Have you ever been saved from drinking milk by checking the expiration date on the container? Knowing when a product will exceed its expected life can be very helpful. Unfortunately, you don’t always get that courtesy with your plumbing. We’ve had plenty of customers who were surprised – and not in a good way – when their home’s water supply line broke or started to leak.
The water supply pipe can last decades, so it can be hard to predict when it will need to be replaced. Signs of a broken water service line include a sudden increase in water bills, soggy spots on the property, low water pressure, or contaminated water.
What does the water supply line do?
The water supply line, sometimes called the water lateral, is the pipe that delivers water to your home. This pipe typically runs underground from the water authority’s water main line and through your property until it reaches your home, where it is often connected to the water meter and main shut-off valve. From there, the water is distributed throughout the home through your plumbing.
Signs you should replace your water service line
- Your water bill has spiked. A cracked water service line can result in gallons upon gallons of water being wasted before it even reaches your home. This will undoubtedly lead to a higher water bill. If your bill is unusually high, start by eliminating other explanations, such as increased usage (which is common in the summer) or an inside leak from a faucet or toilet. Once all other explanations are exhausted, it may be time to consider the water service line as the culprit.
- Your lawn has soggy spots – Once the water leaks out of a broken supply line, it has to go somewhere. The surrounding soil will absorb some of the leaking water, but eventually, you’ll notice wet spots or even pools of water on your property along the route of the service line. This is a tell-tale sign that you have a broken pipe below ground that needs to be addressed right away.
- Low water pressure – One indoor clue that you may have a broken water supply line is an unexplained drop in water pressure. This makes sense since less water reaches your indoor plumbing system to be used by your showers, sinks, and other outlets. It’s important to note that a broken supply line will affect the water pressure throughout the home. If you’re dealing with low pressure from just one outlet, such as a single showerhead, you’re probably looking at a more local issue.
- Dirty or smelly water – When a water supply line is broken, the concern isn’t just the water seeping out – it’s also what’s flowing into the pipe. It’s possible that dirt, small debris, bacteria, and chemicals (such as pesticides) can get into the water supply. Obviously, you don’t want contaminated water coming into your home and posing dangerous health risks. So if you notice a change in your water’s appearance or smell, don’t ignore it and get to the bottom of the issue.
Water service line replacement
If you suspect a problem with your water service line, it’s important to bring in a licensed plumber as soon as possible to minimize water loss, property damage, and health risk. If the plumber determines you have a cracked or broken pipe, the service line will likely need to be replaced. Repairing the pipe is often not possible (especially if it’s an older material) or only putting a bandage on the problem that will surely reappear.
Think it may be time to replace the water supply line of your home? Call Rooter-Man Plumbers for fair prices and top-notch service. Our experienced team is standing by the help with all your plumbing needs. Schedule an appointment today at 281.351.4422.