Your home's water main is the line that carries water into your house from the municipal water supply. Depending on your home's location and your local utility company's policies, you'll typically be responsible for the part of the water main that runs from the meter to your home. If this pipe fails, you must repair or replace it.

A major water main leak can cause numerous problems, including major puddles that can damage your lawn and ruin your landscaping. Cleaning up after a water main repair can often be costly, so spotting the signs of trouble as soon as possible is worthwhile. If you notice any of these three early warning signs, you might want to err on the side of caution and call a plumber for an evaluation.

1. Constant Regulator Adjustments

Municipal water companies maintain system pressure through various means, including pumping stations, water towers, and reservoirs at higher elevations. These efforts ensure adequate pressure for distribution through a town or city but can produce pressure that's much too high for residential use. As a result, most homes will have a pressure regulator to maintain safe levels.

You can usually adjust your pressure regulator to keep your home's water pressure at an ideal level, but constant adjustments are a sign of trouble. If you notice your water pressure dropping off and need to adjust your regulator occasionally, that's a warning sign you may have a developing leak. A plumber can help determine if you have a faulty regulator or a more severe water main issue.

2. Dirty Water and Visible Sediment

Homes that use well water often need to contend with sediment and dirt, and typical well water systems will include screens and filters to deal with these contaminants. However, city water generally shouldn't suffer from the same issues. Municipalities use complex treatment and filtering stations that help produce clean and safe drinking water, generally with no visible contaminants.

However, a link in your water main can produce an opening for sediment and dirt to enter your system. Since homes on city water rarely have the same filtering equipment as homes with well water, these contaminants will show up at your fixtures. Once you notice sediment beginning to appear in your water, it's time to call a plumber.

3. Subtle Water Bill Changes

One of the most amazing parts of modern society is the easy availability of clean and cheap water. Water is often so cheap that you may not pay much attention to your home's water bill. However, it can pay to watch for subtle changes in your water usage. A minor water main leak may only cost you a fraction of a dollar every month, but those few cents warn of brewing trouble.

If you notice your water usage increasing month after month, there's a reasonable chance you have a water main leak somewhere on your property. A plumber can help you locate and repair the problem before your lawn floods, saving you from much more costly property damage.

For more information, contact a company such as True Plumbing, LLC.