Predicting the Future: How to Spot Plumbing Issues Early!

A key to preventing the major financial burden of a full-scale plumbing replacement is recognizing when there is a problem. Fortunately, our pipes provide early warning signs that help identify a water or sewer line problem. Paying attention to those signs could save you thousands of dollars and the hassle of a large-scale repair. Here are three common signs of a plumbing problem and what they mean:

All of your drains are running very slowly or are not draining at all

When more than one drain in your home has started to work improperly, this is likely a sign there is a problem with the external line that connects to the street. There are many possible causes for a backup or blockage. Tree roots may have found their way into the line or a foreign object has blocked the line or, worst-case scenario, your sewer line has broken completely and is no longer flowing as it should. No matter which of these issues is occurring, you should contact a plumber immediately. If it is something as simple as a root intrusion or a foreign object, the plumber may be able to remove them or complete a small spot repair before the problem gets worse. This could potentially save you the thousands of dollars it will cost to have the line replaced completely.

Higher-than-normal water bill

Most people use about the same amount of water every month. If you notice a sizable increase in your bill and you haven’t modified your usage – filling a pool or increasing your outdoor watering – this could signal you have a problem. One of the first things to do is examine all of your fixtures. Dripping faucets and leaking toilets can waste a lot of water over the period of a month. Though you can visibly see a faucet dripping, the leaking toilet may be a little harder to detect. Dye testing your toilet is an effective way of checking for leaks. Once you locate the source of your problem, you can address it directly and avoid any further increased water bills.

If all of your fixtures seem to be in good working order after the visual and dye testing, and there are no other visible signs of water leakage in your house, i.e., mold spots, water dripping down walls or between floors, or warped drywall/ceilings, then it is time to contact your water company. You may be experiencing a leak on your external water line. The water company will typically send someone out to test your line and verify if there is a leak.

Unusually wet patches of landscape or unusually green and accelerated grass growth

Do you have patches of lawn that have suddenly become greener than the fairways at the local golf course? This can often be a sign that you have a leak in one of your external lines. When either a water or sewer line leaks into the surrounding soil, the grass is provided extra water or nutrients, resulting in a more green and luxurious appearance. If you are experiencing this, it is a good idea to have your buried service lines checked. The water company will typically check for a leak on their line. If no leak is found on the water line, contact a local licensed plumber to inspect the sewer line.

Maintaining and monitoring your plumbing is a must. A majority of Americans cannot afford a major plumbing expense if the problems become too severe. By keeping tabs on your plumbing, you can possibly prevent the financial burden of catastrophic plumbing failures.

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6 thoughts on “Predicting the Future: How to Spot Plumbing Issues Early!

  1. This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that several of your drains running slowly could indicate problems with your sewer line. The past couple of days, the drains in my kitchen and bathroom have been pretty slow, and I wasn’t sure what the problem was. We have some trees in our front yard where the sewer line is, and I think the roots may be causing problems, so I’ll definitely look into having a plumber come and fix it. Thanks for the great post!

  2. You stated that when more than one drain in your home has started to work improperly, this is likely a sign there is a problem with the external line that connects to the street. Do most plumbers know how to work with the sewer systems in the street? My wife called to tell me that one of the drains near our house is overflowing. Hiring a plumber to come and fix it might be a good idea.

  3. Oh my, I had no idea patches of greener lawn could be a sign of an external pipe leak! We actually have a few spots in our yard that are extremely green compared to the rest, so I’m wondering if that is the case on our property. We just bought this house a month ago, and we never got the pipes inspected. Now, I guess it might be a good idea to get them checked, just to make sure.

  4. Pingback: 3 signs your sewer line is clogged | Service Line Warranties of America