If you live in a home built before 2000, chances are it may be time to update your plumbing. If you live in a home built in Georgia before the 1970s, unless repiped, you most certainly have cast iron pipes that need replacing. If this is true, it's time to have your pipes inspected.
Here are some classic signs that your pipes need to be replaced:
1. Discoloration: Brown or yellow-colored water from your faucets usually means corrosion or rust, which could mean your water heater is aging, or galvanized pipes.
2. Leaks: If you have persistent leaks, they may be due to cracks in your pipes or damage caused by sulfuric acid.
3. Cracks: A cracked mainline can cause cracks in the foundation or along the walls.These need to be repaired ASAP.
4. Backups/Slow Draining: If your bathroom drains are slow when you flush the toilet or unplug the sink, then chances are your sewer pipes are damaged.
5. Odor: Damaged sewer lines may let sewer gas escape. It will smell bad and may be dangerous. Be careful.
6. Sagging: A water or sewer line leaking underneath a lawn or driveway can cause parts of the ground to sag.
The DIY option would be to dig a trench around the leak, repair the pipe, refill the hole, and patch the damage to your landscape. While fairly straightforward, it certainly won't be easy (or clean) work. If you don't want to disturb your landscape, can't find the source of the leak, or if the leak is in an inaccessible spot such as under a driveway, you may want to consider calling for reinforcements.
If you decide to repair the leak yourself, keep these tips in mind:
- Plan ahead: You'll have to keep the water off while you do the repairs.
- Building codes: Know the codes for underground plumbing including repair materials allowed and depth your county requires.
- Buried utility lines: Call 811! Seriously! This can be a potentially deadly scenario and if you hit a gas line by accident, you have to call the fire department. Nobody wants that.
- Prepare for the worst: The pipe could be totally useless and you may need to replace your whole piping.
- Digging: Make the trench large enough to access at least a foot of pipe on each side of the leak and a foot underneath it. Work carefully and slowly, this isn't easy work.
- Repairing Pipe: Once you have the leak uncovered, you'll need the right size pipe to repair the old one. You also need to know what materials to get.
Careful preparation and the proper tools, can make the difference between a plumbing repair and a plumbing nightmare. If you think you're having a problem with your underground water or sewer line and are not sure you can handle it, then we can come out with a scope to check it out. If we find cracks or holes in your pipe then we have the experience, expertise, and machines to fix your issues.