Your main water line is what delivers water from the municipal source to your home. If it fails, not only will you be without water, you may also be stuck with a large bill from the leak. Know the signs of a main line leak so you can catch it early.
1. Sediment In The Water
When you turn on your tap, clear refreshing water should come out. If the water is discolored or contains sediment, then there is either an issue with the municipal supply or a leak in your line. If none of your neighbors are having the same issue, then the problem is with your water line. It has developed a break somewhere that is allowing sediment to get into the supply, so a prompt repair is needed.
2. Wet Areas In The Yard
In most cases, water lines break and begin to seep slowly, so there is no instant flood or another drastic event. Instead, a wet area will slowly develop in the yard over the location of the line break. If you notice there is an area that never seems to dry out completely, then there is a good chance you have a leak in a water line.
3. Reduced Water Pressure
A leak diverts some of the water that is coming into your home, which can have an immediate effect on water pressure. With a severe leak, you may lose a notable amount of pressure, especially for those taps that are furthest from where the main enters the home. For slower leaks, the pressure loss may not be immediately noticeable, so don't discount a leak just because your water pressure still seems fine.
4. Odd Noises
You likely won't hear a water leak inside the home, but you might outdoors. Open a tap fully inside the house so that the water is running, and then walk the general area of the water line from the street to your home. If you hear gurgling noises in the street or yard, there may be a leak. At the house, a leak may sound like hissing coming from underground in the area where the line connects to your home.
5. Bill Increases
Most water bills fluctuate throughout the year, with the highest usage occurring during summer in part due to lawn irrigation. If your bill seems to be increasing far beyond your normal seasonal usage, though, the cause could very well be a water leak. Turn off the water in your home and check your meter to figure out if you have a leak. If the meter continues to run, then there is likely a leak somewhere in your water main line.
Contact a plumbing service to discuss your water line replacement options.