How To Prevent Water Main Leaks

It happens rarely, and most homeowners will be lucky enough to miss out on this experience. However, it happens often enough to warrant this blog post. We're talking about water main leaks.

While you may become aware of the leak in many different ways, the cause may be harder to determine. Usually, water mains leak or burst for one of three reasons:

Natural wear and tear: It is inevitable that the line's integrity will change as a result of age. It will usually start with corrosion, which will eventually result in pitting and cracks. It is not uncommon for pipes to collapse completely.

Change in temperature: When the temperature drops below freezing, pipes expand and can burst. This is particularly common when the freezing air temperature causes the soil to freeze. This places a lot of stress on the pipes. When the temperatures rise, it may cause the ground to shift, leading to cracks or burst pipes.

Break on a previous repair: Unless a break is repaired thoroughly, it can leave the pipe weaker than it should be, and more susceptible to breaking in future. Ideally, when you have a leak in your water main, the whole pipe should be replaced with a stronger, modern material. However, in some cases, the only option might be to connect the two lengths with a fitting. However, you should avoid this where possible.

Becoming Aware of Main Line Leak

Main line leaks may go unnoticed for weeks or even months. It could leak below ground level for a long time before it shows up on the surface. However, there are some signs you can look out for to determine whether you have a water main leak:

Neighbour-ComplaintsWet Spots
One of the clearest signs of a water main line leak, is water coming through the foundation wall, in the road or on the sidewalk. However, when it shows up on public property, your neighbors are bound to report it to the department of water affairs.

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Loss-of-Water-PressureLoss of Water Pressure
Loss of water pressure is another common symptom of a main line leak. Any disturbance on the main water line between your home and the street can cause a loss of water pressure in your home.

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wet-spotNeighbour Complaints
Main water leaks may show up in your neighbour's yard. Even worse, it may enter their basements.

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Underground Main Line Leak Detection

How To Prevent Water Main Leaks
Some people dig random holes, trying to locate underground water main leaks. However, this method is time consuming and results in unnecessary repairs and costs.

Ideally, you should contact your Toronto plumber to apply professional leak detection equipment to help find the leak. Master plumbers in Toronto use a sonoscope to listen to the pipe. A vibration is often a strong indication of a leak in the water main.

Once the leak has been detected, the plumber may create a separation in the pipe and use specific fittings to attach a new section of pipe. However, repairing only a section of the pipe can cause it to be more susceptible to future leaks. While the upfront expense of replacing the entire section of pipe is higher than simply replacing a small section, it will equal less than having to repair the pipe again in future.

If you suspect a leak or burst in your water main line, please call Anta Plumbing at (416) 231-3331 right away.

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Written by Tanya Klien

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