2 Signs That Your Main Water Line Should Be Inspected

If you care about the plumbing inside your home, then you may invest in a yearly plumbing check up from a company like First Class Plumbing of Florida Inc. to make sure all of your appliances, water supply lines, and drainage pipes are in good condition. An internal check up is extremely important and in some cases an outdoor investigation is necessary as well. Water supply lines or water main lines can form leaks and this can cause substantial difficulties with your plumbing. If you want to know if an investigation needs to be completed, look for the leak signs listed below.

Dirty Water

The main piping lines that bring water to your home can be made out of a variety of different materials. Steel and iron are both common types of piping depending on the time the water main was secured in the earth. Older water systems are commonly made out of iron while newer ones are constructed out of steel. Iron was replaced with steel, because the metal corrodes much more quickly. Steel corrodes too, though over time, and one of the most apparent signs of a corroded water main is dirty water.

Both steel and iron water pipes start to corrode from the outside. The breakdown of the metal occurs due to the presence of acidic or basic substances within the soil. Some of the materials include clay, sand, calcite, calcium, magnesium, and nitrogen. Once the minerals and compounds erode the metal, small holes form in the pipes. These holes are surrounded by rust, and they also allow dirt and debris to fall in the openings. The water that comes out of your water pipes will then be dirtied by these materials.

Dealing With Poor Water

If you see rust and debris in your water, then you should allow the water to run for several minutes until it appears clear. Iron oxides in your water will not make you sick, but lead compounds and other metal impurities may be unhealthy to ingest. Also, bacteria that feed off rust and iron compounds also may enter your plumbing system. Use your water sparingly if you see rust in your water, and contact a plumbing contractor immediately so a leak assessment can be completed.

Large Trees in Your Front Yard

If you have large trees growing in your front yard, then this is not an immediate sign that you have a water main leak, but it does indicate that you may have a plumbing problem in the future if one has not already started. Large trees like hickory, oak, walnut, sycamore, and evergreen varieties can grow deep roots if soil conditions allow for the growth. Deep growth often occurs if water is scarce or if soil is loose and heavily aerated. The growth can reach water main lines that are secured five feet in the ground. This is especially true if holes or seams have started to leak a small amount to encourage root expansion.

Once the roots of a tree reach a main water line, pressure is placed on the pipe. The roots will then grow in both old and new holes that have formed. Not only will this cause a substantial leak, but the roots will block the flow of water to your home. You will notice a reduction in water pressure when this occurs.

Investigating Trees

If you are concerned about the trees that line the front of your property, then consider estimating root growth to determine if there is a potential water main issue. First, try to find your main water line. You can investigate the direction of the water line by finding the end of the pipe that meets your water meter or the end that enters your home. Generally, the water pipe will form a straight line to the street or to your home.

Once you find the water pipe, measure the canopies of the trees that sit in your front yard. A tree canopy or crown is the spread of branches that sits along the base of the tree. Tree roots grow outward two to three times the diameter of the crown in all directions. Multiply your crown dimension by three to see if roots come close to your water main line. If they do, ask your plumbing professional to dig up your water main line to see if tree roots are wrapped around it. The roots will need to be removed and the pipe may need to be replaced if damage is noted.

Both inside and outside water pipes must be examined on occasion so you know that your plumbing system is as healthy as possible. If you have been ignoring the water main that sits outside your home, then call a professional immediately if you see dirty water or if you notice trees with roots that may extend close to the pipe.