A main water line repair may be necessary if you are experiencing low water pressure or there is no more water flowing out of the faucet. What is the water main? It connects the plumbing system of the house to the public water supply.
It is hard to know the condition of the water pipes. However, you can observe signs of possible problems in the main water line. This article will discuss what these issues are and how to solve main water line problems.
Common Problems with the Main Water Supply
Congested Main Water Line
Blockage or congestion can cause problems in the main water line. It happens because of the buildup of minerals or impurities along the interior of the pipes. How will you know that your main water line is congested? You may notice a drop in the water pressure, or there is no more water coming out of the faucet.
Leaks in the Main Water Line
Usually, leaks do not result in a loss of water pressure. The typical sign of a leak is a humming noise in the pipes or the sound of running water. Leaks create a vibrating sound on the pipes and can be heard even before the leak is detected.
Broken Main Water Line
The most obvious sign of a broken main water line is the presence of a stream of water outside the house. You can see it in the foundation wall, in the front of your house, or in the roadway.
Another sign is if you hear a hissing or rumbling sound from the pipe, even if nobody is using water. The sound is caused by the water coming out of the pipe between your house and the main water line. The last sign is if you experience a loss of water pressure.
Tools Needed in Repairing or Replacing Main Water Pipe
- Pipe cutter or hacksaw
- Horse clamp
- PVC primer and glue
- Screwdriver and pliers
- Rubber sheet
- Protective gloves
- Protective eye glasses
- Soldering flux
- Propane torch
How To Solve Problems With The Main Water Line
Clogged Water Lines
Pipe removal and cleaning – After finding the location of the clogs, remove the water pipe, clean them by using powerful cleaners, and get rid of the minerals deposited inside. Then, restore the pipes and test the water flow.
Replacement of pipe – If the clogging is extreme or there is already corrosion in the pipe, remove the affected pipe and replace it with a new one. The new pipe should be resistant to corrosion (copper, CPVC, PEX).
Air pressure – To remove a clog, attach an air hose line into the water pipe. Use the air pressure to dislodge any material that is blocking it. Then turn on the faucet and let the water run until the clog is cleared.
Leaking Water Line
Find the location of the leak – The first step is to detect where the leak is. Then, analyze the cause and type of leak that is affecting the water main line. Usually, water pipes are made out of copper, while others have PVC pipes. Repair is dependent on the type of pipe material and the extent of the leak. The leak can be fixed by epoxy, clamping a rubber sheet over the affected area, or through soldering.
Drain the pipe – Turn off the main water supply and open the faucets to drain the water that is inside the water pipe. Before carrying out any main water line repair, it is important that no water is present in the water piping system.
Fix the pipe – If the water pipe is made of copper, apply soldering flux on the spot where the leak is present, and solder it using a propane torch. As a precaution, use protective glasses and gloves to avoid injury. For other types of pipe, use epoxy and apply it evenly over the area and around the joints to seal it completely. In the case of small leaks, use rubber sheets and tighten it around the leak with the aid of a horse clamp.
Replace the pipe – Sometimes, it is easier just to replace a leaking pipe with a new one. Get the measurements of the pipe to be replaced and buy a new pipe with the same dimensions. By using a saw or pipe cutter, cut the leaking section of the pipe. Smoothen the edges by sanding. Secure the pipes together using PVC primer and glue. For copper pipes, solder them using a propane torch and soldering flux.
Check the repaired pipe – After fixing or replacing the affected pipe, turn on the water supply to check if the problem is completely resolved. If further work is needed, turn off the water supply to fix any issues along the line.
Broken Water Line
Repair or replace? – Determine if the broken water line can be resolved by fixing the pipe, or whether a replacement is needed. The factors that should be taken into account are the age of the pipe, material used, and if the pipe has undergone a previous repair. The procedures are basically the same with leaking pipes.
Cost may be a factor – Sometimes, one may decide to repair the pipe to save money, but the possibility of the problem recurring again in the future may prove more costly than repairing it at once.
When Do We Need The Professionals?
When you and your family are already affected by the inconveniences of insufficient or even no more water coming out of your faucet, decreased water pressure, leaks, and messy backyards, then it is high time to seek professional help.
Find a reputable water main contractor by researching on the internet or getting feedback from people who have undergone similar problems. Make sure that the contractor you will choose is licensed, bonded, and insured to perform main water line repair.
If you have problems with you main water supply line such as clogs, leaks, or broken pipes, you can choose to repair it if you have the necessary skills, or you may opt to seek professional help. In case you decide to hire a contractor, make sure that they are licensed and reliable.
Share this article. Comments and suggestions are welcome.