What To Do When The Water Coming Out Of The Faucet Is Doing Strange Things

When you go to turn on a faucet in your home, you expect the water to spring from the faucet in a downward pour. What you do not expect is to see it spurt, stop, start, smell funny, or not come out at all. If your water is doing any of these things, it may not be your plumbing that is the problem. It may be the water main closest to your home. Here is how to find out for sure, and how to get it fixed. 

Call Your City's Water Department

​When you call the water department, Monday through Friday during the day, you will get a receptionist. Tell the receptionist what you are experiencing with your water. Ask the receptionist if he/she knows anything about a broken water main, a water main that is currently being flushed, etc. The receptionist can either check on the main closest to your home, or transfer your call to a city plumber and engineer who can answer these questions for you. 

The City Can Check the Water Main

​A water main is a main water line that controls where all of the city's treated water goes in a certain area. All of the water in these lines is under intense pressure in order to make it go into the various pipeline tributaries that take the water into people's homes and businesses. When a main is broken, the pressure fails, and less and less water makes it to where it is supposed to go. Finally, no water ends up in the homes and businesses connected to a busted water main. If you had zero problems with your plumbing as of late as last night, and the city did not have plans to flush the mains closest to your home, the city's plumbers can check the mains near you to see if they are damaged or broken.

​If the Mains Are Broken or Have Lost Pressure

​When a main breaks, the water spills out into a different part of the sewer. Pressure behind the break continues, forcing millions of gallons of water out through the break. The city clearly would want to fix this so that citizens are not paying for water they do not receive and have not used. Another problem is a drop in pressure in the line. If pressure drops, your pipes will get air bubbles in the lines, and that is what causes the stops, starts, and spurts of water when you turn on the taps. If the water smells or is discolored, something has leached into the water in the main, and the water has to be retreated before it can be used for human consumption. If you alert the city to what you see and hear, they can perform water main repairs quickly.