What are Some Common Problems with Water Main


Water mains are underground water pipes. They can sometimes leak or break, causing water to escape. Since these water mains are often under constant pressure, the escaping water will continue to flow until the leak or break is discovered and repaired.    A water main that is not maintained on a regular basis can experience problems. Many households often suffer from some kind of water problem: excess iron, cloudy water, hydrogen sulfide that produces the rotten egg smell, etc. Each of these water problems can cause unpleasant effects in homes. Water main maintenance helps solve water problems such as bad tasting water, rusting and corroding pipes, etc.

Common Problems in a Water Main

  • Cast iron pipes-, which were used most often in the past, and are sill in place in some areas, will corrode due to chemicals in the soil and water. This will cause leaks in the pipe leading to very little water pressure in your home, or even no water at all.
  • Tree roots- Sometimes tree roots can push against the pipe until it cracks; this allows tree roots to grow into the line causing blockages. If this happens you will need a professional to do this
  • Pipe too small -your mainline may be too small to carry the amount of water required for your house. This could be due to adding plumbing, such as another bathroom, without checking the size of the existing pipes.
  • Clogged pipe-You may have a clog in the pipe from debri or from the buildup of minerals form the water.

What I do to Prevent these Problems

  •  Water main flushing can clear any blockages. This is a way to flush out any debris in the line that could build up and block the drain.
  • If you have cast-iron pipes that are corroded, you should consider replacing your entire line to prevent further damage from corrosion before you begin to have larger problems
  • If you feel that your water line is too small you should remember that the part of the pipe under the ground is larger than the other pats that you can more easily see. You should be sure to dig up a piece of the old pipe and make sure of the size you need to replace with.
  • If tree roots are the problem you will need a professional’s help. To prevent this in the future you can have your plumber insert a liner into the pipe that prevents the roots from entering the pipe.

Water main maintenance is important for various reasons. Failing to perform regular or routine maintenance can result in many problems: smelly water, particles in water, colored water or no water. In addition, regular maintenance reduces the heavy cost of repairing broken water mains.