Signs You Need to Replace Your Main Water Line

As a homeowner, you have undoubtedly had your fair share of plumbing issues from time to time, and you'll most likely experience a problem with your main water line at least once in your lifetime. For some plumbing problems, you can fix them yourself by grabbing a plunger, but when it comes to issues with your main water line, you need to call in a professional plumber to repair them for you.

Signs You Need to Replace Your Main Water Line

There are a few tell-tale hints that your water line needs to be repaired or replaced, and below, we'll go over everything you need to know. So that when that day comes, you're prepared.

What Is a Main Water Line?

The main water line is a pipe that runs beneath the ground, delivering clean water directly to your home. It connects directly to the municipal water supply, which supplies clean water to your entire town.

Are There Signs That My Water Main Is Damaged?

Thankfully there are a few obvious signs that you've got a problem with your water mains, and it's time to call in a plumber.

  • An increase in your water bill - Have you recently wondered, "Why is my water bill so high?" This indicates your main water line is damaged and leaking excess water, causing a spike in your bill.

  • Water pressure problems - Having lower water pressure in shower or the water pressure low in house indicates that the main line is damaged, and the pipe is losing water on its way into your home.

  • Noisy pipes - If you have noisy pipes when running water, your water line probably has holes, leading to trapped air bubbles, which are responsible for the noises you hear when you run water.

  • Water quality issues - Has the quality of the water coming out of your pipes suddenly changed? Is your drinking water starting to taste and look weird? Does it smell or even have dirt or debris in it? This is another sign that your main line has been compromised.

  • Standing water in your yard - If you see standing water and puddles, your main water line is leaking. Since the main line runs from your home to the municipal line, it has to pass under your yard, and water accumulation in your yard is a sure sign of a problem.

  • Pest infestations - Does your house suddenly seem to have a pest problem? An increase in rodents and bugs indicates that they have a new way of gaining access to your home - such as a hole in a pipe.

What Causes Damage to a Water Main?

Water mains get damaged for a few reasons. The most common causes of damage to your water main are:

  • Tree root incursion - Tree roots are known for making their way into pipes and damaging them. Roots constantly seek out water and will stop at nothing to get it.

  • Excavation work - If new construction is being done around your home when you notice new water supply problems, an excavator or other heavy machinery might have unintentionally nicked your pipe.

  • Aging pipes/pipe material - As with all things, the older a pipe is, the more likely it is to start to break down. This is especially true for lines installed before 1980. Older pipes were typically made of cast iron and clay, which don't hold up well over time, especially when constantly exposed to moisture.

  • Pressure changes - Changes in outside temperature can cause pressure changes inside the pipes, called thermal expansion. Freezing and thawing ground surrounding the pipe causes the pipe to expand and contract, which can eventually lead to a rupture.

  • Ground settling - Over time, the earth around pipes settles, and when this happens, it adds weight and pressure to the pipe.

  • Corrosive soil - Different elements that naturally exist in soil have corrosive characteristics and can eventually eat away at a pipe.

If you've been experiencing a rate spike in your water bill, have water and quality pressure issues, or are hearing things when you run water, you have a problem with your plumbing, and chances are it's a main water line issue. To accurately diagnose and repair the problem, you need a professional plumber. Contact Mr. Rooter of Atlanta today!

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