Your water service is one of the essential components of your house. While all pipes are important for keeping your household running, your water service is particularly important because of the integral role it plays in supplying water for your home’s plumbing system.
Your water service runs underground from your house to the street, connects to the municipal water main and brings in fresh, clean water for drinking, bathing and other use. Water lines can usually last for decades, but at some point, even these sturdy pipes will wear out. When they do, they can diminish your water quality or damage your home and yard.
Fortunately, a few telltale signs can alert you to a problem with your water line.
Four Signs That Can Suggest an Issue With Your Water Service
What are some signs your water service isn’t working? Below are four critical signals that might indicate a problem with your water service:
1. A Soggy Lawn
A soggy lawn is a sure signal that your water line needs replacement. The reason is that your water service runs underneath your yard, so if it springs a leak, it can slowly flood your lawn with water. If the ground feels squishy or you see standing pools of water in your yard, you may need a new water service. Especially in the summer, when hot and sunny days mean fewer rain puddles in your yard, you should suspect a cracked water service if standing water appears.
Remember that your sewer main also runs beneath your lawn — so if the water in your yard looks discolored or smells like sewage, call a professional immediately for assistance.
2. A Higher Water Bill
Over a year, your water bill is likely to fluctuate with seasonal use — watering your yard every other day in the summer, for instance. Over the short term, though, unless there’s a clear reason for an increase in water use, your water bill usually stays relatively consistent from month to month. If you see a sudden, inexplicable spike on your statement, something is likely amiss with your plumbing.
Your water bill may be rising due to issues with your water service. A worn or damaged water service leaks. If your water bill looks as if you’re using much more water than you are, you may have a leak somewhere in your plumbing, and a cracked water service may be the source. You’ll probably need a replacement to get your utility charges back to their usual level. The average American home leaks 10,000 gallons of water a year — don’t let a cracked water service make yours one of them.
3. Low Water Pressure
You may notice low water pressure in sinks and fixtures in your home. If your water line is damaged, much of the water it supplies leaks out before it ever reaches your household fixtures. The result is weak water pressure in your sinks, tub, showers, dishwasher and washing machine. You may struggle to wash dishes, take a relaxing shower or get your toilet to flush properly.
If you observe low water pressure, you should check pipes, valves and fixtures for leaks, and you may also want to consider the possibility of mineral buildup in your pipes, which can also cause low water pressure. If you don’t find any obvious sources, the culprit may be your water service.
4. Rusty-Colored Water
If your water service is corroded, you may see a rusty color in the water. When iron and iron alloys like steel corrode, they form rust, and some of the corroded metal may make its way into your home’s water and cause visible discoloration.
Discolored home water can also have other sources, including a high concentration of minerals, rust in a failing water heater, or minor, harmless rust buildup in unused pipes or fixtures. If you see large amounts of significantly discolored water, though, you may need to contact plumbing professionals to determine the origin of the problem.
How to Prevent Water Service Issues
Fortunately, you can take steps to maintain your water and prevent cracks and leaks that could wreak havoc on your home’s water quality and structural integrity. Below are a few best practices to keep your water line working efficiently for years:
- Know your water service’s location: Use a blueprint of your home or contact your municipal water authorities to find out where your water line is. If you know its location, you can refrain from digging or planting trees in that area. A strong pipe should hold up to a few knocks with a shovel, but if the pipe is degrading, one good impact could create a crack. Tree roots are also notorious for growing into sewer and causing leaks — especially if leaks already exist, and the moisture starts attracting tree roots.
- Take winter precautions: Freezing temperatures can cause pipes to freeze, expand and burst. Bursting is often an issue in the thinner, more exposed pipes in your home, but extreme cold can damage your buried water line as well. Letting your faucets drip during frigid periods can prevent water from freezing and damaging the pipes. You should also shut your water service off if you’ll be away for an extended time.
- Monitor your home’s ground and foundation: One of the best steps you can take is to keep an eye out for potential issues. Don’t wait until your whole yard has flooded because of a cracked pipe — instead, check your basement and yard regularly for minor signs of water damage, mold and leaks.
What to Do If You Experience a Water Service Issue
If you’re wondering what is wrong with your water service and what to do about it, the best solution is to contact a professional company for help. Though it’s possible in theory to patch up your water service yourself, plumbing work is challenging, and even tiny mistakes can become incredibly costly by causing future leaks, damage and much more expensive repairs. Your best bet is to gain the peace of mind of knowing you’ve had an experienced, trusted professional do the job. Act fast, too — a small leak can grow rapidly and lead to issues much bigger than they would have if you’d addressed them right away.
Trust Crawford Mechanical Services to Replace Your Water Service
To receive qualified, professional help with managing your home’s water line, work with Crawford Mechanical Services. We are a local, family-owned company that has been serving the greater Columbus, Ohio, area faithfully for over 25 years. Our residential plumbing services are safe and dependable and can save you money in the long run by outlasting the competition, and our friendly, professional teams are always ready to help with a plumbing problem, no matter how big or small.
Contact us online, or give us a call at 614-802-6904 to schedule service if your water line is not working.