It is most common for water main valves to crack and leak during the winter months however, there are several scenarios that would cause a water main valve to leak. In the case displayed in our video the house was being renovated during the winter months and the valve was exposed to freezing conditions.
Eventually the valve froze and ultimately cracked due to the expansion of the frozen water on the inside of the valve. In this scenario the owner was lucky that she was able to control the water by closing the valve. In other cases the valve may occur on the street side of the gate inside of the valve which means closing the valve would not control the water. This may result in a flooded basement and the requirement for emergency work.
In both scenarios the licensed plumber must excavate in the roadway over the city water main and close the valve on the city main in order to stop the water. Once the city water main valve is closed the plumber can now remove the defective valve on the inside of the building and install a new ball valve. In the event that the entire water main was made of galvanized or lead pipe the owner would be required to replace the entire water main with new copper pipe per the DEP plumbing code.
In both cases the plumber would be responsible for back-filling the roadway and paving the street with hot asphalt.
If you have any questions regarding your leaking or defective water main valve it is important to call a licensed plumber to assist.