Warning Signs of a Main Water Line Leak or Break

If you’re like most homeowners, you probably don’t think about your main water line until there’s a problem. And by that time, it’s often too late. A main water line leak or break can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home, which is why it’s important to be aware of the warning signs. 

In this blog post, we’ll explain what a main water line is, the causes of water line leaks and breaks, and the warning signs of a main water line leak. We’ll also tell you what to do if you suspect a leak in your main water line.

What Is a Main Water Line?

The main water line is the pipe that delivers fresh water to your home. It’s usually buried underground, though some can be installed above ground. The main water line connects your home’s plumbing to the water main in your street to supply all the water you use in your home for drinking, cooking, bathing, laundry, and more. 

Causes of Water Line Leaks and Breaks

There are several common causes of water line leaks and breaks:

Age of pipes and seals 

Over time, pipes and seals can deteriorate, causing leaks. This is often the cause of leaks in older homes.

Pressure changes

Sudden changes in water pressure can put stress on pipes and seals, causing them to break or leak. This can be caused by a water main break in your street, or by changes in the water pressure in your home (such as when you turn on a faucet or flush a toilet).

Temperature fluctuations

Extreme changes in temperature—from very cold weather to very hot weather—can cause pipes to expand and contract, which can lead to leaks.


Clogs in your main water line can cause water to back up and put stress on the pipe, which can eventually cause it to break or leak.

Soil erosion

Over time, the soil around your main water line can erode, exposing the pipe and making it more vulnerable to breaks.

Corrosion of pipes

Pipes can corrode over time, especially if they’re made of metal. This can lead to leaks or breaks.

Warning Signs of a Main Water Line Leak

Now that you know what the main water line is and how it can break, you need to know what signs to look out for to tell if you have a leak or break in your home. There are several warning signs that you may have a main water line leak:

Low water pressure

A sudden drop in water pressure throughout your home is a common sign you have a leak somewhere in your plumbing. 

Hissing, bubbling, or other strange sounds

If you hear hissing, bubbling, gurgling, or banging sounds coming from your pipes, you most likely have a leak. You can hear this sound in the walls, floor, or ceiling depending on where your pipes are. 

Frequently clogged drains

Drains that constantly clog are another sign of a main water line break that should be checked out by an expert plumber.

Discolored or smelly water

Rusty, brown, muddy, or bad-smelling water coming out of your pipes is a sign of a leak in your main water line.

Wet areas in home

If you notice any wet spots on your floors, walls, ceilings, or basement, it’s likely due to a leak in your main water line.

Puddles on your lawn

When the water line breaks outside your house, you’ll often see mud or puddles growing in your yard. This is more obvious if they show up when there hasn’t been any rain. 

Increased water bills

A sudden increase in your water bill could be due to a main water line leak.

What to Do if You Suspect a Main Water Line Leak

If you suspect a main water line leak, it’s important to act right away. The first thing you should do is make sure no water is running in your home and turn off the water to your home via the main water shut-off valve. This will help prevent further damage and keep your water bill from skyrocketing. Then, call a plumber to have the leak located and repaired as soon as possible.

Main water line leaks can cause severe damage to your home, so it’s important to be aware of the warning signs and act immediately if you suspect a leak. If you have any questions about main water lines or need help with a leak, our experts at Rocketman Plumbing are here to help. We offer emergency plumbing services to take care of main water line leaks and breaks fast so you can protect your home and your family. Give us a call at 505-375-6602 today!