Your water main line is one of the most critical components of your home. You see, the water main line brings in all, yes all, the water to your home. Without it functioning properly, your shower, faucets, washing machine, water heater, dishwasher, ice maker, outdoor spigot, sprinklers, toilets, and even your fire hydrant will not work correctly. YIKES! Suffice it to say you will need that fixed as soon as possible.
And while a homeowner benefits from knowing about the moving parts of the home, that is one repair or replacement best left to your local plumber. Since a break or mistake could flood your home and yard, the need to be precise is essential.
Therefore, if you ask what to do if your water main line breaks, the answer is simple. You should immediately call your trusted local plumbing company. And if you are in Pinellas County or the Tampa Bay area, contact Flow Pros Plumbing for a fast response and a professional repair or replacement.
What are the Common Signs of a Water Main Line Leak?
A main water line leak can cause excessive damage and be awfully expensive. So how do you know if you have a leak? Honestly, the signs are clear when you understand what you are looking for.
- Contaminated water or water that looks dirty indicates an issue. If your water looks or tastes funny, call a plumber to test the water and determine the source. Sometimes soil will leak into the joints of pipes or through a crack or break. Then you are also facing contamination from the fertilizers and the like.
- Foul-smelling water can indicate a blockage or leak. If you have root blockage, sediment, or a leak, the water may smell like rotten eggs or sulfur.
- If your water valve is leaking, you may notice a high bill and decrease in water pressure. That will require a plumber’s visit to determine why the valve is leaking and adequately fix it. Water leaks out at about 50 lbs. of pressure, so all that pressure may be leaking out into your home or yard. Get help ASAP.
- If wet spots start popping up or mildew on the floor, you may have a leak. Damp walls are another sign. Because the lines are under the ground and in our walls, old or broken pipes can leak into the home.
- If you notice a wet spot on the ceiling, you may have a pipe in the attic with a leak.
- When there are mushy or wet spots in the yard with no explanation, there is almost always a leaking pipe, if not the main.
In any case, locate the house shut off to avoid any further damage and save water. Most of the time, the shut-off valve is near your water meter. Then call the plumber to come out and find the leak or break. And if you are in Pinellas or Hillsborough counties, Flow Pros will be right out. We offer 24/7 emergency service for water main line repairs. That is one call you will be thankful you made.
How Did My Water Main Line Break?
As you can imagine, water erosion plays a big part in breaking down our pipes after years and years of use. But you should also know that things like plant intrusion, soil erosion, freezing temperatures, and digging accidents happen.
Underground pipes are hidden and can face several unfortunate obstacles to getting straight to your home, which is why we suggest you not go this one on your own. There are too many variables the untrained eye could miss, and then a disaster may ensue. No one wants that.
When you know something is not right but aren’t sure what that may be, early detection is the right choice. So, when you call a plumber out, they will perform leak detection. Furthermore, if all water is shut off and the meter is still running, that is a good indicator something is awry.
Early detection stops bursts, breaks, mold, mildew, rotting walls and floors, and more. Call for leak detection as soon as you notice an issue with the water flow.
Repairing the Line
When a leak is detected, it is imperative to get it repaired as soon as you can so as not to allow it time to do any additional damage. Not to mention, when there is a leak in the water lines, the pressure is decreased, and water is wasted. So, you can do a few things to ensure the repair is done with the utmost care.
First, your plumber should permit the work if required by your county. Second, be sure you have the correct permissions before beginning any project on the home or yard.
Before you or the plumber begins the digging, the ground should be marked for utility lines. Then, when you call the utility department, they will come out to spray the areas with yard paint marking each line. For example, blue marks the potable water lines, and green is for sewer lines. Then the power is sprayed with red, and the orange is for gas lines.
Also, check the home’s title documents or your county for any information about easements that may run through your yard. It is always good to know what property your responsibility actually is.
Replacement of a Water Main Line
Clean and fresh water is a luxury in the United States; other countries are not so fortunate. Not to mention, the productivity in your home can all but stop when the water has stopped. These are the reasons plumbing companies take water mainline service so seriously. We know how fortunate we are in our country to have the water we use and drink each day.
Flow Pros Plumbing suggests a total replacement in the following cases.
- If your home is over 50 years old, the pipes will need to be replaced real soon. As with any moving part in the house, plumbing products and lines have come a long way and can be stronger and last longer with the latest products available.
- When the plumber identifies several places with leaks, even if they seem small, you may want to replace them all. It is only a matter of time until the entire system collapses.
- If you still have copper pipes in the home, consider a replacement. If you do not, you risk continual leaks, and those repairs will add us to more than a replacement.
- Galvanized pipes are famous for leaks and rusting inside. You don’t want to drink rust, right? And these pipes can be the cause of low water pressure as well.
- When the water main is located under the roots of a tree or a mature bush line, consider having it moved, so that root intrusion does not clog or break your pipes.
The Repair or Replace Process
Either way, when a repair or replacement is needed, there are general steps your plumber will go through to get the water up and running again.
- Determine If You Have a Leak.
- Locate the Leak.
- Turn Off Water to the House and at the Street.
- Dig the Trench.
- Drain Water from the Trench.
- Repair the Water Line.
- Test the Repair.
- Fill the Trench.
Flow Pros Can Repair or Replace Your Water Main Line
If you need a plumber to diagnose an issue in your home, you can trust the friendly plumbers at Flow Pros Plumbing. When you call Flow Pros, your plumber will be right out to guide you through the entire repair or replacement. You can count on friendly and knowledgeable service, often on the same day.
Creating customer loyalty is one of our highest goals. So you can trust our training and professionalism for all your plumbing water main line repairs and replacements.