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What to Do After a Water Main Break

As any water utility company knows, a water main break is a fact of life. Stormy weather, temperature changes, ground shifting, water pressure fluctuations, and the age of pipes can trigger water main pipe breaks. Signs of a water main break include low water pressure in your home or pooling or running of water on the street. Utilities can fix the problem in a few hours to a few days, but here’s what you can do as soon as the problem starts.

First, contact your local water department. Also, be sure to limit water use and pay attention to boil water orders. Boiling the water can eliminate some contaminants, including bacteria and viruses. Then you want to take measures to protect your property against possible damage.

Flush Your Pipes

Flushing your plumbing system requires opening all the cold water taps and fixtures, starting with the highest faucet that doesn’t have an aerator. Then turn on other faucets, one at a time, starting at the highest floor. Continue one floor at a time until you reach the bottom. If you have a one-story home, start at the fixture closest to the water service entry point.

Let the water run for five to 15 minutes or until the water looks clear. Make sure there is no more air in the line. Turn off faucets and tub spigots in reverse from how you turned them on (lowest to highest). Wait another 30 minutes if the water is still dirty and then follow the same process again.

Other Steps to Take After a Water Main Break

A water main break can affect any plumbing line, fixture, or appliance. Therefore, you need to:

  • Run the hot water tank faucet until the water is cold, and then again in one hour.
  • Run your refrigerator’s in-door water dispenser and then install a new filter.
  • Run the dishwasher and washing machine for two empty and water-only cycles, and then for a third cycle using detergent.
  • Change the filter in your water filtration system.

There are also things that you don’t want to do after a water main fails, such as:

  • Don’t use discolored water to prepare food, drink, or do laundry.
  • Don’t run hot water taps; sediment can enter the water heater tank.
  • Don’t flush cold water through any faucet/tap with a filter.

Protect Your Plumbing System

If you didn’t have one before, you can protect your home from the next water main problem with a water main filtration system. It can keep sediment, sand, and rust out of your plumbing and improve your overall water quality. Not to mention reduce the chances of damage to your plumbing.

Check Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

If you own your home, check whether your city or municipality will cover damage to your plumbing system. Probably not. Your insurance most likely won’t cover “clean water” damage either. Check your policy in advance and take the appropriate measures if it won’t cover damage from a water main break. Purchasing a special rider can provide coverage for such an event.

Contact Village Plumbing and Air

Our team can address any issues that occur due to a water main break in Houston. We offer a full range of plumbing services, including repairs for clogs, leaks, and other damage. You don’t need to resort to guesswork and frustration. Just call Village plumbing and air at 713-526-1491 or request service online and we’ll quickly send friendly, professional technicians to your home.

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