It is common for water main breaks to occur more often over the winter months. Throughout NYC from December to February, Alex Figliolia Water & Sewer receives an increase in emergency calls regarding broken water mains due to freezing cold temperatures. Water lines tend to expand and contract which weakens the water pipes during cold temperatures. If a pipe is already weakened from corrosion, expansion and contraction would cause the pipe to crack.
Frozen ground is another factor in water line breaks throughout the winter months. When water turns into ice, it can expand. When ice forms in soil it pushes the surrounding ground with great force. This leads to a movement in the ground as well as any nearby pipes.
A recent pipe burst this week in freezing weather – Alex Figliolia Water & Sewer was called to a home in Bensonhurst Brooklyn on a 16 degree day. The homeowner noticed a steady stream of water showing up in-front of his house out of nowhere. Alex Figliolia Water & Sewer’s foreman first performed a noise test on the pipe to confirm that it was his pipe that had broken. It was quickly confirmed that there was a loud rumbling noise on his water line. The noise confirmed that water was moving and escaping the pipe at some point in-between the house and the connection to the city water line. It was not a complete surprise that the pipe had broken, it was the original lead pipe installed when the house was built in 1948.
Alex Figliolia Water & Sewer was at the house the very next morning to begin installing the new pipe from the roadway, to inside the house. All required permits were obtained, and the crew began digging for the new 1 inch copper water line installation. Thirty five feet of new pipe was installed, which included making one hole in the roadway and one hole on the property. Once the holes were dug, compressed air was used to blow tunnels from one hole to the next until they reached the foundation wall of the house. At this point the new copper water line was pulled through each tunnel and connected to the existing meter inside the house and a new house control valve was installed as well.
Please call Alex Figliolia Water & Sewer if your home or property’s water line has been damaged due to freezing weather conditions. Call Us Anytime: 718-852-8700