The main water line is the primary source of water in your home. The water main is the connecting line between your home’s water supply and the public’s. If you don’t have a working main water line, there’s no way you’ll have a water supply in your home. Therefore, you should hire the best plumbing services to fix your main line when building or inspecting your home.

Over time, water pipes used to connect your home to the main water line may begin to lose quality and degrade, contributing to a broken main water line or a damaged one. These damages can lead to a water line leak in your home.

According to the EPA, 10% of households waste more than 90 gallons of water each day due to leaks! Imagine 90 gallons of water silently leaking into the floors and walls of your home. Figuring out the main water leak may be a daunting task if you don’t know what to look out for. But finding the source of a water line leak fast is crucial to preventing extensive water damage in your home. But don’t worry, we will make sure you know all of the symptoms to look for and how to get your main water line repaired fast!

metal pipe with valve is leaking in water

Symptoms of a Main Water Line Leak

There are some main water line leak symptoms you can notice without the help of a plumber. To see these symptoms, though, you may need some technical knowledge as most main water lines are underground. While it’s always wiser to call a plumber to do routine checks on your home, some symptoms you can detect on your own include the following:

Water Puddles

Typically, water puddles in your home mean you have major issues with your main water line. These puddles may start as water leaking in and around the sink. It’s smart to check and see if something is wrong with your sink in this case.

However, if it is a main water leak problem, the water puddles will likely fairly large and move to the streets, your driveway, or yard. While looking for water puddles might seem obvious, they can be a bit harder to find if there is a ruptured water line in your yard and the only thing to look for would be a wet spot in the grass (the water would also be discolored, but we will talk more about that later).

Bottom line, the moment you see water puddles outside your home without a source, chances are you have a much greater plumbing issue. If this is the case, it’s best you call an expert as soon as possible to diagnose the problem and get it fixed fast.

Low Water Pressure

One of the primary symptoms of a main water line leak is low water pressure. Unfortunately, there needs to be a fairly large leak for a change in water pressure to be noticeable. If you start to notice a significant change in water pressure, make sure it is consistently low throughout the entire house. If it is only low in the shower, that could just mean you have sediment built up in your shower head. But, in cases where there is significantly lower pressure throughout the entire system, it is possible you have a leak. If you are starting to suspect  need to find exactly where the leak is. At this point, it could be wise to call a plumber.

Hissing or Bubbling Sounds Coming from Pipes

If you are hearing an odd hissing or bubbling sound coming from the walls, floor, or ceiling of your home, it is possible that is actually a burst pipe. Keep in mind, not all water leaks result in a loud hissing sound. They can actually be very quiet and often times it is best to listen for bubbling.  Another sound to listen for is the dripping of water, especially in odd places where there is no drain (if your drain is dripping, you should probably get that fixed too, but for now focus on the main water line).

leaking main water line

Frequent Clogging of Drains

It’s typical for water drains to clog from time to time. In most cases, it’s a clear indication that some materials are in the drain blocking water flow. However, when you notice constant clogging with a particular drain, there’s an issue. More so, when the clogging begins to affect your other drains, it’s probably a main water line leak or issues with your home’s main plumbing pipes.

Discolored Water

Like we mentioned earlier, your main water line connects with the public water supply directly. If the main water line leaks, one of the symptoms to note is dirty or discolored water. When there is a leak, water begins to flow out into the streets through the opening. At the same time, dirt and debris will find their way into the water. The dirt will affect the water quality of your tap supply.

Wet Areas in the Home

Close-up Photo Of Flooded Floor In Kitchen From Water Line Leak

If you notice some unusual areas in your home are damp or wet, you can suspect a leak. This is one of the symptoms you can find easily if you suspect a main water line leak. All you have to do is check for wet areas in your home. If the leak is coming from somewhere near a water source, such as a sink or toilet, it’s possible it is more of a minor leak. But, if you find some water marks, or damp ceiling tiles in the basement where the is no faucet nearby, you could very well have a leak in your main water line.

Bad Smell

Standard water should never have any odor, not to talk of a bad one. If you start smelling anything funny with the water in your home, check for other symptoms like discolored water, damp areas in the home, or even dead pests near the suspected source. If you can’t trace any other symptoms, you can get an expert to be sure that it’s a main water line leak.

Foundational Cracks

For most homes, the plumber usually fixes the main water line on the floor. When there’s a leak in the main water line, you might see cracks in the foundation. When water seeps into concrete or any material, cracks manifest. If you suspect a main water leak, you can check the outer foundation for cracks.

Increased Water Bills

Every home has an average amount spent on water every month or every year. If suddenly, the amount increases drastically, you should try to backtrack. Was there an event when you left the taps open for too long? Or has the number of people in your home increased?

If you can’t find answers to this question, try to watch the water bill for the next month. If it’s still on the high, it could be a sign of a main water line leak.

Mold and Mildew

When a pipe leaks for an extended period of time, mold and mildew will most likely start to grow in that area. This is all the more reason to take any potential leaks seriously because mold and mildew can cause serious damage to homes when left untreated. The good news is, mold can make any leaks fairly obvious as now you have more to look for besides a small leak or damp stop.

mold from leaking pipes

Factors that Can Cause a Main Water Line Leak

The effects of a main water line leak to the home are numerous. Not only does it incur costs, but it can also cause weakness in the foundation. Some of the factors that can cause main water leaks include:

  • A bad plumbing job: The quality of services you hire goes a long way to determine what issues you might have in the future. When you hire plumbing services to fix the main water line, they have to be experts. A good job will ensure good main lines.
  • Time: Over time, pipes will get weak and reduce in quality, which can cause a leak.
  • Spoiled seals: Ordinarily, there should be seals to stop water from seeping. If these seals spoil, the water will seep.
  • Temperature: Extreme temperature changes will force the pipes to expand or contract, which can cause leaks.
  • Water pressure: You may like the high water pressure, but when it’s too high, it can put further strain on the main water line and put it at risk.

What a Main Water Line Burst Is and How to Avoid It

A main water line burst refers to an outbreak or leakage in the main water line. No matter how great your main water line is initially, it still has to wear out over time. Unfortunately, the effects of water damage are not pleasant. Once you notice a main water line leak, find a solution before it becomes any worse.

Leaks in the main water line are often a matter of time. However, how sensitive you are to the damage determines the effect it has on your home. There are many symptoms of a main water line leak. If you notice them early, you’re on the safer side, but you should call a plumber immediately.

To be on the safer side, it’s best if you hire expert plumbing services. A good option is A.J. Alberts Plumbing. Not only do we fix main water lines, we also offer preventive measures to help prevent a leak. Reach out today!