Did you know that household leaks waste about 180 gallons of water per week? That’s over 9,400 gallons of water leaking in and around your home, potentially ruining structures, costing unnecessary money, and using up our most precious resource. Altogether, combined household water leaks nationwide waste nearly 900 billion gallons of water annually. That’s enough water to sustain nearly 11 million homes, and it’s not going to good use for anyone. Why are we saying this? Because it shows just how important it is to be aware of the signs of plumbing leaks in your home. Staying ahead of issues before they become plumbing disasters not only saves you a lot of hassle but also preserves water for future generations.
How Do You Know If Your Water Line is Leaking?
Unfortunately, an underground leak causes more harm than good – even if you might hope it’s just watering the grass a little extra. Over time, this excess water can damage the foundation of your home and leave you with costly repairs that might have been preventable. While our professionals can use diagnostic equipment to thoroughly inspect the situation and identify any leaks (even hairline cracks), there are signs to look for (both inside and outside the home) to understand whether you should call for a second opinion.
Indoor signs of an underground water leak include:
- Water pressure drops noticeably when using your home’s plumbing appliances
- The water that comes from faucets is dirty or rusty
- You’re finding mold spots or water-loving pests gathering in your home
- There is a lingering sewage smell or moldy odor coming from the drains
- An inexplicable increase in water bills recently
- Hissing or bubbling sounds from pipes
These indicators don’t always mean it’s a leak, but they are a strong starting point in troubleshooting the issue. For example, if you find water leaking from a nearby water source (sink, toilet, etc.), it might be a minor plumbing leak. But if you notice damp ceilings, walls, or flooring with no faucet or other water source nearby, there’s a higher likelihood of it being a main water line problem.
Outdoor warning signs to look for would be:
- Wet spots throughout the lawn
- Potholes or sinkholes in the grass
- More sewage odors
- An overly green patch of grass
- Pavement or concrete slab cracks
- Water sprays between sprinkler heads
- Standing water around sprinkler heads
- Water flooding into the street or onto sidewalks
While it may not be a leak, there could also be a blockage within your water line causing problems. Either way, if you notice one or more of these warning signs, you should consult a professional to perform an inspection.
What Causes Water Line Problems?
While pipes will get weaker with time and their quality will diminish naturally, there are other factors that cause issues with water lines such as:
- Poor plumbing work – the services you hire make all the difference in the longevity of water lines
- Broken seal – there are seals throughout the pipes to prevent leaks, which can spoil with time and cause water to seep out
- Temperature changes – extreme drops or spikes in temperature will force pipes to expand or contract, and this can create leaks
- Excessive pressure – if your water pressure is turned up too high it can strain the water line, causing it to wear faster and risk cracks or leaks
Your awareness of potential damage can have a large impact on the effects of water line problems on your home. Paying attention to the warning signs and calling a plumber at the first sign of an issue will put you on the safer side, with the best chance of minimizing disaster.
Who is Responsible for Pipeline Repairs?
It’s not always common knowledge that homeowners are the ones who take responsibility for the pipes that bring water in and carry wastewater away. Property owners are liable for service pipelines between the house and the water meter, which is not necessarily at the property line or the curb as some think.
Responsibility shifts away from homeowners (for general repair and replacement) when it comes to the pipe between the water meter and the public water supply main and meter. So, it all depends on where the damage is. If the leak is on your side of the piping system, you will be required to facilitate repair or replacement.
Our licensed and insured plumbers are here to help you understand what’s going on with your water line, providing plumbing services with complete satisfaction guarantees for your peace of mind. And we are always here to share advice about how to avoid plumbing problems. Don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance.