How much do you really know about the plumbing that brings water from your municipal supply to your home, and back out again? Unless you’re a professional plumber in Utah, chances are the answer to that question is “not much”. But there are a lot of things that can happen to your home’s water supply, and even small problems can turn into huge nightmares if they cause significant damage that leaves your home without water for a few hours, or even a few days. Every homeowner should have a basic understanding of how their water main works and how to spot some of the common problems that might be associated with the plumbing.
Water Main Location
Your water main is the main line that connects your home to your local municipal water supply. Every water main will include a shutoff valve that you can use to stop the flow of water from that supply, which is extremely useful in case of an emergency. For most homes that are part of planned subdivisions, the water main comes from the street outside the front of the home and through the yard; you will generally find the shutoff valve somewhere in the basement or crawl space on an outside wall near the front of the house.
Common Water Main Problems
Perhaps the most common problems that you will encounter are leaks or broken pipes, which can cause flooding and water damage inside your home. When that happens it’s important to know where the shutoff valve is so you can reduce or stop the flow of water into the home and prevent unnecessary damage.
You may also notice a problem in your yard even if there is no visible water damage in your home. Generally it will manifest as eroded soil, a sinkhole, or “soft” spots in your yard or the road near your home. Once the damage reaches this level it can require extensive repairs on your property to get your home and yard back to normal.
Shutting Off the Water Main
Most water mains have a shutoff valve that can be turned by hand inside the basement or crawl space. This is the first place to go when you need to shut off the water. A second valve can be found on the water meter and requires a special key to shut down, and a third valve is usually on the edge of the property near the street.
Replacing the Pipes
Even if you don’t experience a catastrophic water main failure, it may be worthwhile to look into just how old your pipes are to find out if they should be replaced. The average lifespan of a water main or sewer line is around 60 to 65 years, but the average home in the U.S. has pipes that are 75 years old, and many are even older. Replacing before an emergency means the plumber will be able to work under more ideal conditions and without unnecessary complications, which could save you money.
Whether you have a current water main emergency you need help with or you want to prevent one, call a plumber in Davis County to help.