Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Emergency Prep: What to Do When Your Water Main Breaks

A broken water main is always a concern for homeowners. Depending on how close to your home the water main is, the damage to your home can occur in varying degrees from water interruption to severe flooding. If your water main has an unfortunate break, here are some tips to assist you in the aftermath.

Flush Your Pipes

When a water main breaks, it can allow dirt and debris from the ground to enter into the water main which then flows directly into your home. This can cause a lot of issues especially if a large chunk of dirt or rock gets into the water main and into the pipes of your home. These can cause clogs or blockages. To ensure that your pipes are clear of debris, untreated water, and air, open the cold water valve in your bathtub while leaving the other faucets in your home closed. Leave the cold water running at full speed in your bathtub to check for spitting and hissing, a sign that there’s air in the line. Once the water has returned to a normal color and all hissing has ceased, the lines should be clear and the water safe to drink and use again.

Check Your Insurance Policy

A broken water main can ruin your home in many ways. While the water main is the responsibility of the city to fix, any damages incurred by your home will be your financial responsibility. This is where an insurance policy becomes very important. Most insurance policies cover water damages but under specific limitations and situations. When a water main breaks, inspect your insurance policy thoroughly to determine if home or appliance damages are covered or even pipe repair services. If not, you’ll have to foot the bill for yourself.

Call a Professional

The amount of damage caused to the pipes in your home or to your property itself from a water main break can range from minor to gargantuan. Before you begin to try to fix any damages, you should call a professional plumber. A professional plumber can assess the damages, repair any broken or damaged lines, and can help to clean up a flooded basement.

Some water main damages can also flood your front yard. This flooding can cause damages to your yard fixtures such as trees, bushes, and fence posts by loosening the soil. While there are many ways to drain the flood waters, repairing the damaged fixtures will require a landscaping professional or a fence repair specialist.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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