A household plunger can certainly save the day at times. Unfortunately, it’s not the answer to every plumbing need.
Water main problems are a reality that most homeowners will have to face sooner or later. In most cases, you’ll need a professional to come to your rescue. But it’s also good to have a solid understanding of what the water main or main water line is. Especially if the subject of water main repair or a water line replacement comes up.
Know What Your Home’s Water Main Is
Your water main is your home’s primary source of water. It is generally located underground; connecting your home to your local water source.
Don’t confuse the main waterline with the private sewer lateral or PSL. That particular pipe links your home’s plumbing to the publicly-owned sanitary sewer line. It carries all of your home’s waste water from the house to sewer.
Understand Common Water Main Issues
Water mains are susceptible to a number of common problems.
First, over time, holes or cracks may develop in a water main. This is usually the result of some sort of external corrosion from the soil. Sometimes frost might also contribute to the corrosion.
Water pipes are consistently under pressure. Whenever there’s a break, water will flow from the pipe and eventually into either your basement, your front lawn, or your street.
When this happens, there’s a good chance the water coming into your home might be contaminated. When this occurs, you should stop using any appliance with running water and refrain from drinking tap water.
Homeowners should know where their water main’s shutoff valve is located. This will give them the means to shut off water flow to minimize property damage in the event of an emergency. This shutoff valve can typically be found beside your home’s water meter. If your public utility company doesn’t shut off the water first, homeowners can do it themselves with a water meter key.
Another common problem is a leaky water valve. Some water valves, like gate valves, are more susceptible to leaking. When this happens, it might be possible to stop the leak by tightening the water valve’s packing nut. Other DIY solutions might be adding or replacing old washers. However, the best practice in most instances is to call a professional plumber to repair the leak. You’ll definitely need a professional on the job if your only fix is to replace the valve.
Know How to Detect Leaks in Your Plumbing
An undetected water main leak can result in extensive and expensive structural damage to your home. This damage can include your flooring and walls. As well as mildew and mold issues. Not to mention that water waste is detrimental to both the environment and your water bill.
Wet spots or mildew on your walls or floors is one interior sign of a potential water main leak.
On the outside of your house, an extra green appearance in one area of your lawn might indicate a water main leak.
The challenging aspect of leaks is they’re usually in places that are hard to reach. For example, the leak might be under a concrete slab, buried beneath the lawn, or somewhere else completely hidden from view. It’s not until there’s visible, often already significant, damage that there’s even any clue the leak exists.
There are really two ways to determine there’s an existing water leak.
First, you can shut off all water fixtures and check to see whether or not your water meter is still flowing.
Second, you can hire a plumber that offers leak detection. Leak detection is a specialized skill requiring the most up-to-date technology to best locate actual leaks in your plumbing.
Water Main Repair & Replacement Tips
As we mentioned earlier, once a water main leak is detected, it’s pivotal that you address the issue as soon as possible to minimize damage to your home and property.
Keep the following in mind:
A Full Water Main Replacement May Be Needed
If the home is over 50-years-old, or you’ve had persistent plumbing problems for many months or years, a full water main replacement may be necessary. Water main repair may not be enough.
Trenchless Technology is an Option
Repairing or replacing a leaky water main used to require a large hole being dug across your property. The availability of trenchless pipe replacement today means water main repairs or replacements can be done with much less mess and inconvenience.
This Isn’t a DIY Job
Repairing or replacing a water main isn’t something you can learn how to do via YouTube or a Google search. You’ll need to call in the professionals. Any attempt to conquer the job yourself will most likely only lead to you paying more in the long run – especially if a more expensive do-over is needed when an attempted DIY repair goes wrong.
Need a Water Main Repair or Water Main Replacement in Ventura or Los Angeles County?
T-Top Plumbing provides Water Main Replacement and Water Main Repairs in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. Contact us today by visiting http://www.ttopplumbing.net/leak-detection or by calling (805) 527-8867.