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4 Questions Every Homeowner Should Ask About Water Pipes

Many homeowners don’t know that they, not the local water company or municipality, are responsible for the pipes running through their property, nor that their homeowner insurance policies will not cover the cost of repairs or damages inflicted by broken water pipes. This leaves your biggest investment – your home – unprotected and at risk.

Approximately 650 water main breaks happen across the country on a daily basis according to the US Chamber of Commerce. Leaks, clogs and breaks are becoming increasingly common as America’s pipes age and deteriorate. Knowing the composition and age of your pipes can save a fortune in repairs and damage.

To keep your property in good shape, research the following questions, and don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber if you’re unsure of the condition of your water lines.

Do you know what your pipes are made of?

Approximately 25% of all water mains in the US are over 50 years old, and older pipes are generally made from materials more susceptible to deterioration, such as tile and clay pipes. In addition, nearly 75% of all utilities have corrosive soil conditions, increasing the chances of water pipe failure.

How old are your water pipes?

If your home was built prior to the 1980s, your water pipes may be in need of repair or replacement. Based on composition, as discussed previously, older pipes may be made of weaker materials than modern piping, which greatly increases the chances of leaks and breaks.

What type of soil do you have?

Expansive soils contain clay minerals that undergo significant volume variations during changes in moisture. Pipes and other structures buried in this kind of soil are prone to breaks due to the pressure caused by the expanding and shrinking of the surrounding clay. According to NACE International, the world’s leading professional organization for the corrosion control industry, clay soil is the most corrosive, beginning to eat at pipes immediately, although an actual break may occur much later.

Do mature trees or bushes grow near your water line?

Water lines provide essential elements that trees and bushes need to grow, such as water, oxygen and other nutrients. Because of this, roots often seek out and follow water lines. This can lead to invasive, unseen root systems tangling in your pipes causing leaks, clogs and breaks.

By being aware of what’s going on in and under your property and taking the necessary measures to protect your home from water damage can save you a bundle in costly repairs. For any water related questions, contact the professionals at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing for a consultation.