Water Main Problems? We Can Help!
Updated: Nov 7, 2020
Sometimes, a simple plunger routine won’t solve your plumbing needs.
Most homeowners experience house water main problems (or house water service line problems) at one point or another, and in many cases, a professional is needed in order to remedy the situation. Here are some of the things you’ll need to know if you find yourself in need of a water line repair or replacement.
What is a House Service Water Main?
Your water main is the primary (or, “main”) pipe bringing water to your home. Labeled “private water service line” in the diagram, it’s usually located underground and connects your home to your community’s water source. Your water line should not be confused with your private sewer lateral, which takes used water and sewage away from the home.
Common Water Main Problems
• Holes or cracks may develop in a water main over time, usually as a result of external corrosion from the soil or frost.
• Water pipes are under pressure, so a break in the water main will cause water to flow out of the pipe and eventually to the surface level, whether that be the street, your front lawn, or the basement of your home. This could also lead to contaminated water in the home. It’s crucial to stop using appliances or drinking water when this occurs.
• There is usually a house shutoff valve that will turn off the flow of water through the main in an emergency. If your public utility doesn’t shut off the water flow first, you can locate the homeowner shut-off valve (next to your water meter) and turn the water flow off yourself. This is done with a water meter key.
• A leaky water valve is a common problem, as well. Some types of water valves (such as gate valves) are more prone to leaking. It may be possible to tighten the packing nut on the water valve to stop the leak. However, in most cases it is best practice to call one of our plumbing technicians to fix the leak. Our help will be required if the valve needs to be replaced.
How to Detect Leaks in Your Plumbing
An unnoticed leak in your water main can cause extensive structural damage to your home. This can include damage to flooring and walls, mildew and mold issues, and water waste that is harmful to the environment and increases water bills.
How can you tell if you have a leak in your water main or other parts of your plumbing? Wet spots or mildew on your floors and walls are often one hint.
Remember, leaks are often located in hard to reach places, such as under a slab or buried in the lawn, hidden from view until they cause significant damage. The only way to positively know that your plumbing is leaking is to make sure all yor water fixtures are turned off and look at your water meter to see if water is flowing or not.
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