Burst Main Line Emergency


When a water main breaks there are many concerns that go through a homeowner’s mind. Am I insured? How bad is the damage? How do I fix this mess? Well there is a lot to think about when a water line breaks. The first thing to know however is how to get the right people notified of the problem. If a water main breaks on the street that is the city’s responsibility to fix it; However when a line breaks on your property it is your responsibility to fix it. There are 2 ways to know there is problem with your water main:

  • Your water bill has increase dramatically.
  • Your lawn looks like a swamp.

So What Causes the Problem?

There are a lot of reasons pipes break, but the main ones are:

  • The material of the pipe. Some pipes aren’t good for long time use and break just from the daily use.
  • The soil under the pipe eroded. The sudden loss of support can damage a pipe line.
  • The pipe corroded. An older pipe that hasn’t been connected with modern bonding agents. This allows for corrosion to form in and on the pipe.
  • The pipe is too old. Most pipes have a lifetime of 60 years, but that is just an estimate.
  • Lastly it could be vandalism or just an accident when a work crew was doing road work or building projects.

How do I Fix the Problem?

Well the first thing to keep in mind is that repairing a broken water line is dirty and time consuming work. If you aren’t up for that type of work, then call in a professional crew to fix the damage. If you don’t mind getting dirty here are the steps to do the repair yourself.

  1. Start by following the water to the source. Most the time this is shown with a puddle. Just start digging through the puddle.
  1. Dig down till you find the pipe or the water becomes too much.
  1. If the water gets in the way get a plastic cup you don’t mind tossing when you finish and bail some of the water out to make a clearer path for digging.
  1. When you reach the pipe begin scooping the water out to find the leak.
  1. Turn off the water supply and replace the section that is damaged.

As you can see calling a professional is probably the smarter move. It is also a good idea to contact your city to inform them of the problem. Don’t forget about you insurance company too. Either one may be able to help you find a professional who is experienced with the work. Broken water mains are a headache, but with the right tools and people it can be manageable.