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Five Reasons Why Water Mains Breaks

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Water is life. To put it plainly, business water is a source of our livelihood in the 21st Century. That is why water mains are constantly being maintained, and this is to prevent catastrophe, especially for businesses depending on it. Now, what would happen if the water mains broke? This would cascade into a massive disaster. Businesses would be crippled. It would be difficult for one to maintain cleanliness. Everyone’s health would certainly drop. We can’t imagine living life without water. This is why today, we will be looking at five main reasons why water mains break. This is because it would take precautions against these occurrences.

Brief Intro to Water Main Pipes

To better understand water mains, let us first have a brief overview of how water mains and pipes work. In a city, water is distributed using an interconnected network of pipes and it is circulated using more extensive transmission lines to smaller ones. With a series of valves in the city, water is distributed for residential and commercial space use. Due to its complexity and many pipes, water main breaks are inevitable, and this can happen anywhere, anytime. With that said, let us look at the five reasons why water mains break.

The Pipe’s Material and Age

As time passes, the older the pipe gets, the higher the risk its material would deteriorate. For example, in the 1980s, cast iron pipes are commonly used. However, cast iron pipes are known to be brittle and don’t expand and contract easily regarding temperature changes. Over time, these pipes crack. On the other hand, clay was also used for older pipes, and clay pipes are also easily damaged. Today, we use ductile iron or plastic pipes for water mains. This is to avoid issues ahead of time. If your lines are already a decade old, you better examine and take proactive precautions.

Corrosive Soils

Another challenge with water mains is soil corrosion. As we all know, pipes are placed underground, and these external forces have a great deal of effect on lines, especially on iron and other metal pipes. The soil, over time, eats away pipes that eventually break. This frequently happens when it comes to pipe fitting and when lines are not adequately protected from corrosion. An economical and successful method of protecting pipes is applying polythene encasement. This is a popular and proven successful method in controlling corrosion. Some communities use C-900, a non-corrosive material for their lines.

Excavation Work

Excavation or road work is usually one of the causes of pipe problems. There are times that road contractors, utility workers, and even homeowners accidentally hit the main pipe with their digging equipment. This may be a simple shovel or excavation machinery. Whatever it is, hitting the main line can cause a massive catastrophe. To avoid such accidents, it is best to research your city’s mainline pipe.

Shifting Ground

Earthquakes and other unforeseen earthly forces can cause pipe breakage. As time passes by, the soil settles around the main pipe. This puts pressure on the line and stresses it over time, damaging it in the long run. As for earthquakes, we do not know when they will happen. Earthquakes can pose heavy damage, most especially to main water pipes. As these are unforeseen events, the only way one can prepare is to reinforce their lines with stronger ones.

Pressure Change

Lastly, the most common reason water main pipes break is pressure change. There are two ways pressure change can happen. The first one is thermal expansion. This occurs when around the pipe when it freezes or heats up. The line expands and then contracts, causing a pipe rupture. The sudden pressure change from fire hydrants opening or closing quickly can cause water main pipe damage. This is called a water hammer.

What To Do When The Water Main Breaks?

We all know that these mishaps are unavoidable, and what we can do is prepare ourselves on how to handle these kinds of happenings. It is best to keep in touch with your local consultant, who can provide you with comprehensive diagnostic and solutions to various scenarios. A traditional way is an option. This includes digging, removing, and replacing the broken pipe. The innovative method is another way. This offers non-destructive ways to replace the lines, such as trenchless technology. This method is to avoid disturbing the ground in it.

Final Thoughts

Your business water would be in jeopardy if a water main breaks, and everything would be placed at a halt, and there is a chance of losing revenue and profit for a long time. It is best to educate yourself on how to prevent these scenarios. If ever this happens, it is also best to look for ways to mitigate the loss and take proactive measures before things go haywire.

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