Until your water main is broken, you probably haven’t given much thought to what that means or the steps you should take next.

You are likely to have a lot of questions should this situation happen to you. What is a water main? How do you know if it is broken? What do you do? These are all valid questions, and we’ll walk you through some things to consider in today’s post.

What is a Water Main?

First of all, a water main is simply the pipe that supplies water to your home. Typically, these run underground beneath roads. Managed by the city or municipality, water mains can vary in size depending on the area they are servicing. A normal size range for water main pipes is between 6 to 16 inches in diameter, and these are typically made from concrete. Older pipes may also be constructed from galvanized steel or cast iron.

What Causes a Water Main to Break?

While a water main can break any time, it is a more common occurrence during the winter. This is due to the freezing and thawing of the ground, which causes soil to shift and move, causing stress to the underground pipes. Other potential causes for breaks in the water main are construction, and the age of the pipes. In some locations, these pipes can be quite old, and the materials used can be fairly brittle after all that time.

How Do I Know My Water Main is Broken?

Of course, it is a dead giveaway that something is wrong when you see water spewing out of the ground, but there could be other more subtle indicators that your water main has sprung a leak. Watch out for silt, rust, sludge, or other debris coming from your home’s water supply, as these could be clues that there is a break in the water main. Always keep an eye out for any water in your basement or crawl space, looking for wet or damp carpet, cabinets, or walls.

What Should I Do?

If you suspect you’ve got a water main break, immediately call your local water utility to notify them of the incident. This allows repair crews to be sent right away to address the problem. To make the repairs, crews will locate the source of the leak, and then often need to shut off water temporarily. You may have very reduced or no water pressure during this time, so it is always a good idea to have some drinking water stored for emergency preparedness.Once repairs have been made, it is a good idea to flush your cold water by running a large tap, such as a bathtub, until the water runs clear. Avoid using smaller taps for this purpose because they can easily become clogged by sediment or debris flushing through the pipes. If you suspect any leaks, clogs, or other issues, call your local emergency plumber to come take care of the problem.

Salisbury Plumbing is Here For You

If your water main is broken, you need someone reliable to call on, regardless of the day or time. Salisbury Plumbing is here to take care of all your plumbing needs, providing service to Utah County, from Lehi down to Orem and Provo. For quick response and 24/7 service, give us a call at 385-375-1207, or contact us online to schedule an appointment.