Wintertime Water Main Repair And Sewer Repair Work Needs Special Care

Opinion & Expertise, Sewer Repair, Water Main Repair
January 17, 2012

by David Balkan

wintertime repair concrete curing blankets

Performing NYC water main and sewer repair work in the Wintertime poses special challenges. Property owners need assurance that sewer and water main work performed in harsh weather conditions will meet the same high standards as work done under normal weather conditions at other times of the year. For a water main and sewer contractor to make sure that happens requires special care, special tools, and equipment.

wintertime repair concrete curing blankets
Wintertime Repair Concrete Curing Blankets

NYC Water Main Repair Work Done To Code

In the coldest NYC winter the frost level may reach 3′ deep. Water main repair work done properly means that any main water line must be a minimum of 3 1/2′ deep – below the frost line. In addition a water main repair requires that the water line be a minimum of 6″ away from other utility lines. In some cases an underground gas line can freeze the area surrounding it in the Wintertime. A quality water main repair requires attention to important details like these.

Specialty Pipe Insulation

In NYC where multiple underground utility lines may be present installing a water line 3 1/2′ deep may not always be possible. In those rare cases that mandate a shallow installation special felt insulation is used and then wrapped in a water proof plastic covering. In addition steel plates should be carefully placed over shallow main water line installations to absorb vibration and for added protection.

felt insulation prevents freezing
Felt Insulation Prevents Freezing

In unoccupied buildings it is advisable to leave the curb valve off, or insulate the exposed portion of the water main inside an unheated basement. Details like these may be overlooked by an inexperienced NYC water main contractor resulting in a frozen water line and property damage.

Specialty Concrete Mix And Protection

Doing high quality cement work in sub-freezing conditions presents special challenges. Hot water and anti-hydro should be used in proper proportions to mix the concrete – this makes the concrete set up faster and requires less water. Using a curing blanket and anti-hydro allows for cement work to be performed in weather as cold as 15 degrees. Curing concrete is a chemical reaction that creates heat, covering it with a special concrete curing blanket will ensure a quality finished product.

wintertime balkan concrete crew
Wintertime Balkan Concrete Crew

Even a highly experienced paving crew needs some assistance to perform high quality paving in cold weather conditions. Placing hot asphalt in a regular dump truck on a very cold day will result in unusable product and a poor paving job in just a few hours. In the winter a heated-body dump truck should be used to pave excavations made during sewer repair or water main repair work. Using a heated-body truck enables timely road paving even in harsh weather conditions that will be long-lasting. Performing timely restoration also prevents liabilities such as trip-and-falls and damage to vehicles.

Get A Free Quote
David Balkan

David Balkan is the CEO of Balkan Sewer And Water Main, the largest and most trusted service in New York City. David is extremely active in various NYC plumber organizations being the Chairman of the Subsurface Committee in the Master Plumbers Council, and Vice President of the Subsurface Plumbers Association. In addition David’s expertise is respected by officials of New York City agencies such as the NYC DEP, NYC DOB, and the NYC DOT. He frequently provides valuable input on a variety of industry related matters.

Dave Balkan

Ready to Get Your Sewer or Water Main Issue Fixed?

Get An Instant Quote
  • We manage every project from start to finish
  • We work quickly with instant quotes & rapid responses
  • We are licensed as a Master Plumber
  • Our GPS fleet ensures we are on time, every time
  • We are available 24/7 for emergencies
  • We back all replacements with a 10-year unconditional guarantee