Clean, fresh water is essential in our daily life. Problems, particularly ones concerning health, can arise without clean water flowing into your home. To ensure that the water flowing into your home is healthy and drinkable; your main water line needs to be in good condition. The water line installed in your home should be very strong and built to last for years. However, no matter how strong the water line is, other factors can cause damage. These include corrosion, tree roots and the type of pipe used depending on how old is your home.
You don’t need to be a plumber to identify if your main water line is defective. Understanding a few basics will help to know if it needs replacing or repaired.
Following are some warning signs to look for:
- Low water pressure. A drop in water pressure could mean a leaking water line and that you are losing water. Although several factors can cause low water pressure, a leak in the water line is one of them.
- Discoloration of water. Rust-brown color in your water is another warning sign of a defective main water line. Factors that can cause the water discoloration include soil and dirt entering the water line, which means your water line has cracks and/or corrosion. Poor soil conditions due to high chloride content and low soil resistivity can corrode the pipes from the outside leading to leaks and contamination.
- Wet areas on your lawn. Wet areas on your lawn, even if it didn’t rain, could mean leaking water underneath the surface of your lawn. This is coming from a crack in your water line. Check this immediately to prevent flooding on your lawn.
- Increased water bill. An unusual or significant increase in your water bill, although there are no additional consumptions, signifies a problem in your water line. Have this checked to determine it is time to replace or repair your main water line?
What can damage your water lines?
- Extreme weather changes. Extreme weather changes can damage your main water line. A 10-degree change, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, can cause cracks in the water line. This is because the pipes become fragile when the temperature gets below 40oF. Alternatively, the ground freezes if air temperatures are at or below freezing point. It takes one or two days after the freezing temperature before the water line can break because the water temperature requires more time to decrease compared to air temperature.
- The age of the pipes. Older pipes are prone to cracking. In a study conducted by the Buried Structures Laboratory of Utah State University, they found that almost a quarter of all U.S. water mains are over 50 years old. These pipes are generally made of steel, clay or tile, materials that are susceptible to deterioration or corrosion over time.
Being observant and checking for warning signs will help you to know when your water line needs a replacement or repair. Water line repair is something that should be done by the experts. Call the plumbers at American Air if you are experiencing a problem with your main water line.