All of your home's clean water enters through a single pipe: the water main. This pipe, also called a service pipe, can start to leak and need to be repaired. Here are three things you need to know about water main leak repair.
Why do water mains leak?
There are many things that can damage your water mains and lead to leakage. A big problem is simply age. Aging infrastructure is a major problem across the country, and more than one-fifth of pipes are more than 50 years old. Nearly one-tenth are past their useful life. As pipes get older, they corrode and break down, and leaks can develop.
Newer pipes can also leak. If you have large trees on your property, their roots could grow through the water main and puncture it. Breaks can also happen during the winter months if the ground around the pipe freezes and compresses it.
How do you know your main is leaking?
Since your home gets all of its water through the water main, a leak in the water main will affect your whole house. You may notice that you only have a trickle of water coming out of your sinks, that it's taking a long time for your washing machine to fill up, or that it's hard to rinse the shampoo out of your hair in the shower. Whole-house low pressure like this is cause for concern since it could indicate a problem with your water main.
The water that's escaping from the leaky pipe can end up in your basement or garage, so check closely for signs of water damage. A wet spot outdoors, near where the water main joins up with the local water supply, is another clue that you have a water main leak.
How are water main leaks fixed?
You may be worried that your front lawn will need to be dug up so that the water main can be fixed, but this isn't always the case anymore. New technologies allow plumbers to replace damaged underground pipes.
A small hole will be dug at one end of your damaged water main, and a piercing tool will be used to create a tunnel from the hole to your house. The plumber will thread your new water line through this tunnel, and then it will be connected. This means that there will be only minimal damage to your lawn and landscaping.
If you think your water line needs to be repaired, call a plumber, like one from Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Sewer Drain Cleaning.