Water Line Broken?
Water Line Repair & Replacement
A broken water line can sometimes present a pick-your-poison type of scenario for a home or business owner. You may come home to find an unplanned lake in your front yard and/or a water bill in your mailbox so outrageous that you may go looking for a lake to jump in.
Water is something so vital to everyday life, yet so easily taken for granted – until it’s not there. There’s not a day that goes by that someone doesn’t turn on a faucet, take a shower or bath, do laundry or flush a toilet. All of those everyday occurrences require water.
So maintaining a properly working water line is imperative.
Signs of water line damage
There are a few other warning signs that your water line might be damaged:
- A drop in water pressure in your home. If you go to take a shower and the stream of water is so weak it makes you wonder just how late you’ll be for work by the time you get done, you could have a damaged water line. Cracked or damaged water pipes can cause leaks, which in turn cause low water pressure because not all of the water is flowing to where it should.
- Those leaks can sometimes become evident in your yard. They may not always be as obvious as a lake or standing water. It might only be that you notice the ground is soggy even though it hasn’t rained.
- High water bills. Just like your cable bills and house payments, your water bill should not see a volatile shift in pricing at any given month. If so, something’s definitely wrong. The key is not to be intimidated into simply making the higher payment each month because you fear how much it’s going to cost to fix whatever’s wrong. Ignoring the main problem means you only spend more and more money in the long run.
- Discolored water and/or gurgling sounds in a toilet are other indicators that the water line from your house may be clogged or otherwise damaged.
There is a do-it-yourself trick you can try to help figure out if your main pipe is leaking. Shut off your main water valve and write down the water meter reading. Wait for a couple of hours and check the meter again. If the reading has increased, you most likely have a leak.
Causes of water line damage
There are several reasons why a water line might be damaged:
- High water pressure. It may feel like a great massage on your back in the shower each morning, but high water pressure can cause serious plumbing damage. Continuous water flow at excessive pressure can wear down pipes and other plumbing fixtures. It can also hinder the performance of your sinks, faucets, washing machines and toilets. If you believe you have high water pressure, call All Clear at 864-979-7059.
- Old pipes. Water line pipes these days are built to last for around 50 years. Obviously in older homes, the pipes likely will be older too and it may be time to replace them.
- Bad joints. Sometimes a poor job of soldering joints can cause water lines to succumb to corrosion.
- Vibration in rocky soil.
- Corrosive soil. This is a hazard that affects buried metals and concrete that is in direct contact with soil or bedrock. Corrosion varies depending on the type of soil. For example, a cast iron water pipe may last 50 years in New England soil, but only 20 years in the more corrosive soil of Southern California.
Timelines for service
There are steps that need to be taken before a water line can be repaired. Utility companies need to be contacted to locate buried electrical and gas lines. The normal time frame for this to occur is five business days and these electrical and gas lines need to be located and marked prior to any digging.
We have a pipe-bursting technique that we sometimes try first (depending on the length of the run and how straight it is), which is less disruptive to landscaping. If we do have to trench it, we use the ditch witch and it is a narrow trench. We replace with PEX, which is currently the industry standard and very high quality. It should last at least 50 years. Digging can cause some change to a lawn as the excavation site is visible. All Clear Plumbing will backfill the excavation site and put down straw in preparation for the homeowner to re-sod.
Sometimes, water line repair work requires a permit. Typically, a water line repair requires four hours of work and your water will have to be turned off for the duration of the job. Homeowners are responsible for everything after the meter. If the break is at the meter, you may want to call your water company because it might be within the tolerance zone that they have to fix.
The key to maintaining a healthy water supply is to call us with any kind of problem you’re having with your water. Homeowners are responsible for these pipes and insurance companies do not cover damages to them.
Obviously you want to fix it because it is going to cause expensive water bills and wastes clean water. Wasting water can has never been a worse idea than it is now (link to Edge column on conservation).
Pipes age over time and naturally wear out. At some point every home or business owner will need to address water lines. Decayed, compromised or broken water lines can cause drains to back up inside a house.
Secondary damages can occur. There can be flooding in the homeowner’s yard as well as cracked foundations resulting from improperly functioning sewer and waterlines.
All Clear Plumbing offers the best service plumbing professionals in the Upstate. Our courteous, knowledgeable crews will have your water worries erased efficiently as possible. Call us today at 864-979-7059.
All Clear did a great job! I called for help with plumbing issues at my home. He was punctual, courteous, and professional.J.B.