By Chris A. Harmen
There’s no such thing as a harmless leaky pipe. Whether it’s in your home or yard, there’s potential for water damage and the contamination of your drinking water.
Have you noticed any of these things?
• Water pressure has dropped
• Water tastes odd or is discolored
• You see water oozing from a pipe in the basement or under the sink
• You see water spots on the ceiling in a two story home
• Notice puddles in your yard when it hasn’t rained
These are all signs of a damaged water pipe. Even if it seems minor, there may be extensive damage that you can’t see. To prevent damage to your home and yard and avoid your water source being contaminated, it’s important to quickly seek professional help for water pipe repair.
What Can Go Wrong With Pipes
Water pipes that carry your water supply last for years, but they can fail for many reasons outside of your control, including:
• Age: Over time, the joints where the pipes are connected can give way or weaken from usage and high water pressure.
• Corrosion: Older pipes made of galvanized steel or iron tend to collect rust and mineral deposits inside; over time, the deposits corrode the metal and the pipe develops leaks. Sometimes the acidity of the soil surrounding pipes contributes to the corrosion as well.
• Tree roots: Tree roots grow in search of water. When they find their way into pipes, they take over and block them.
• Water pressure: Pipes are set to carry water at a specific pressure. If it is too high or there is a sudden surge, the pipes may burst or give way at joints.
• Weather Changes: When there are drastic weather changes, water in the pipes can freeze and thaw. Ice may block water flow or become so thick that the pipe bursts.
• Manmade Damage: When homeowners, contractors, or municipal water crews dig without clear knowledge of a pipe location, pipes can crack or break, which causes leaks and spouts of water.
Why Water Pipe Repair Is Costly
When pipes become clogged or leak due to age, are damaged, or develop corrosion somewhere in the line, repair can be costly for several reasons:
• Outside of your home, pipes run underground. Inside the home, pipes are in walls and under floors. In both cases, it is difficult to access them.
• Depending on the problem, a leak can spring up very quickly and expel a significant amount of water. You find yourself faced with both a high water bill and damages to your home or yard from the leaking water.
• Replacing pipes involves high material and labor costs.
Water Pipe Repair
Given that many water supply pipes are buried or otherwise inaccessible, analyzing and repairing the damage often requires an electronic scope to verify the cause, exact location, and extent of the damage. If the problem is a clog, the line is usually cleared by an electronic snake or auger. When the problem is a break in the line or at the joints, the plumbing repair service must dig up the ground or open walls for water pipe repair or replacement.
Since the electronic equipment makes the detection of the source of the leak or clog very precise, a good plumbing company can keep the disruption to your yard or house at a minimum.
Water Pipe Replacement
When water pipe replacement is the only option, your plumber might suggest plastic, copper, or even brass. All deliver water safely and are long-lasting, but the cost varies considerably. A reputable company will make recommendations that are durable, safe, cost effective, environmentally friendly, and in line with local codes. Often, if you need whole house pipe replacement, PEX is economical and easy to work with to minimize your total cost.
While you have little control over when or why pipes break, leak, or fail, you can manage the cost of water pipe repair services by calling for help quickly.
Chris Harmen writes for Go Green Plumbing, a full service plumber in Cypress, TX, and an expert in residential and commercial water pipe repair and water pipe replacement. For information about water pipe repair services, visit their website: http://www.theserviceplumber.com.
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