Rental Maintenance

5 Alarming Signs of a Damaged Water Line

696 views January 11, 2024 Karina Jugo 2

As a landlord or property owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that everything in your property operates smoothly. One of the most critical components of any house is the plumbing system—particularly the water lines. Unfortunately, some homeowners often forget to have their water pipes checked, repaired, or renewed.

Failure to replace an aging or damaged water line will lead to leaky pipes; worse, flooding can result from a busted water pipe. Therefore, apart from having a licensed plumber regularly examine the water pipes’ condition, one should also be mindful of the indications of a broken or old water line.

Signs of a damaged water line

Watch out for these indications of a damaged water line to avoid the high cost of major repairs in your rental property.

damaged water lines

1. Water coming out from the taps is brown or discolored.

There are times when the water coming out of your faucets or other plumbing fixtures is discolored. But this shouldn’t raise the alarm quite yet. You see, there are occasions when rusty water flows through the pipelines due to ongoing work with the municipal water pipe connections. Discolored water can also result if you turn off your main water supply for a long time (especially during an extended vacation). Additionally, if you have a well as your source, it may indicate that the filter needs to be changed.

However, it’s different if your plumbing fixtures constantly deliver discolored water. That could indicate that the pipeline is too degraded and corroded. There are other reasons why discoloration is happening, such as mineral blockage and soil entry into the water line.

low pressure from damaged water lines

2. The water pressure is getting weaker.

A weakened water pressure can be a sign of a broken pipeline. Pinholes or small pipe leakages sap water continuously, causing low water movement. Of course, there are other causes of weak water pressure. For example, your local water supplier might have lowered the water pressure due to connection issues. Blockage in the pipeline is also another possibility. Get a plumber to evaluate the water line to confirm what’s truly causing the low water pressure.

damaged water lines clog

3. Clogs have become a common occurrence.

Blockages in the pipe can happen due to mineral and debris deposits. Unclogging the obstructions in the fixtures is relatively easy. However, you do need to be alert if the clogs become too frequent. The water line may have collapsed and caused the clog itself. Extreme corrosion in the pipe lining can cause blockages in the water line pathway. The worst thing that could happen is when the water pipes give in and burst — causing flooding in the entire house.

4. There are clear signs of deterioration due to aging.

All types of pipes will eventually age and become unusable. Of course, some types of conduits have longer lifespans than others. Nonetheless, all pipe materials will degenerate as they become older. Therefore, you should be familiar with what pipes are used for your water system and how long they usually last. Generally, you need to have an annual examination of the water line pipes if your plumbing system is past 50 years of usage.

5. You notice moisture or damp and wet spots.

Damp spots in areas that shouldn’t have moisture constitute a significant sign of a nearby water leak. And as you already know, leaks come from a damaged or broken pipeline. Moreover, you must be mindful of mold growth since that can also indicate water leakage. Finally, it’s possible that the leaks may not be coming from a water line but the sewage system. You can easily distinguish a sewer line leak due to its horrid odor.

Key Takeaway

Rental properties will need more maintenance and repair works as they age. A particular concern is your home plumbing system as damaged water lines can cause a host of problems. Remember to check for leaks, turbid or discolored water, and low water pressure as well as clear signs of water pipe deterioration. The sooner you address the problem, the better will it save you from bigger headaches down the road!


  • Karina Jugo

    Karina Jugo is a content administrator at RentPost who works directly with real estate and property management experts to create resources and guides for property managers. She has more than 15 years of experience in content research and writing for various industries.

  • Jacob Thomason

    Jacob Thomason is the CEO and co-founder of RentPost, software platform providing property managers, landlord or owners with the tools necessary for property management. Jacob is a software entrepreneur with with a vast array of expertise ranging from business concept design to software architecture and development. He is running RentPost for more than 14 years and helping property managers and property owners.

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