What To Do When The Main Water Line Breaks


Water main break is something that most homeowners hope to never have. A water main break can be caused by a number of factors. This problem is particularly commonly caused by pipes corrosion and pipe damage by heavy equipment. Old pipes, earth movement, and frozen pipes in the winter can also cause breakage.

How do I Know I have a Water Main Break?

Most often when you think of a main water line break you think of water gushing out of the ground. This can happen if the break is very large. However you may have a break that is no so obvious.

You can tell that there is a break in main line if:

  • You have no running water in your home
  • The water from your taps is muddy
  • You have very low water pressure inside your home
  • There is running water in you floor drain even when no one is using water in the house
  • You can hear some running water noise coming from the water meter

What Should I Do?

  • When a break in the main line occurs, the first course of action should be to turn off the water supply to your home. You should have a cutoff valve near the place water enters your home. A wise homeowner will already know where this is before the emergency.
  • Next you should notify a plumber. A competent plumber has the right skills and tools for the job and will ensure that the problem can be resolved as soon as possible and supply to the home is restored. A plumber will examine and determine the extent of damage and take the necessary steps to replace the broken pipe and ensure that things get back to normal.
  • The plumber may have to close the water supply close to the break to minimize on water loss. This will also help in ensuring that your other people’s water supply is not affected.
  • If the break is on your property you will probably be paying a fairly large plumbing bill, as the pipes may have to be dug up and replaced.
  • When the problem is corrected you can turn your water supply back on.
  • Once the water is restored remove the aerators from your washing machine and sinks and run the taps for a few minutes. This will work to flush your pipes and get rid of any sediment.
  • You may want to check with you homeowners insurance to see if the cost can be covered.

A break in the main line outside your house requires the attention of a plumber who is trained to address such problems. Trying to solve the problem yourself may only lead to more water damage and your insurance may not pay for your work. Get hold of a competent plumber as soon as the break occurs and let the professionals take care of your problem.