Q: I think the main water line that comes into my home through my concrete foundation wall in the basement has a small leak. It has been sealed with tar. Should I remove the tar and caulk it or can you tell me the best way to fix this?
Curt, Port Moody
A. To identify the source of the leak, water sounds can often be heard. A stethoscope is ideal, but you can use a piece of half-inch wood doweling about a foot long, place one end on the pipe and put your ear on the other end over your thumb. Ensure you have complete silence and listen for any sounds of running water coming from the pipe. If you hear water running you could very likely have a damaged water main, and that is where your leak is located.
In this case, contact a professional plumber or pipefitter to repair it. It is possible to install a new pipe from the main city water supply without digging a trench through a company that offers Pipe Genie Trenchless Pipe Replacement. To seal around the pipe in the concrete wall contact a professional epoxy injection company. This can be done by a basement or foundation specialist such as Basement Systems in Vancouver. Call the HouseSmart Home Services Referral Network at 604-542-2236 to locate companies that service your area.