You just came back home from a hectic day of shopping. Your arms are loaded with bags of groceries as you step into the kitchen to put them away. Splash! Water is flooding your kitchen floor and under the rug of your living room. You groan as you realize you are due for some costly repairs and a lot of disturbance to your home life. What if you could have avoided this altogether?
Warning Signs You May Need Repair
Here are four warning signs that may mean you need your water lines repaired or replaced:
- Discolored water
- It’s possible that dirt or rust (corrosion) have entered your pipes. The rust is a sign that the pipes are breaking down internally. The dirt may mean that a pipe is broken and soil or roots have slipped in.
- Your dry lawn has puddles
- If your lawn is mainly dry, except for a few puddles, and it hasn’t rained for some time, you probably have a broken line underground.
- A drop in pressure
- Sometimes it is just one part of your home that has experienced a drop in pressure. For example, your shower. That may be due to other issues. However, if the water pressure across all of your house has lowered, especially if this has happened rapidly, you may have a broken or cracked mainline.
- You’re Paying More for Your Water
- If there has been a spike in your water bill, but you are not using more water, you may have a leak in a water line.
Causes of Water Line Leaks and Breakage
If you want to avoid unexpected disasters, it is important to understand what can cause them. Below are eight causes of leaks in your home:
Fittings, such as dishwasher doors, washing machine hoses, and toilet basins all have seals around the connection points. Over time, these will fail and have to be replaced. Look for signs, such as condensation or small puddles forming around these appliances.
- Lines get Plugged
Generally, a plugged line will be inconvenient. A gutter that is clogged shouldn’t be a problem if it is cleared in a timely fashion. If left untreated, the pressure can cause a pipe to burst. In the case of the gutter, it may become separated from the house.
Metal pipes, especially galvanized, will rust (or corrode) over time. Look for brown water in your toilets and from your shower/bath. Replace the old lines, if possible, with newer materials designed not to corrode.
- Connection Points are damaged
The weakest point in a system of pipes is wherever they are connected. Deterioration can cause leaks that will often start out small and can be hard to detect. If you suddenly begin hearing noises when you turn on the hot water, you should suspect a problem.
- Water Pressure is too High
Most of us may enjoy a full, flooding shower or water that shoots out of the garden hose like a fire hydrant, but that high pressure may be a sign of a disaster to come. Think of your pipes as balloons: if you keep increasing the pressure, they are bound to burst. Have a professional check the pressure if you suspect it may be high.
- Growing Trees
That wonderful shade tree that you planted five years ago may be spreading its roots right into your water lines. Sinkholes and wet patches or a sudden drop in pressure are signs of danger.
- Loose Connections
If your washing machine tends to move around, due to vibration, the chances are good that the connections are also becoming loosened. Check fittings often for signs of moisture.
- Freezing and Thawing
Sudden drops in temperatures, especially when followed by a rapid increase in temperature may be enough to cause cracks in your lines.