A broken water pipe is never a good thing to happen in homes. This is especially so if the leak is occurring from under your home. Often, water leaks happen in expected and unexpected places, but the most sensitive of those is under the house. This is because a leaky water pipe can cause significant damage to your house, depending on how long it took to discover it.
If you are just moving into a new house, call a professional plumber to check out the house's plumbing. As part of the routine, they will check the water pipes that bring water into your new home and discover any fault before you move in. For example, even if your house is old, the water pipes may have corroded over the years and led to damaging leaks.
Whichever way a broken water pipe managed to happen under your house, we have written this article to help you through. Read carefully and if you do not understand any part, reach out to Erica's Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Restoration if you are in Boca Raton, Florida.
How Do I Know If There is a Broken Water Pipe Under My House in Florida?
Although people talk about water leaks a lot, it is not easy to detect. Professionals know what to look for, but the average homeowner does not. Since most people belong to the latter group, we have listed some common signs of a broken water pipe that you should not ignore.
- The sound of running water when outlets are turned off
- Low water pressure when using the water outlets
- Dampness on the wall when there is no rain
- Damp patches on the internal flooring of your house
- Moisture in the areas around your house
- Mold under rugs, carpets, and some unusual places in your house
- Warmness in some areas of your floor
- A noticeable spike in your water bill
If you notice any of these signs, call a plumber immediately. Remember that the earlier you discover and repair a broken water pipe, the better. It will decrease the cost of repair and protect your house from long-term damage. In addition, you can read more on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s website on the signs of a broken water pipe amongst other water leaks.
How Do I Fix a Broken Water Pipe Under My House in Florida?
Now, you know the signs that tell you a water pipe under your house is broken. The next thing to know is how to repair the damage. You can probably fix it yourself if you are a DIY person or have the plumbing experience.
However, it is better to consult a professional to prevent more damage and get the work done quickly. If you want to fix the water pipe yourself, you don't have to spend hours on the internet browsing "how to fix a broken water pipe under my house" as this post will teach you all you need to know. If you're living in Boca Raton, you should consult the utility services of Boca Raton if there's a need for a permit before carrying out such repair.
Discover the Location of the Damage
When you notice a sign that a water pipe under your house is broken, the first thing to do is locate the site of the damage. You can trace it from the place you discovered the sign. You can also trace a direct line from your area's water meter to your house. Water gets to your home through a pipe passed from the water meter to your house, so the damage will likely be along the way.
Once you know where the damage is, you will have to dig a trench over the pipeline to get to the exact area. But, before that, you have to stop water from running during the duration of the repair, and this leads us to the next step.
Turn Off the Water Valve
Turn off the water valve that brings water into your home. To do so, find the valve in the meter box usually situated outside your home. Here, you have to be careful. There are two sides to the meter; the house side, and the street side. It is the former that matters here. Find a wrench and gently turn the valve on the house side of the meter clockwise. Do so until it is firmly shut off.
Dig Away the Soil to the Water Pipe
It is time to get to the tasking part of the work. Water pipes are usually located about 1 to 3 feet deep in the ground. Demarcate the area with the damaged pipe and gently dig away the soil. You should not have to dig for long since water pipes are not as far down as sewer pipes. Once you have successfully removed the barrier to the water pipe, get your plumbing equipment down to fix the damage.
Repair the Damaged Pipe
This is where you deal with the most technical aspect of the project. You must have gotten the suitable material to replace the damaged part of the pipe.
- Make clean cuts some inches away on both ends of the damaged area.
- Saw the marked parts away and file the ends into a smooth shape.
- Remove the damaged part and replace it with the new one.
- Secure the connected parts with push-fit couplings.
That process is for plastic pipes because if your pipe is made of copper, you have a bit more work ahead of you. Replacing a damaged copper pipe requires more skills as you will need to use a torch to solder the replacement into the existing pipeline. This can be dangerous if you do not have the necessary skills, and it is better to hire a professional for this type of pipe.
Test the Repair
Go back to your water meter and turn on the water valve using the same wrench to turn the valve anti-clockwise. Next, you may turn on a tap or any other water outlet to see if water is running into your house correctly.
Repair the Area Affected
You need to get the house back to how it was before the damage, so you should start by filling the trench you dug. Then, put back the soil you dug away from it and gently place the sod back on it. If you had to remove anything or damage a part of the area before you fixed the broken pipe, this is the time to repair it.
There you go; a straightforward process. Remember that fixing a broken water pipe is a time-sensitive project, which is why we advise you to hire a professional. However, if you can do it yourself, you should follow the steps we have explained above.
How Much Does it Cost to Repair a Broken Water Pipe Under My House in Florida?
The repair cost for a broken water pipe under your house depends on many factors. These factors relate to the damaged pipe itself and other external factors such as workmanship and repairing the affected parts of the house. Let’s take a look at the direct factors first.
The extent of Damage to the Pipe
The first factor that determines the cost of repair for a water leak under your house is the extent of damage to the pipe. The cause of the leak is a faulty pipe, whether broken or corroded. Therefore, it makes sense to start the repair from it. Depending on the extent of damage to the pipe, you may be spending a lot or just a little to get the replacement material.
This factor is a separate category because it affects your budget separately from how much damage is done to the pipe. We mean that water pipes are made of different materials, and their prices vary. For example, your water pipe may be made of plastic or copper. The latter typically costs more to replace than the latter, so if that is yours, prepare to spend more than you would for the former.
When calculating the repair cost for your broken water pipe, don't forget to set aside some money for the technicians coming to fix the damage. Except you are fixing the damage by yourself, in which case, you have to spend a lot of time, you should prepare to pay for workmanship. The prices charged by plumbers usually depend on your location. If you are in Boca Raton, Florida, call Erica's Plumbing, Air Conditioning, and Restoration to get a quote.
Damage to House
Finally, you have to factor in the cost of repairing the damage done to the house by the water leak or its repair. On the former, water leaks often damage some parts of the house before they are detected. Therefore, you have to fix whatever this damage is before you are done. In another instance, some parts of the house are affected while repairing the water leak.
A typical example is removing the soil around the area the leak is detected. Then, after fixing the broken water pipe, you have to return the house to its normal state, which sometimes adds to the repair cost.
In general, repairing a broken water pipe under your house is not cheap. You should be prepared to spend nothing less than $1,000 and understand that repair can sometimes cost up to $8,000. To get the best value for your money, go for a local plumbing contractor with a good reputation and work ethic. If your home is in Boca Raton, Erica's Plumbing, Air Conditioning, and Restoration is that place for you.
Reach Out to Our Experts in Florida Today!
If you started reading this article with questions on your mind about how to fix a broken water pipe under your house, you should have gotten answers to most of those questions now. A broken water pipe can be devastating to your home and finances but is more amenable when you detect it early. For people in Boca Raton, Florida, contact Erica's Plumbing, Air Conditioning, and Restoration for help when you notice any of the signs we mentioned earlier.