AugerPros Plumbing Blog

Is The Leak In My Yard a Sprinkler or Plumbing Main Line Yard Leak?

water leak
Pooled Water from Leak

Soggy yard? Excess water pooling and trying to figure out if it is your mainline pipe leaking or a sprinkler leak? Auger Pros Plumbing can locate where the break may be in your plumbing mainline if that is the cause. One of our licensed plumbers will come out, detect the source of the leak and help you get your plumbing mainline yard leak fixed and done right the first time. But how do you know for sure that’s what it is?

Water is Pooling in My Yard- What Should My Next Step Be?

The first step is to verify that you indeed have a water leak and its not due to poor drainage from rain. Some yards simply retain rainwater much longer than others. Other homes are situated on ground that has a very high water table. Groundwater can surface regularly even when the skies have been clear.

If you have ascertained that it is not due to rainwater or high water tables and are still concerned about a plumbing leak, you may be able to use your water meter to determine whether the water is plumbing-related or not.

Your “water meter box” is usually black and located by the street curb. Open the lid and look inside at the meter. Most times, there is a lock and you need a tool called a “water meter key” to open it up. Most Home Depots or Lowes will carry them. They are universal. Once you have the key, insert it into the recess of the lid. Turn counter-clockwise and pull up to open the lid.

Once you are inside, there will be a meter dial that will spin if water is being used somewhere in the home or water is leaking into the ground. It is the process of elimination now to confirm that the excess water in the yard is due to a leak. Newer models have a digital display and do not have an analog dial. The LED screen usually cycles through several different displays after you open the cover. One of the readouts is going to be the GPM flow rate. Gallons per Minute. A GPM of 0.00 means the meter is not registering any flow. Anything higher means water is flowing through the meter.

Now that you have confirmation that there is water flowing into the system through the water meter, you will need to check all your plumbing fixtures inside the home to make sure none of them are being used. Take note to look at the outdoor faucet/hoses as well. If any of them is dripping, it will also cause the meter to spin Pay particular attention to your toilets for a hissing sound. If one of them is constantly running, it is still using water and you may not even realize it.

After you have figured out whether there are any above-ground leaks that could be contributing to the water meter movement, THAT is when you then need to check whether your water leak is a mainline plumbing leak or a sprinkler leak.

And I determine the leak source…HOW???

Next, you will need to locate your sprinkler system box. In your front yard near the city water meter, there should be a large green square box in the ground. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t see it right away. Sometimes the grass will grow over and hide them or they have been covered with landscaping. Use a screwdriver to poke around the grass until you hear a hollow sound. We recommend never covering this box or letting the grass grow over, you never know when you will need to find it. Inside this box, you will find a brass valve with two shut-off handles. This valve is what is known as a backflow device, preventing dirty irrigation water from entering your drinking water. The device also serves as a shut-off for your sprinkler irrigation water supply. Although the device has two shut-off handles it will only be necessary to turn one of the handles. Typically, you will only need to turn the handles a quarter of a turn (usually to the vertical position) in order to shut off the water. 

Make sure your meter is still moving or spinning, then turn the ball valve off on the double-check. If the meter stops moving, you know that the leak is on the sprinkler system. You will need to call your sprinkler guy:)


However, if after you shut off the irrigation system the meter still moves, then you know that you have a leak on your main water lines. This is a very good indication that the wet spot in your yard is caused by a plumbing leak. Call Auger Pros Professional Plumbers out to examine the source of the leak, so we can get your plumbing mainline yard leak fixed quickly. 214-206-6580