Leak Detection Stories

Lots of homes in Seattle have horror stories to tell about water leaks. Most of them eventually end well enough, but the drama and costs involved leave a sour taste for years to come. Here are a few of the stories we were able to find on record, and in all cases the problems were finally resolved. We can’t help noticing, however, that with a little early effort to conduct leak detection Seattle homeowners might have had an easier ride.

Story #1: A Leak Elsewhere

2302741475_a88b07b510_nMarch 2009 – the Croskey family of Auburn got a note from SeattlePublic Utilities (SPU) telling them they “might” have a water leak. Eight months later, they got flagged again, and once more in January 2010. In March, they discovered they had used 547,000 gallons of water in two months, instead of their usual 9,000 to 11,000. SPU technicians couldn’t find the leak.

Eventually, with a little help from a neighbor and lots of digging, Josh Croskey discovered the leak – in the yard of the house next door that had been empty all winter. Repairing the leak cost $900, but the Croskeys were left with a water bill of $2,600 – and both breadwinners were currently unemployed. The biggest pain? “The leak wasn’t even on our property,” says Croskey.
Moral of the story: By using ground penetrating radar and other modern methods of leak detection SPU could have saved the department – and the Croskeys – a whole lot of money—and avoided the loss of so much precious water!

Story #2: Midnight Truck

2863621277_8c9ecaf7da_m  September 2009 – Wallingford couple Kevin and Julia noticed how green a patch of grass was in the parking area of their home. They figured it had to be a water leak, and when they saw moisture seeping out of the paving they were sure. A call to the City got them the sage advice to “call a plumber.” A call-out with a local plumber got them the advice to “call the City.” Sound familiar?

After 8 days of Much Ado About Nothing, a truck arrived in the middle of the night and dug a trench—in the wrong place. After several more days of persistence by the homeowners, the leak was eventually repaired, leaving Kevin and Julia with a bill of almost $300 before adding a single drop of water usage.

Moral of the story: Structures and buildings can be plagued by problems that are often impossible to detect by simple visual inspection alone. By using infrared inspection techniques for leak detection Seattle specialists could have produced thermal images showing exactly where the leak was and saving not only the time, money and water but a significant amount of effort by all parties.

Story #3: When the Cat’s Away..

The mice play! In the first week of July, Stefan K discovered he had a leaking water meter. Or rather, his neighbors discovered it, because he was out of town. They notified the authorities, but nothing happened. On his return it was still leaking so he tried to get it taken care of, but for several weeks the water continued running down the road. During this time, Stefan kept receiving notices in the mail containing water conservation tips!
Stefan began taking photos to document the leak. The SPU assured him that it would not appear on his water bill, but it did–with a water usage bar 10 times higher than any other month. Eventually, the authorities sent a team without warning to repair the leak. Stefan’s water was turned off mid-shower and he was forced to go outdoors wrapped in a towel and full of soap to ask for it to be turned back on so he could rinse off the suds. By January 2013, Stefan’s bill had still not been adjusted and the SPU was threatening to turn off his water supply.

Moral of the story: Don’t wait for the authorities to act if you suspect a leak. By calling out a specialist in leak detection Seattle homeowners can prevent the expense and inconvenience of a leak long before it reaches a five-month mark!

These stories all had happy endings, but you might not be as lucky! Remember the early days when residents dealt with events such as the Ravenna sinkhole disaster? That’s what the aftermath could have been, for any of these incidents. Keep an eye on your water meter and if you find you’re using more water than usual, you spot any damp areas in your basement walls or wet patches in your yard, by contacting an expert in leak detection Seattle residents can make sure they don’t get into any of these uncomfortable situations. Don’t wait for the authorities to act – there’s no guarantee it will save you money in the long term.

Photo Credits: LeakTrench, MeterCover