Four Ways To Minimize Damage From A Broken Water Line

Posted on: 20 January 2021

A broken water line can lead to a lot of damage, whether the main line breaks in your yard or a secondary line bursts in the home.

1. Shut Off Water at the Main

The first task to do before anything else is to stop the flow of water through the broken water line. This means shutting off the water at the main valve. This valve may be located near your water heater, in the basement, in a utility room, or in a green utility box in your yard. Rotate the tap handle on the valve to the left to shut off the water. If you know the exact location of the broken line, such as if it is the water line that serves your sink, you can instead opt to shut off the secondary main valve below the sink instead of the main water valve.

2. Drain All the Secondary Lines

Once no new water is flooding into the lines, you need to empty out the water already present so it doesn't slowly leak out. This is especially necessary if the break is in a main line or if you aren't sure which secondary supply line is affected. Open all tap handles throughout the home, including outdoor hose bibs, and allow the water in the lines to run out. If you are unsure whether the line is a broken supply or drain line, place a bucket under each tap to catch the water so it doesn't flow into a possible leaking drain.

3. Ventilate the Area

Drying out the damage quickly is necessary when the broken line occurs indoors. This means you need to use a combination of soaking up any visible water and moving air to dry out the area. Large fans can help, as can opening a window or turning up the heat on your furnace. If the leak is behind a wall and you can see or feel the waterlogged wallboard, simply cut out the damaged wall. This may seem drastic but the wallboard will require replacement anyway, and removal speeds drying and prevents further damage.

4. Save Your Landscaping

For leaks in the yard, the main concern may be to the landscaping. If you act quickly, you may be able to move any plants or even strips of sod that will suffocate and die in the flooded zone. Make sure you have pots or another garden bed ready to move the plants into so that they can remain health until you are able to replant them after the broken line is repaired and the ground dries out a bit.

Contact a broken water line repair service for more help immediately if you discover water leaking in your home.


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