Your home's plumbing is a quiet, unsung hero. Every day it brings you fresh water and carries waste away from your home, keeping you and your family living clean and comfortably. Of course, these heroics can seem like a distant memory when part of your plumbing breaks. In those unfortunate cases, the pipes in your house start to look more sinister than friendly.
While no one likes to spend money fixing problems, it's often hard to ignore issues with your plumbing. If you're feeling like giving your wallet a good scare, check out these three costly plumbing failures. You may even find a few tips on how to prevent them from happening in your house.
1. Damaged Sewer Lines
There's a general rule that's good to remember when it comes to plumbing issues: if you have to dig, expect to spend some money. Trenching requires significant labor and heavy equipment, both of which rarely come cheap. Trenchless repairs are typically an option for sewer lines that haven't yet fully collapsed, but these methods aren't always cost-effective.
Fortunately, sewer line failures don't need to be a common occurrence. You can help prevent these wallet-busters by dealing with clogs as quickly as you can. Hiring a plumber for a yearly or bi-annual inspection can also be a good idea since sewer line inspection cameras can help reveal issues before they become critical.
2. Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes are an often misunderstood topic. It's a common misconception that water expansion causes frozen pipes to burst, but these issues typically result from a different kind of pressure. When water freezes in your pipe, unfrozen water "ahead" of the jam has nowhere to go. As a result, internal pressure increases, and the pipe can burst apart.
Replacing a pipe isn't particularly costly, but water damage can be. If the burst occurs when you aren't home (or you don't notice it), you may return to find an expensive mess. You can avoid dealing with this nightmare by installing pipe insulation, letting faucets drip on cold days, or letting warm air circulate near your pipes. If a pipe does burst, immediately shut the water off to prevent further damage.
3. Underground Leaks
Underground leaks can occur in main water lines, and they're most common with copper plumbing. Certain soil types can encourage corrosion in these lines, leading to slow leaks. Accidental damage also can also occur with any plumbing material. As with sewer lines, fixing an underground water line is typically costly since the only options involve digging a trench or using a trenchless repair method.
The best way to save money on underground leaks is to avoid them altogether. Know the location of your water lines so you can prevent accidental damage from parking or construction, and schedule occasional inspections to test for soil issues. It's always better to find and fix a leak as early as possible since waiting too long may lead to higher water bills and additional damage to your landscaping.
Talk to a plumber to get help with any of the above issues.