Underground leaks are sneaky. You might not have any idea that you have a problem with your plumbing since you haven't noticed any obvious signs. If you do have a leak and it isn't repaired, it can lead to problems for you.
One of the issues that bothers household owners the most is a higher water bill. When you lose water, you'll end up paying more to your town or city water department. You could end up with rust in your water, mold in your basement, or dampness that was never there before.
If you have any signs that you are dealing with an underground leak, you need to get to the bottom of the situation in order to find a solution.
Symptoms of an Underground Leak
Sometimes, the signs of an underground leak will be noticeable. You may have water accumulating on the ground around your home or somewhere in your basement.
There is the possibility of developing a sink hole or a pothole. Take a good look at the grounds. If you find certain areas surrounding your home where it stays wet all the time, it could be due to a hidden problem with your plumbing.
The same holds true if you look in your basement and you find a spot that has turned green with mold while everything else remains dry. If you notice that your water pressure has dropped, think about your pipes.
What Causes an Underground Leak?
Your underground leak could be caused by a water pipe that is cracked or has eroded over time. Roots growing into your pipes are another common cause of underground leaking. You may have an issue with your valves or joints that is causing a hidden leak in your home.
Cold weather takes a toll on your pipes as well. If you have problems with frozen pipes, you could find that they have been weakened each time they thaw out again. Your pipes could be faulty, resulting in a problem with leakage.
Use of Polybutylene Pipes in the South
Polybutylene pipes were popular in the South and were manufactured between 1978 and 1995. They were designed from a plastic resin, were less expensive than copper piping, and became the pipes of choice during a construction boom in the warmer states.
Polybutylene pipes seemed to be a magic solution that cut down costs during the building process. However, problems with leakage cropped up in the years that followed. It is believed that chlorine and other substances found in the water, especially for any homeowner who used a public water supply, would react with the pipes to cause deterioration.
If you have Polybutylene pipes, they could be the source of an underground leak in your home. In many cases in homes built during the time when Polybutylene was so popular, the entire piping system had to be replaced due to a gradual breakdown of the plumbing.
Why You Should Hire a Licensed Plumber to Deal with an Underground Leak
If you have symptoms of an underground leak or you know that you have Polybutylene pipes and suspect that there is a problem, make sure that you hire a licensed plumber to handle the job.
Not only should you choose a licensed plumber, you need to find someone who is experienced with underground leaks and has the necessary resources to repair your problem. You should never try to handle an underground leak on your own. Otherwise, you could cause more harm than good.
A licensed plumber has the tools necessary to detect an underground leak. Thanks to modern technology, there are listening devices and cameras that make it possible to detect the source of a leak without causing upheaval in your home.
Once a plumber has pinpointed the source of your leak, the next step will be the repair process. The most common thing that a plumber will do is to dig up the portion of pipe that is faulty in order to replace it. Another popular option today is to inject your pipes with a foam lining that will harden, creating a new lining for your pipes that will not leak.
If a tree has been the source of your problem, you will need to cut down your tree to eliminate more issues with your pipes. When signs of an underground leak appear, contact your plumber as soon as possible to resolve the problem.