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How to know if you need a new water main

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How do you know if you need a whole new water main supply pipe or if you just have a small break and need an outside water supply pipe repair? Read on to help understand more about water leak symptoms, causes and repairs.


The water main line is a large pipe that connects the water supply from the street to your water meter and then to your home. Many people are shocked to learn that the homeowner can be responsible for any leaks between the water meter on the street and the water pipes leading across your yard coming into the home. So, what trouble signs should you look for if you suspect a main line water supply leak at your home?


The number one sign of an underground water main supply line leak is water bubbling from the ground around your home. This indicates the worst type of leak, a burst water main line pipe. When this happens, it is important to contact a professional to detect the outdoor leak and repair the busted line. Isolated puddles in the yard, wet spots in the driveway, underground or a large water spot in an otherwise dry area of your street, could indicate a water main line leak.


An unusually high water bill is another sign that you may have a waterline leak outside underneath your home, in the walls or basement. If your water usage is consistent and your water bill is higher than you expect regularly you should have your water pipes inspected for outdoor leaks as you could need a slab leak repair.


When a water main pipe starts to leak inside your home, it can cause mold and mildew to form in the basement, underneath your sink, in your walls or in the floors of your home. In some cases, this makes the water pipe leak easier to detect. It also means that mold and mold spores could be damaging your foundation and causing health concerns including severe allergic reactions in some people. If you see any mold or discoloration around your sinks, faucets or drains, you should contact a licensed plumber like one of Super Techs from Gene Johnson Plumbing to correct the leak.


Foundation issues can come from leaking water main pipes too. When water gets into the foundation, around the concrete or brick slab it can freeze and cause cracking and damage to the foundation. You might notice small cracks in the foundation that get larger over time or water dripping from the outer foundation. If you see wet areas in your home near toilets or faucets, this could indicate a smaller issue with the fixture nearest the leak but if the puddle on the floor is away from any plumbing fixtures, the water line might be leaking through the foundation.


If you have low water pressure coming from one or multiple faucets and you know that your water pressure is not out of adjustment, there could be a leak in one of the water lines in your home. This leak could be near the outdoor water meter, at the main line water pipe coming in from the street or from a busted water line seal. Water pipe seals tend to leak over time and can be worn from old age, temperature fluctuations between hot and cold or any other number of reasons, so be sure to have a trusted plumber conduct a water leak detection to correct the problem before it becomes catastrophic.  


Outside water line leak repair issues can be a major home plumbing repair problem but knowing how to identify a problem, whether a small unknown water puddle, a large bubbling water leak in your driveway, standing water around your foundation or foul smelling water from your faucets will help you stay ahead of any huge outside plumbing leak repair issue. If your outside water main needs to be replaced you can trust the Seattle area service professionals to install your new outside water line.