Finding The Source Of A Broken Water Main: What The Plumber Will Do
A broken water main is bad news for anyone that has to experience it. Water mains are the main sewer pipes for water flow. When they are broken, water flows everywhere and makes a huge mess. It is imperative that you get a plumber out right away to fix the problem. The first thing a plumber will do is find the source of the break.
Rusted out Pipes
Nine times out of ten, a broken water main is the result of rusted-out metal pipes. The pipes have finally given way and the holes in these pipes are just gushing. If this is the source of the problem, the plumber will turn the water off that feeds into the main, and then remove and replace these old pipes.
A main has valves that control the flow of water. Because valves consist of screws that release and close the openings in the pipes, the screws can eventually fail to do what they are supposed to. Either debris or long-term use causes the valves to fail. Then the valves cannot close properly and water just keeps coming regardless of what you do to stop it.
Missing Access Port Covers
In sewer main pipes, there are access ports and access port covers. Most covers are twist-in plugs that require a large, square bolt wrench to remove. For whatever reason, these port covers are missing, whether some prankster removed them or they just came loose and were flushed away with the rushing water. If this is the source of the problem, the plumber will shut off the water just long enough to replace the port cover and tighten it so that it cannot be so easily removed again.
Trees have a way of sending roots down and out to look for sources of water. The roots quickly gravitate (under ground) toward water mains. The roots wrap around the main pipes, trying to get into the flowing water inside. Eventually, the tree roots will squeeze the daylights out of the pipes until the pipes bust and provide plenty of water to the thirsty tree.
Cutting the roots back a great distance and replacing the pipes helps eliminate this problem. It is also advisable that you remove the tree if the tree is already too close to the sewer main. Addressing the problem by removing the problem roots will not stop the tree from sending more roots to the nearest water source.