It’s easy to forget about the plumbing, until something goes wrong.  Your water main and sewer line are two crucial pieces of your plumbing system.  They bring fresh water in and waste water out.  It’s important to know a little bit about how these lines work and what types of maintenance they may need to avoid possible damage or trouble down the road.

Your Water Main

  • Fresh water is typically delivered from a municipal source or main to a home through a water supply line.
  • Water mains are typically found near a home’s water meter, the device that records water usage for billing at the end of the month. They range in size from ½’’ to 1 ½ ‘’ in diameter.
  • All homes are required to have a main water shut-off valve connected to this water supply system. It will shut-off all water flow to a home’s plumbing system and is crucial in the event of a plumbing emergency.  All homeowner’s and occupants in the home should know where the shut-off valve is located.  Valves are typically found in the garage, basement, crawl space, or in a box just outside the home.  Shutting off the water after a leak or other problem can save your home from flooding or other types of water damage.
  • Your water main is not something that should be troublesome. If the municipal main water source is damaged, the city will be responsible for repairs.  The water main supply line connected to your home will be the only line you are responsible for.  Age or corrosion from soil may be the only serious threats affecting that line.
  • Regular inspections can catch minor problems that may cause harm so they can be repaired before any major damages occur.

Your Sewer Line

  • The sewer line connects your home to the local main sewer system. It channels waste from all drains and toilets out of your home and into the main sewer located under the street in front of your home.
  • Any lines under your home are considered part of your plumbing system which means you are responsible for any maintenance and repairs.
  • Clogs and buildup can develop over time depending on water usage and overall care used in items that are disposed of in toilets and down drains.
  • Toilets are typically the first place where clogs are spotted due to their direct line to the main sewer system. Minor clogs may cause drains to be temperamental.  Major clogs can lead to backed up wastewater and some hazardous water damage.  Anytime wastewater is present you may want to consider calling a professional.  This type of water damage can be hazardous to handle and needs to be cleaned up properly to avoid health risks and other potential water damages.

There’s no doubt about it, you want your plumbing system to run as smoothly as possible.  Understanding the functions of your water and sewer lines and looking out for signs of possible trouble will be an important part of your home maintenance routine.


Related Blog Posts:

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Why is My Water Bill So High?

Using Your Meter to Check if you Have a Slow Leak in Your Home

The Dangers of DIY Sewage Damage Cleanup


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