks numerous times and have lost the fear of them. But, for those of you who have not dealt with them before, I hope this post will ease some of your fears. There is always a way to fix it. You just have to keep calling people into you find the right company for job. In my case, it was “the right leak detection” company and the right plumber.
Next time I have a leak, I’ll know who to call!