We had the water main break on Wednesday, January 30. Our neighbor first sent an email, indicating she didn't think it was ours, but then called later after she shut of the water supply and the flow stopped.

The neighbor called a plumber they know to look at the situation. He recommended a 'Leak Detector' for $250 as the first step. At first I thought it was a rip off, then reconsidered, since the plumber was recommended by the neighbor. Lisa went one day without water til I got home to check it out. Our water comes from the meter, up Crocker Road, under the road. The neighbors noted water coming out from the side of the road.

Lisa left work early to check it out. The Leak Detector poked 2 holes in the road, and marked one as the location. Another neighbor, who has lived here forever, used a coat hanger to mark a spot under the road.
Lisa described where the spot was and sent me pictures. I said I would do the digging when I got home on Thursday afternoon.
I decided I would do the digging, check it then call the plumber. At first I thought I could dig under the road, without damaging it. No chance. So I slowly dug down and chiped away at the asphalt. When I found the pipe, it was being pushed up by a 4" root of a Eucalyptas tree, coming from the other side of the road.

The pipe had made a dent in the root, but over time, the root won.



The solution was a 2"coupler. It was a little difficult to install because the two pipes weren't perfectly aligned. I eventually was able to get the threads started on both ends. With an 18" pipe wrench and a pair of channel locks tightened both ends as tight as I could get them.

I turned on the water main and it didn't leak. I turned on the outside water spigots, then worked my way inside, getting the air out of the lines. I went back out to check the pipe and the hole was still dry. I did another check 2 hours later, and the coupler was leaking. Close inspection showed that I was able to tightened one side 1/4 inch more than the other. I needed a bigger wrench!

 I turned off the water, went to Home Depot and purchased a 24" pipe wrench. With better tools, I was able to tightened both ends to the point where the threads were not visible. Turned on the water again, no leak! 

Saturday it was still fine, so I scooped all the water out of the hole. Later I filled it in with dirt, packing the dirt as I filled it up. Then I drove over it many times with the Yukon. Sunday it rained, but the dirt remained firm. I will eventually seal it with black top.

The next challenge is to destroy the roots that are coming across the road, because it will happen again in another location. There are spots where the asphalt is being pushed up. Pouring Roundup or Remuda have been recommended.

 More later.