Home Improvement

Detecting (and Fixing) a Water Line Break

Tree roots and corrosion can lead to breaks in a water line. Don’t get caught unaware. Look for these signs and then take the proper steps to fix them. 

Indoor Problems

If your water fixtures are frequently used, you should have clear water. Sudden earthy-smelling brown water could indicate a break in a supply pipe that is letting in soil. Consistently low water pressure or a steep water bill that doesn’t coincide with your actual use shouldn’t be brushed off either. 

Outside Changes

If the ground is muddy or has puddles of standing water that aren’t explained by the weather, you could be looking at a sign of a broken pipe. Sudden sinkholes in your yard and driveway are an indication of shifting soil, which might come from over-saturation with water.

Who To Call

If the issues you notice extend passed your property to roads or sidewalks, or your neighbors have similar complaints, you should contact your town or city’s department of water management. However, if the problems are solely in your home or yard you will need to be in touch with a plumber, as you are the responsible party.

Taking a Look

Your plumber or city maintenance workers will probably use a hydrostatic test pump to determine which pipes are the source of the problem. Then, if a break is confirmed, they will snake down a camera to investigate further.

After the Leak

When everything is repaired, you will have to flush your pipes and appliances to get rid of dirt and detritus that came in through the break. This involves running washing machines and dishwashers empty at least twice and replacing the filters on filtration systems.

Don’t ignore small inconveniences. Alone they may not amount to much, but take a step back and look at the bigger picture they create. You’ll be glad you did.