Water mains bring fresh, clean water into our homes and buildings. But, over time, they can begin to break down due to corrosion or other environmental factors.
The sooner you can recognize these signs, the faster you can get them repaired. Watch for these five common signs that your water main needs repair.
Soft Spots in Your Lawn
Water leaks cause soil to erode, making it easier for foundation cracks to develop. These cracks can also let water seep into your home, damaging walls, flooring, and other structures. A sudden pest infestation is another clear sign that your water line needs to be fixed. Pests thrive in moisture and will move in when the water in your line breaks and starts leaking into the ground.
A main water line leak will affect your whole house, so if your water pressure is low across the entire property, it’s a good idea to call a professional for a repair estimate as soon as possible. This will ensure the problem is caught and repaired before it worsens. According to the EPA, up to 90 gallons of water is wasted daily by untreated leaks in the water line. This can add up to a lot of money over time. This is why it’s important to catch the signs of a water line leak early and act accordingly.
If you find unexplained puddles around your home, especially in areas that don’t have plumbing fixtures nearby, it could be a sign of a major leak. You should immediately call a water main repair specialist to fix this issue to prevent further damage and water loss.
Puddles near your water main can cause serious damage to your foundation if the ground is made of concrete. The constant presence of water can cause the material to weaken and crack. If this happens, consider getting a full foundation repair.
You should also contact a plumber if you notice a sudden increase in your water bill. A spike in your bill could indicate a leak or a break in the water line.
If your drains constantly clog, even after regular cleanings, it’s a sign of an underground water leak. Dirt can start infiltrating your clean water supply, leading to unpleasant odors and health issues for your family. Water lines leaking can also cause murky, brown, or reddish-colored water.
Low Water Pressure
A sudden drop in water pressure is a major sign of something wrong. This could be some things, including a clogged fixture or a pressure regulator that needs to be replaced. But it could also indicate that the city is doing water main work nearby, disrupting your home’s supply line.
Corrosion is another common reason for low water pressure. Old steel pipes can corrode over time, which causes them to become clogged with gunky, rock-like material that restricts water flow. If you live in an older house, you should have your pipes cleaned to prevent this from happening.
If the problem is limited to one room or all of your fixtures, it is important to note how many are affected. This will help you pinpoint the cause of the issue. You should also check your home’s shut-off valves to ensure they are fully open. Typically, these are located outdoors near the hose bib (outdoor spigot) or in a utility room. You might also need to have your home’s branch lines examined by a plumber.
Cracks in Your Foundation
If you notice cracks in your foundation, it may be a sign that you need foundation repair. However, it’s important to determine whether the crack is structural or nonstructural. Nonstructural cracks are normal for settling and don’t threaten the home’s integrity. However, these cracks should be repaired quickly to prevent further damage to the structure.
It is also important to monitor the cracks to see if they get wider or longer over time. If they do, it is a good idea to call a professional.
In many cases, the cause of these cracks can be traced back to faulty construction, soil conditions, and weather changes. To prevent these problems, it is important to install gutters and downspouts to ensure that water drains away from your home’s foundation. Proper landscaping is essential to ensure the soil is compacted and not sloping toward your foundation. Additionally, a dehumidifier can help to reduce moisture in the air. This can also prevent the formation of mold and fungus.
A water main line leak will seep into the ground, pool around your foundation, or even come inside. The water will pick up many dirt and other contaminants in these places. Over time, this will make your water look and smell funky. It may also taste bad and be dangerous to drink or bathe in.
While it’s normal for drains to get clogged, when multiple drains in your house start getting clogged simultaneously, this could be a sign that something is wrong with your water line. The most likely culprit is a break in the water line that lets sediment and heavy metals into your clean water supply.
If your water is contaminated, it is important to follow the advice of your local health department and your city’s water utility company. In the meantime, if you have any of these five signs that your water line needs repair, don’t wait! A plumber can help you avoid a serious and expensive problem.