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7 Signs You Have a Leaky Water Main in Your Home or Business
If you’re like most home and business owners, you don’t think much about your plumbing. As long as it’s working, you can count on it to keep giving you the clean water you rely on.
Even minor leaks might not seem like a huge issue. However, leaking pipes waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water every year. The sooner you can get those leaks fixed, the more water you’ll save.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to spot a leaky or broken water pipe. Here are a few of the most common signs that you have a leaky water main.
1. Soft Spots in Your Lawn
Water mains run underground beneath your property to better direct wastewater away from your house. When they leak, they can leak anywhere and all that water will spread from the leak out to the dirt around the pipe.
The first thing most people notice that indicates there’s a leak in the water main is soft spots in the lawn. These soft spots happen when water saturates the soil. The soil can’t absorb all that water. When you step on the grass, water will ooze out around your shoe.
If you think you might have a broken water pipe, take a walk around the exterior of your building. Pay attention to the way the ground feels underfoot. If you notice water pooling around your shoe or feel like the grass is softer beneath your feet than it should be, call your plumber.
2. Puddles Popping up Inside Your Building
Walk around your building and check each room for signs of water damage. If you notice puddles forming beneath the sink or see watermarks and stains starting to form on the ceiling, you likely have a severe leak.
The sooner you get the leak fixed, the less damage the water can do to the building.
Keep in mind that the source of the leak may not be where the water is pooling. You’ll need to have a plumber come to inspect your system to find the exact location and cause of the damage.
3. Overly High Water Bills
Water usage tends to be consistent for most homes and businesses throughout the year. If there are increases, you’re likely able to explain why your bill is going up.
However, if you notice an increase in your water bill and can’t pinpoint a reason for the increase in use, you probably have a leak.
The sooner you get the plumbing inspected, the sooner you can start saving money on your utilities. While you’ll still have to pay for the water you lost due to the leak, you’ll start lowering your water bill immediately after your plumber fixes the problem.
4. Low Water Pressure in All Faucets
When pipes are in good condition, the water flows through them at high pressure. If there’s a leak or other kind of damage somewhere in the waterline, more water seeps out of the pipes instead of flowing directly to the faucet when you turn it on. When this happens, the water reaches the faucet at a lower water pressure.
Pay attention to the way the water comes out of the tap when you turn it on. Does it seem like the water pressure is as high as it should be? If so, your water main is likely in good condition.
However, if it’s low or only stays high for a few seconds at a time, you likely have a leak somewhere on your property. Once the leak gets fixed, your water pressure should return to normal.
5. Gurgling Noises From Your Toilets
A leaky water main means the water inside the pipe gets exposed to the air. When air gets inside the pipe, it moves up the pipe and to the closes drain in your home or office building.
As the air escapes the drain, it moves through the water and creates strange gurgling or bubbling noises in your plumbing. Most often people notice these noises coming from toilets on your property.
If you hear strange bubbling noises coming from the toilet even if no one’s flushed it recently, call your plumber immediately.
Leaving the damaged pipe in place is a sure-fire way to end up with a sewage backup on your hands. Getting the leak fixed will prevent the backup from happening and spare you the trouble of having to clean up raw sewage indoors.
6. Strange Smells Seeping Through the Drains
Your building’s pipes do more than just provide you with a steady supply of clean water. They also send dirty water and waste away from the house.
If those pipes have a leak or crack, the wastewater won’t get sent away from the property. Unfortunately, this often causes strange odors to waft up through the drains.
Take a deep breath over the sinks in your home or office. If the air still smells fresh and clean, you likely don’t have a water main leak. However, if you smell sulfur or another off-putting scent, call your local plumber immediately.
There may be buildup around the drains that’s contributing to the smell, but if it is a leak, the sooner you get it fixed, the better off you’ll be.
7. Standing Water Around Your Property
When water mains develop leaks, they don’t stop supplying your home or building with water. That water just finds somewhere to go that isn’t inside your pipes.
If you notice water pooling in the street in front of your house or around the parking lot at your commercial building, you likely have a water main leak. Turn the water off at the main supply line and call your plumber immediately.
If you shut the water off, more won’t pool around the building and you’ll be able to keep your water bill from going up significantly.
Watch for These Signs of a Broken Water Pipe
Leaks happen all the time and it can feel like they happen without warning if you’re not prepared. Keep an eye out for these common symptoms of a broken water pipe on your property throughout the year.
If you notice even one of these signs or just feel that something’s not right with your plumbing, don’t wait to schedule an appointment. Contact our team as soon as possible and let our plumbers help you keep your home or office in good shape.
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