Of all the plumbing disasters that can occur in a residential property, a water line failure is undoubtedly the worst. Whether the water line breaks above the ground or it happens deep below your floor, the results are devastating.
While it can occur due to several reasons, it always has the same effect: plumbing calamity. Flooding, mold growth, and damage to the structural foundation are some of the results you can expect from water line failure, but there is a lot more in terms of inconvenience and hassle to the family.
Let's look at some of the reasons why your water line may fail and what you can do to reduce the risk of water line failure. Towards the end of this post, you will also learn what to do if you experience a water line failure.
7 Reasons Why Water Line Fails
Quality of Material
Low quality pipes are more prone to leakages and failure. Therefore, when choosing lines for your plumbing system, it is best to choose high-quality pipes that are available on the market. You can choose from several types of materials, including copper, PVC, cast iron, and galvanized. If you are not sure which one is best for your home, you can always discuss it with a professional plumber before finalizing the purchase decision.
Poor Quality Pipe Installation
The quality of water supply pipes is one of the most critical factors leading to water line failure. But how your contractor installed your water lines is an equally important consideration. If you have an incompetent plumber taking care of your water line installation, you may run into the risk of water line failure sooner or later. Therefore, you need to go for a professional plumber with the right skills and experience to handle adequate pipe installation.
Drastic Temperature Fluctuations
In colder regions, pipes have to withstand extreme temperatures. As a result, the water in the pipes may freeze. This freezing of water in the water lines exerts pressure on the pipe's inner walls that can lead to leakages and pipe bursts. If your water lines are less than four feet deep, then it is likely that you may experience water line damage due to temperature fluctuation.
Soil Shifting Below the Surface
Water lines installed outside the house below the surface have to deal with soil shifts. While people believe that soil is almost always static, that is not the case. Soil erosion, root growth, and several other uncontrollable factors can exert pressure on the pipes and damage it.
Changing Water Pressure
A water line has to deal with several types of pressures, with water pressure being the most obvious one. Drastic changes in water pressure can damage the line, which eventually resonates in the form of breakage and water line leakages.
Damage from Critters
As surprising as it may sound, rodents and pests can compromise the integrity of your pipes. Rates, beavers, and the mole can damage water lines both inside and outside the house. Moreover, pests can contaminate water lines, which can have severe consequences on your pipe's lifespan and the health and well-being of the entire family.
Natural Wear and Tear
The plumbing structure is prone to damage. Regardless of what type of material you use and how well you maintain it, natural wear and tear is an inevitable aspect of water lines. So it is expected that over the years, your water lines will need repair and replacement.
How to Reduce the Risk of Water Line Damage?
While water lines are subject to both internal and external pressure and natural wear and tear is inevitable, there are specific measures that you can take to reduce the risk of water line damage.
Closely Monitor Pressure Changes
It is best to monitor the water pressure in your water lines closely. A change in water pressure indicates damage to your water line, so by keeping track of the change in water pressure, you can identify leakage and problem early and take necessary measures to rectify the situation. Early detection and problem resolution can save you a lot of hassle.
Be Cautious When Digging
Excavation is often an essential aspect of several projects. Whether you are going for a house remodeling or simple landscaping in your yard, always make sure you are cautious when digging. Determine how deep you need to dig and inquire about all the water lines that are in a particular area. Moreover, as you start the excavation process, keep a close check on all the lines beneath the surface, so you don't end up damaging any lines underneath the ground.
Keep a Check on the Soil
Soil erosion is one of the biggest threats to the health of water lines. By keeping a check on the soil, you can significantly reduce the risk of water line damage.
What to Do in Case of a Water Line Breakdown?
Whether you like it or not, water lines break down, and when that happens, it is nothing short of a nightmare. But if you know how to deal with the situation, you can save yourself and your family from a lot of trouble. Here are three simple steps that you need to take in case of a water line breakdown.
Shut down the Main Water Supply
As soon as you notice a water line failure, the first thing you need to do is to shut off the water supply. By turning off the main supply valve, you will cut the water supply and minimize damage to your property.
If you have experienced an above-the-surface water line breakage that has resulted in flooding, you need to clean up your property. And while you are doing that, you can simultaneously perform the third step.
Call a Professional Plumber
Water line failure is a major plumbing issue and only a professional plumber can deal with it. Therefore, it is best to avoid all DIY techniques, instead immediately call a professional plumber. If you are in Arizona and water line failure is a concern at your home, do not wait. For all emergency plumbing situations, call us now or visit our website to schedule an appointment.