Small Leak Detection

There is a spot near the house in the rocks that is wet 24/7 in the rocks. It’s where several pipes connect. It has been there for years. There is not much of a pool of water and the ground around it only a foot away is bone dry on top. The area is inches away from the lawn.
I’m assuming it’s a very small leak.

Does anyone else have similar leaks to this? That spot was damp even when I haven’t watered any zone for awhile in winter.

Is it possible to have a very slow leak 24/7 in a pipe and doesn’t grow overtime?

Is the water culinary or irrigation and on a meter? Can you make sure nothing else is running and look at the meter to see if it changes? What about over time?

It does sound like a very slow leak and I have seen those. Could be a pinhole or even a very small area on a joint that did not get glued right. It does seem like it would grow over time though.

I would probably try digging down to where it gets dry if you can. Next dry off the pipes. Being damp all the time without watering, it seems like it would be a source line rather than a zone line. Clean and dry the pipe(s) and then come back after a bit to see if it is wet again. Starting from the top, I would take a dry paper towel and go down the pipe to find when it gets wet, especially check any joints.

It’s outside so it’s probably irrigation. There are several pipes including PVC there.

I have used 17% less water for the 1st 4 month this year compared to the 2014-2021 average and 20% compared to January-April 2020 for the combined indoor and outdoor water usage since switching lawn sprinkler heads and getting the Rachio 3.

This implies that the leak either has been there for a very long time, and/or is small.

I found the leak. It is a pinhole puncture is a white 3/4-1 inch pvc pipe. I wonder the flow rate.

Tiny crack in the tee? Great work!