Do you have a large puddle on your grass?
Do you hear constant running water in your house?
Chances are you have a water main break.
Just like a roof, waterlines have a lifespan that can range anywhere from 25-50 years. A water main will develop a leak when the there is corrosion in the pipe, poor backfilling around the pipe, or ground freezing and movement. Either way your water main needs to be replaced.
If you are replacing your water main, the following steps are taken to ensure the job is done properly:
Your water main is shut off at the District connection.
Your main shutoff for the house is closed.
A temporary line is run from your outside hose to a generous neighbour’s hose and both are turned on. (You need a female-to-female hose connector to complete this task). This allows you to still have water during the replacement of your water main.
A trench is dug from the District water connection to your house. This trench shall be a minimum of 24” deep.
A new copper water main (sleeved in utility piping for additional protection) is installed in the trench and connected to the District water connection. The line is sleeved through your foundation wall and connected to a new main shutoff and pressure-reducing valve. The house pressure is checked and adjusted.
The new water main is sealed at the foundation wall to stop any water from seeping into the house.
The water is turned back on and tested for leaks. During this process, taps shall be turned on throughout the house to reduce the chance of water hammer.
The site is backfilled and cleaned up.
PLASTIC OR COPPER?
This is an important factor to be considered when replacing your water main. If your existing water service is copper you have a decision to make. Copper typically cost a lot more than what plastic costs in terms of material costs on the job. However, to install plastic, you have to make sure your electrical system does not ground to the existing copper service. If it does, a grounding plate will need to be installed and inspected by the local municipal electrical inspector. If your electrical service has its own grounding plate or rod, you can change to a plastic service. If your existing line is plastic, installing plastic is recommended. Something to think about.
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