Avoiding Plumbing Problems

« Back to Home

Water Main Line: Repair Or Replace?

Posted on

You depend on your water main line to service your home with plenty of water so it can be a disaster if it springs a leak. Sometimes a main line can be repaired, but in other instances a replacement is a better option. Learn how to decide which is the best choice for your waterline.

Line Material

The main concern with a waterline, especially in an older home, is what the line is made out of. If you have old lead supply lines, for example, then you definitely need to plan for a replacement rather than a repair. It also usually advised to replace galvanized water lines since these cannot handle the water pressure supplied by modern municipal water services and demanded by household plumbing fixtures and appliances. Other materials, like copper and plastic, tend to age better and are more likely to be repairable.

Repair History

Repeated repairs, particularly on the same length of the line, will cost you money in the long run. This extra cost isn't just the repair costs, it also includes the additional charges you'll pay for water usage each time the line springs a new leak. As a basic guideline, if the line has been repaired in the past, then it is time to replace it. If you aren't sure of the past repair history of your main line, your repair and replacement service can likely find out for you.

Age of the Line

The older the line, the more likely that you will need to plan for a replacement rather than a repair. Waterlines, except those made of materials like lead and galvanized metal, can last many decades. Eventually, though, they will become so old that repeated failures will become the norm. Even the strongest materials can weaken as they age. Your line replacement service can determine the age of your existing line and let you know the average lifespan of the material. This will allow you to make an informed decision on whether to repair or replace.

Leak Type

Some water line leaks are small. It may just be a small crack or pinhole leak that is slowly seeping water, or perhaps there is a leak at the joint between two pipes. These minor leaks are much easier to repair, and the repair is more likely to be longlasting. Large leaks, especially if they occur in multiple sections of the pipe, are more costly and invasive to repair. These leaks are better suited to a full line replacement.

Contact a water line replacement service for more assistance.