A water line leak can mean big headaches for the property owner. The excess water can cause significant damage to the building and its flooring, landscaping or even foundation. Catching and fixing the problem as quickly as possible is extremely important. Every minute wasted is another minute that there could be serious harm inflicted. Be conscious of the factors that contribute to broken water lines and watch out for the common warning signs. Make sure you contact an experienced professional if you are experiencing an issue.
Causes of water line leaks
Contrary to popular belief, water lines don’t only burst on cold winter days. There could actually be many different reasons as to why there is a water line leak:
- Extreme temperatures. Water pipes have trouble more frequently in very hot or cold temperatures. Soil shifts more suddenly in these intense conditions, leading to stress on in-ground pipes that can cause ruptures.
- Old pipes. Like everything, water lines have a lifespan. Older pipes found in some areas could be suffering from cracks and corrosion.
- Soil erosion. Natural erosion can also cause abrupt shifts in the ground. These shifts can damage piping.
- Human error. Water lines can be damaged by heavy machinery used for landscape modifications by homeowners or contractors.
Common Warning Signs
- Discolored water. Have you recently noticed that your water is cloudy or discolored? This could mean that rust, or even soil seeping through cracks in the piping, is reaching your water supply.
- Pools of water on your lawn or street. Have you looked out your window to find that your lawn or street has puddles that weren’t there before, even if it hasn’t rained recently? When water begins to pool in surprising places, something isn’t right. Ensure that any irrigation system is working properly and call in an expert if you can’t easily fix the problem. This standing water could cause dangerous sinkholes and is a sign of a serious water line problem.
- Low water pressure. Consistently low water pressure could mean that your line has a leak. If your water pressure is extremely low, the issue could be severe.
- Unexplainable increase in the water bill. Did you do a double-take at your last water bill? If there has been a sizable increase for no apparent reason, a leak in your water line could be the culprit. Not only is your bill ridiculous, but you are also inadvertently wasting the precious resource of potable water that could be properly used otherwise.
- Pipe corrosion. Being proactive can save you a lot of money in the future. Inspect your water line pipes regularly for signs of rust and corrosion. If you get to it early enough, you can have someone replace or repair the piping before it becomes a pressing issue.
- Structural water damage. This can be one of the most expensive problems to fix, so if you see any signs of structural damage, you need to have it looked at immediately. When a water line breaks, the water can leak under your structure. Since concrete absorbs water, cracks can form. These can compromise the structural integrity of a building. This is very bad and potentially dangerous for all of those who are inside the structure. If you notice these cracks at any time, do not hesitate in contacting the proper professionals.
- Strange noises. If you hear a strange bubbling or gurgling when using your faucets or flushing your toilets, this can be a sign that you have a serious leak. A delay in finding the cause of this issue could result in more water damage.
What you can do?
Now that you are aware of the causes and symptoms of water line leaks, what can you do about it once the damage is done? In the City of St. Louis, the government is usually responsible for the maintenance and repair of water mains and lines up until the stop box of your property. Any repair done to the line that runs from the stop-box to your residence is then your responsibility. In other municipalities of St. Louis County, you may also receive assistance in the repair or replacement of your residential water line. Check your local government’s website for details on restrictions and eligibility. In any case, when you find that you have a leak in your water line, there is an urgent need for it to be fixed promptly.
Whether you need your water line repaired or replaced, the experts at Bieg Plumbing have the knowledge and skill to do the job right. We have over 60 years of experience in the business and can aid you through any difficult situation. If you find yourself in a jam, contact Bieg Plumbing today to have your water line assessed. A replacement is a big job, and you’ll want to entrust it to our honest, capable professionals.