The main water line connection to your house is pretty simple. Your private water service line connects to the public water service line, which then connects to the main water line. The main water line runs 3 ft below the ground, but the private line is either in plain sight or close enough you can dig to get to it in your backyard.
The entire private line is not visible. Its connection to the service line and main line is hidden well. In warm weathers, you can see the line more clearly entering from the side of your house. Follow the lines until the end valve and you can turn off the entire water supply to the house with a simple turn. Depending on the area you live in, the main water line either runs into the backyard or into the basement. The latter case is usually for houses located in an area with colder climates.
Common Main Water Line Problems
Cracks or holes in the main water line are usually due to corrosion from frost and soil. This damage becomes visible slowly over time and is usually spotted in the water. You might turn on the faucet in the kitchen and find a little dirt flowing in the water. It’s also possible the water might have this stinking odor, which makes it undrinkable.
The main water line is under pressure, so even a small crack or hole in the line will release a heavy flow of water out the pipe, which will eventually make its way to the surface and on the street. The same can happen in the service line, which will lead to water dripping in the basement. As time passes, the water will become contaminated and create health problems due to mold.
Detecting Leaks in the Plumbing
The water meter is located in a mental box, usually underneath the side strip of the house. It is connected to the private water line and tells you about how much water the household is consuming. This meter will give you a clear idea if there are any leaks in the plumbing.
Other signs such as damaged flooring, increased water bill and a musty smell in the house are clear indications the plumbing line is leaking and you need to get it repaired immediately.
Why Is It Necessary to Locate the Private Line Before Doing Work In the Yard?
It’s been weeks since you did your little DIY job in the yard. The garden looks beautiful and the lawn looks perfect. A few weeks later, you see a few rather large green patches in the lawn. The grass in this area looks lush and sparkling. Yes, you did a great job on your yard – it deserves all the green in the world! However, if it’s an obvious patch, it could be a sign of a problem.
One reason you are seeing this lush green patch in your lawn could be because your private water line has busted! Ironically, the water was feeding the fertilizer and caused the grass to grow at a fast pace.
This is why it is important to locate all three water lines before digging in your backyard or doing some DIY work on the front lawn.