It’s no secret that issues with pipe breaks, leaks, and clogs are common in most U.S. households. Problems with the water and sewer lines running from your property line, as well as other in-home plumbing issues, are a daily occurrence. In fact, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there are 650 water main breaks reported each day. This adds up to a daily loss of 7 billion gallons of water. Water pipe repairs not only disrupt normal life, but are costly. Since most homeowners are responsible for their pipes, take a look at these five questions homeowners should ask to detect potential plumbing problems.
Are You Aware of Your Environment?
Mature trees near your water service lines can be an issue. Underground, pipes provide elements like water, nutrients, and oxygen for roots, causing them to grow over pipes. When this happens, root growth restricts pipes, leading to clogs and breaks. Surprisingly, soil conditions are a leading contributor of pipe troubles. Pipes corrode from the outside when surrounded by soil with low resistivity and high chloride content. With corrosion building over time, your pipes are at risk for leakage and contamination, which puts everyday things like drinking water at risk.
Do You Live in an Area Where Your Seasons Change?
Sudden and extreme temperature changes make water lines more susceptible to breaks. Stress on water lines can increase with just a 10-degree change in temperature. When the ground freezes and water temperatures sink below 40 degrees, pipes become brittle. It is important to note that most breaks due to a freeze often don’t occur until a couple of days after freezing temperatures arrive.
How Old Are Your Pipes?
Most water pipes were installed in the years following World War II. Since the average age of a broken pipe is 47 years, pipes from this era are in dire need of replacement. The National Association of Water Companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has reported that half of all pipes in the country are in poor shape. When you are aware of the age of your pipes, it will be easier to assess potential risks and repair needs.
Do You Know What Your Pipes Are Made Of?
With most water mains in the U.S. over 50 years old, pipes are typically made from materials more prone to deterioration over time. When corrosive soil conditions combine with old cast iron pipes, age can lead to major corrosion problems for your pipes. Clay pipes are usually inside homes built before the 1980s. Knowing the materials pipes are made of can provide clues to future issues you might face.
Are You Paying Attention to Warning Signs?
Where your water system is concerned, small things matter. Anything from food buildup in drains to a sputtering faucet can indicate more major issues on the way. Frequently clogged toilets and slowly draining sinks are all warning signs your house provides. Major plumbing issues can happen suddenly if you are not paying attention to the signs. By detecting easy fixes before they become costly issues, you could save yourself a headache and an estimated 10% on water bills.
Simply checking your pipes on a regular basis and learning to be aware of the warning signs give you a better chance of saving yourself from major water-related issues.
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Whatever issues you might face with your water pipes on the homefront, Water Way’s delivery system is always reliable! Our water is always of the highest quality, providing your home or business with clean water you can trust. Contact us today to order or learn more!