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Do You Have an Outdoor Plumbing Problem?

Exterior plumbing issues can range from minor failures (cracked irrigation pipes and leaking spigots) to major problems (blocked sewer lines and broken main lines). No matter the size though, outdoor plumbing problems typically have a few telltale signs:

Wet spots in your lawn typically indicate that water is pooling unnaturally. This can be due to broken underground pipes, disconnected fittings, or root systems that have infiltrated piping. This sign can be accompanied by a gurgling or hissing sound as water gushes or sprays out. Turning water off at the source should stop the influx of water while the cause is investigated. Smaller pipes and those that are closer to the surface can usually be dug up by hand with a regular shovel, whereas deeper and larger pipes often require bringing in heavy machinery to excavate the area.

Reduced water pressure can result from a wide variety of interior and/or exterior plumbing issues. An experienced plumber can ask the right questions and run the right tests to figure out where the problem is originating. In some cases, multiple issues can be compounding problems for homeowners who are struggling to get enough water to do routine daily activities like shower, do laundry, and run the dishwasher.

Dirty-colored water may indicate that pipes are rusting and corroding, or that exterior pipes are not properly sealed, allowing soil to enter and muddy the water. Darker colored water (especially when it’s accompanied by a foul smell) may indicate that a sewer line backup is occurring, allowing wastewater to be pushed back into the home. This is a very dangerous situation because it means family members are being exposed to contaminated water. 

Diagnosing an outdoor plumbing problem is difficult for homeowners because they typically don’t have any way of investigating the root cause. However, licensed plumbers have the tools and experience needed to determine what is causing the underground plumbing problem and fix it correctly.

Additional resources:
Causes of yard wet spots
Sewer line repair costs
Do you have a broken sewer line?
Homeowners insurance and sewer line repairs
Roots and outdoor plumbing