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Water main problems and how we can help

Issues resulting from a damaged water main are not uncommon. In fact, they do happen quite frequently, especially in older areas, trees with plenty of vegetation, and where there is high usage. These problems take more than just a plunger or some homemade “pipe clearing” mixture to solve. Here, we will break down what kinds of problems can occur, how to prevent them, and what real solutions are out there to fix your problem.

What is a water main

To understand the issues that can happen with a water main, first you should know a little bit about the water main system and what it is.  Your water main is the portion of the city water pipe that is on your property.  This is the pipe that brings water to your home, and is different from the pipe which takes away your home’s sewage waste.  Most of this time, the pipe is underneath your property, and isn’t visible.  If there’s an issue, it can be really hard to detect, sometimes until it’s too late.  Though, if you know how to identify each problem, there is a greater chance that you can catch it before it gets worse and creates permanent damage.

Potential problems

Here are some of the more common problems and how to recognize them:
Clog

The first issue that can happen is a clog in your pipes.  This is much more uncommon than the rest because there is nothing fr\lowing out from your home; the water is only flowing one way (towards the home).  Clogs that do occur happen when your pipes are old and beginning to corrode.  You will notice a change in your water pressure.  This is because water is stuck and getting to your home much slower than usual.  If you check your home’s water meter and it is at zero but your water pressure is unchanging, call a plumber to further evaluate your pipes.  For more about water pressure click here.

Leak

Leaks happen when there are small holes in your pipe that let out water.  Water will constantly be flowing within your pipes and can rack up a pretty high water bill.  A leak might also result in low water pressure.  A plumber can quickly diagnose whether your pipes are leaking, but so can you.  If you turn all your water off and check your water meter and see it moving, you have a leak.  For more detailed instructions on checking for a leak check this out.  Leaks can be caused by tree roots as well.  Tree roots can push around pipes so much that they spring a leak.  If you notice that there are many trees around where your water main is, you may have discovered your leak culprit.  Not to mention, if leaks go untreated, especially in the winter, they will freeze and you will be dealing with much more serious problems.

Break

A Break is definitely a problem that water mains have.  A break is much more serious and requires immediate attention from an emergency plumber.  Checkout how to find an emergency plumber.  A break in your pipe will be visible by flooding onto the street as well as flooded grass and low water pressure.  If you notice any flooding or extremely  low pressure call your plumber.

Old and lead

Old pipes and lead pipes are just as much of a problem as anything else, if not more.  There are so many problems with lead pipes health wise, they should be replaced as soon as possible.  Old pipes, even if they aren’t lead pose an issue of corrosion and further on, clogs.  If you have lead pipes or suspect you do, take a look at this and follow steps accordingly.  Call a plumber if you are worried about your pipe’s age.

Overall, The best ways to detect a potential problem with your home’s water main is to close all your faucets and monitor the water meter. If it’s still running and water is “coming in” then you definitely have a problem. The other way is to have a plumber come in and check your water main. Plumbers have the tools to accurately check for and diagnose any potential issues with your water main.

Solutions

Now that you can monitor and check for potential issues, here are your potential solutions:
Reinforcements

For leaky pipes, or weaker pipes, plumbers may opt to use reinforcements if they don’t determine that there is a greater issue.  These reinforcements are made with very strong and durable material. 

Your plumber may also move your pipes to avoid hazards like tree roots.

Excavation

In the case of lead pipes and broken pipes in most cases, excavation is the only solution long term.  You will cause more problems if you leave or come up with temporary solutions.  Your pipes will be replaced with fantastic material designed and built to last an extremely long time.  For more information about pipe excavation here’s a little more reading.  

Don't DIY

One essential tip is not to try to do it yourself.  Plumbers are certified and have lots of experience and training.  If you try to fix your pipes after seeing a video online, you will almost certainly cause more damage and cost yourself more money.  With the amount of time and money you will spend going to the store, and attempting a fix, you could have already called, and paid a plumber to do the exact same job but better.

Keep in mind, when it comes to plumbing, it is never a bad idea to get a few different quotes!  Just remember that in most cases you get what you pay for.

Conclusion

To conclude, if you have a fear revolving around your water main health, the Rooter team is here to help. Call us to get your free water main solution quote. Our satisfaction guarantee secures your safety and provides peace of mind when it comes to your home health.

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