Five Ways To Tell Where Your Pipes Are Located

Construction & Contractors Blog

If you have a water leak or if you are looking to add onto your house, you need to know where your underground water and sewer pipes are located. Without checking this information before you dig, you risk both rupturing a pipe by digging in the wrong place and/or spending unnecessary funds to dig up pipes that aren't affected by the leak. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to see where your underground pipes are located before you get out the shovel or hire a backhoe.

1. Geo-imaging. Geo-imaging uses the heat signature of your sewer pipes to map their pathways. This will only work with pipes that carry sewage or hot water. Pipes leading to and from your swimming pool, for example, may not appear on a geo-imaging graph.

2. Metal detecting. If your pipes are metal (as opposed to PVC) and are located relatively near the surface, a metal detector may be able to show you where they are located.

3. Dowsing. Dowsing is the age-old art of finding underground water using a forked branch or two pieces of wire. It may sound like witchcraft, but so many people still report that this method of finding water works, that there is likely some validity to this primitive method. Most areas have people who specialize in dowsing or you can give this a try yourself.

4. Geophones. Geophones are made of two metal discs with a stethoscope set-up attached to them. They are designed to amplify small underground sounds, such as the sound of water trickling from a leaking pipe. You could also find the location of the pipes by having someone tap the (above ground) end of the pipe and listening with the geophone for the sound of the vibration. While these are rarely expensive to purchase, they are often available for rent.

5. The water department. If you use city water (as opposed to a well and septic system) and you are looking for pipes that carry their water (as opposed to water for your pool or hot tub), they city water department can give you a diagram of where the water main and the primary branches are located.

Knowing where your water and sewer pipes are located before you dig a new foundation or before you start on a repair can save you a lot of time and money. Do this by using a combination of geo-imaging, dowsing, a geophone and metal detecting. For more information, talk to a professional like Spearhead Locating Services Inc.

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10 January 2017

Pool House Parties: Building Your Backyard Escape

When I decided to turn my backyard into a pool and spa space, I wanted to have a pool house built. Adding a pool house would give me somewhere for everyone to shower and change without tracking pool water and dirt into the main house. I worked with a local contractor to construct a pool house with an outdoor kitchen, outdoor showers, and full indoor restroom facilities as well as a game room and changing rooms. I created this site to journal the process so that I could hopefully inspire others to do the same. I hope this site takes some of the mystery out of the construction process for you so you can build the backyard structure you've always wanted.