There are two main types of pipes that a home in Port Aventura, FL, will have – water intake lines, which provide water to the home, and sewer lines, which drain away used water that is no longer wanted or needed. Either of these can develop problems over time, and at any location.
When the problem exists between your home and either the water meter, for water intake lines, or the street, in the case of sewer lines, the responsibility falls on the homeowner when repairs become necessary. Hence, part of the problem lies in knowing exactly where the problem is located, not only because of the responsibility factor but also to keep repair costs as low as possible. Repairing problems in plumbing can be expensive when it involves the interior of home, but when the situation is located underground, costs can increase quite dramatically.
Two major signs to keep an eye out for, and which can point you in the right direction in regards to what type of leak may have become a reality, are elevated water costs or the smell of sewage on your property. Higher water bills can show a water line break is very likely, and the smell of raw sewage definitely points to a broken sewer line. Both of these types can produce a swampy area in your lawn, and while a broken sewer line often creates a depression in the ground, a water line break can do the same when sandy soil gets washed away by the water.
Specifically for Water Lines
Reduced water pressure can signal a break in your water lines. The drop in pressure may be significant or barely detectable, however. Remembering the water’s pressure during a shower and comparing it to the pressure now may not be helpful because the cold water coming directly in is mixed with hot water that has been stored in your hot water heater.
To see how much water you are losing, shut off your water main valve and go check the meter. The faster the meter is running, the more water you are using. You need to have the water shut off at the meter so that the water pipes below can be removed and repaired.
When the Sewer Line has Collapsed
While smell can often give away a broken sewer line, it is not the only sign associated with this problem. The presence of much-lusher grass in a small area can often go hand-in-hand with a minor leak. While it may be considered a blessing, even though it does not affect the entire lawn, it should be looked at as a warning sign, instead. Doing so can save you thousands of dollars if acted upon quickly enough.
Because it is easier to repair sewer lines that have little to no collapsed areas, if you can have repair work done prior to a total collapse of a section of sewer line, there are processes that can repair a system that costs significantly less than what you would have to pay if you waited. Pipe liners can be inserted from within your home and then expanded to fit inside of your existing pipes for much less than the cost of extracting the same lines and replacing them. Pipe liners can extend the life of current lines, making it a very cost-effective process. This is only one method available, so if your home does not qualify, there are other options available.
If you still cannot determine where the water is coming from, a plumber can help you with a camera equipped with thermal imaging. This can detect exactly where the water is coming from in your lawn. Experienced plumbers will often know without any digging or excavating what kind of line has broken. Sometimes the cause of a swampy area in your lawn is not because of a broken line of any type but rather drainage from pool lines that froze over the winter and now have broken seams, hot tubs whose liner has torn, or even drain-off from neighbors performing seasonal maintenance.