What Does Low Water Pressure Mean?

water line burst

What is the main water line?

Taking a shower or washing dishes with low water pressure is aggravating, but what can you do about it? Well, the first thing you want to do is check the plumbing in, around, and under your house. There could be a leak somewhere that needs water line repair. If you don’t find anything there, it could be the main water line. 

Every homeowner will likely experience a main water line problem sometime. It may be something a handy DIY homeowner can fix, or it may require a professional plumber’s knowledge and service of water line repair. Either way, this is a vital part of your home because this pipe is how the water gets inside your home for bathing, cooking, and more. 

The main water line is located underground and is the connection from the community water source to your home. This is not the same line as the private sewer lateral line that takes away your used water and sewage. The main water line is for clean water coming into your home and until you have water line repair done, the water pressure inside your home will remain low. . 

How do water main breaks happen?

Main water line pipes are under pressure, so when the break, crack, or develop a hole, some of the water goes into the soil and surfaces instead of through the pipes inside your home. Cracks and holes often develop in a main water line from  any of the following: 

The Temperature

  • Slight changes in the temperature of the air or water can cause stress on water pipes.
  • Cold temperatures will freeze water pipes, making them brittle.
  • Water pipes are stressed externally when the ground freezes, causing them to break.
  • Water temperature is delayed behind the air temperature changes. Water line breaks are common up to 2 days later. 

The Pipe’s Age

  • As water pipes age, the breaking rate increases. There are water lines still in place and being used from the late 1800s in many cities around the country! 

The Material

  • Water line pipes that were installed in the 1970s or before were made of materials that become brittle with time, making them susceptible to breaking, cracking, and having holes develop.

Why fix main water line breaks?

Fixing main water line is important for your family’s safety. With the main water line busted, it is vulnerable to contamination getting in the water line. That contaminated water is coming into your home where you’re bathing, cooking with it, and drinking that water. Water line repairs are an absolute must as soon as you realize you have a main water line leak and the use of any water for cooking and drinking should stop until the water line repair is complete.        

How do you fix a water main break?

Learning the How to main water line repair isn’t easy, but it is repairable. With the following steps: 

  • Step One: Identify the spot, which if water is blowing out like a geyser, that’ll be easy. If you aren’t seeing any obvious main water line breaks but your water bill has had a dramatic increase, you’ll have to do some searching. Look for really green patches in the grass or after a good rain, areas that puddle and stay wet after all else has dried. 
  • Step Two: Turn the water off at the main water valve or you may have to require the city to turn it off. This is usually at the water meter and requires a unique tool. 
  • Step Three: Dig a trench in the area where the water is leaking deep  enough to uncover the pipe and far enough on both sides of the leak where you can work. 
  • Step Four: Check the water line for wear in areas other than the obvious leak. Looking for tree roots that need to be cut back or redirected so they don’t cause further damage to water lines.  Look for other areas of pipe that look like they are on the verge of breaking or cracking and repair them as you do the other water line repairs. 
  • Step Five: Cut out the leaking pipes, six inches to either side and replace with rigid copper piping. Clean the ends of the existing pipe and the new pipe. 
  • Step Six: With a wire brush, clean the interior or two clip couplings then slide the couplings on the new water line pipe to the center of the pipe.  Position the new water line pipe in place underground and slide the slip couplings half on old and half on new pipe. 
  • Step Seven: Using a propane torch, heat the couplings from the underneath side to connect the couplings to the old pipe. Using a tar base insulator, spread over the new section to weatherproof the water pipe. 

How long does it take to fix a main water line?

A main water line repair can take up to eight hours on average. Some can take less time and some can take more time. It depends on where the break is and how much line needs to be replaced.  When one part is repaired and the water is turned back on, it can cause a weak spot to break, then that area need water line repair. 

low water pressure

Can you shower if there is a water main break?

A normal water main break can be repaired while the water is still on, placing the line under pressure and will not require the water to be boiled before using. This means you can bathe, do laundry, and water plants without having to boil the water. Until the main water line repair is completed though, you should boil any water that will be used for cooking, washing dishes, or drinking. 

Does home insurance cover water line breaks? Yes, as a homeowner, you pay a monthly premium for your homeowners insurance policy and you’d like to get something back in return. When it comes to water line repairs, all you’ll get is help with cleaning up any damage that was done by a sudden water line break.  

If the water line repair is because the pipe was old and nothing was significantly damaged, no, your insurance will probably not pay for the repair.  You should check your policy and clarify this you’re your agent. Need help with water line repair in Marietta, GA? Call 404-475-3009 today.