Water is an important part of life. It is necessary for survival, but it can be hard to remember that your water pipes in your home burst or begin to leak. A damaged water pipe can be a small nuisance when it is dripping, but it is a whole other situation when water is spraying everywhere. This causes many problems. Water leaks can cause serious damage to a person’s home. It can also cause the water bill to skyrocket. Between the damage, increased water bill, and the repairs, a water leak can cause a significant financial burden. However, if the leak is caught early, it can be repaired before any of this happens. When it comes to fixing a leak, there are only two options, do it yourself or call a professional. There are several factors that go into determining which of these options is the best. The first consideration is whether or not you feel that you can handle the repair on your own. Some people do not feel comfortable attempting plumbing repairs on their own. If you do not feel comfortable attempting the repair, always call a professional. It is far easier to make a mistake when you go into the repair with severe apprehension. The next consideration is financing. Many people choose to handle their own repairs due to a lack of funds to hire a professional. If you are concerned about finances but do not feel comfortable enough to make the repair, consider that the cost will increase exponentially if the leak gets out of hand or continues for an extended period of time. Also, it is a good idea, if at all possible, to create a savings fund just for emergencies such as a plumbing repair. Other considerations may include where the leak is located, how much damage has already been done, and the availability of supplies.
It is important to note that a water leak is possible anywhere water pipes run. This is not confined to within your home. Consider that water pipes much run from the local water plant to your meter and from the meter to your home. Not to mention all of the other meters and homes served by the same water company. Anyone of the pipes running underground can fail the same as the ones inside and under your home. If there is a failure in certain parts of this system, it will be up to the water company to find it and fix it. Other areas, however, you will be responsible for fixing. This is just one reason why you might need to consider hiring underground utility locating services. You will not be able to do anything more until this service is able to locate the water lines. From there you will be able to locate the leak. When dealing with underground lines, it is best to leave it to the professionals. Unless you are quite skilled and experienced, do not attempt to repair underground lines on your own.
Even though it is entirely possible for the underground lines to fail and cause problems, it is far more likely that the problem will come directly from the pipes in or under your home. It is much easier to fix these pipes on your own if the need arises. If you suspect there may be a leak, it is vital to check all of your pipes as soon as possible. The sooner you detect and find the leak, the better off you will be. There are a few signs that you can look for that often indicate the presence of leak somewhere in the plumbing system. If you find that your water pressure is low, it can be due to a leak. The water escaping through the leak is causing your water pressure to drop, never ignore a loss in water pressure. Another potential sign of a leak is an occurrence often referred to as a water hammer. This is when you turn on a faucet and the water seems to come out in bursts rather than a smooth stream. The water often seems to be “hammering” the sink, especially in the way it sounds. This is caused by air getting into the water line and this is generally only caused by two things. A leak is the most common culprit. The other possible cause is if the water has been turned off, there is often a brief water hammer when it is first turned back on.
Another sign of a water leak is the sound of running water when close to your pipes. This does not mean literally right at the pipe, rather it means anywhere that is in close proximity to the pipes. This can include standing in a room where pipes enter the house or where you are standing directly over a section of pipe. It can also be outside or in the basement or cellar. If you hear water running and think it could be a leak go through the house and make sure there is no water running. This includes the washing machine, all faucets and showerheads, all toilets, the dishwasher, and anything else that can run water. Once you are certain that nothing in the house is running water, go back to where you head the running water and see if the sound is still present. If you can still hear it, you have a leak. You can also look for puddles or areas of the floor or wall that seem to be wet with no explanation.
Once you find a leak, you need to turn off the water flow as soon as possible. There are certain sections that may have their own cut off valve so that you do not have to turn off the entire house. However, if the area where the leak is located does not have its own cut off, you will have to turn it off at the main valve. This is generally located where the plumbing first enters the house. This stops the leak from causing any additional damage. It will also stop the water flow so that it will not keep running up your water bill. Also, it will allow you to be able to work on the pipe. The process is quite simple. Use a pipe wrench to cut out the damaged pipe. Then use connectors and PVC (provided you have PVC pipe) cement to secure a new piece of pipe. Allow the cement to fully dry before turning the water back on.