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Four Factors For A Water Line Repair Decision

Four Factors For A Water Line Repair Decision

Deciding if you should repair or replace your water lines isn’t always an easy decision. As property owners, you are faced with that question whenever the water lines require attention. Also, you may not know whether a partial repair makes sense, or if the entire line should be replaced.

There are some guidelines that you can follow, along with some sound advice. Armed with the information you’ve gathered, you are better prepared to decide whether you should be replacing water lines or repairing them.  Here’s four factors for making a water line repair decision:

  • The age of the existing water main
  • Whether the line been repaired before
  • The cost difference between repair and replace
  • The materials from which the existing lines are made

Age of the pipes:
The typical life of a water line is about fifty years. Therefore, if your service line is over fifty, then it may not be a good candidate for repair. If your existing pipes are made from lead or galvanized, you may also want to consider replacement.

It’s also important to consider that connecting new lines to older lines may not be a good option, as they become brittle with age.

Previous repairs:
Whether the line’s been repaired before should be a factor in your decision making. Once an older line has been worked on, it is much more prone to break again.

The cost comparison:
Without doing a thorough inspection on your particular situation, it’s impossible to outline the costs of each service. Factors included in the cost are things like:

  • Permits
  • Restoration costs
  • The required labor
  • Necessary materials

Existing types of water lines:
Over the years, water lines have been made from lead. Many years ago, the EPA determined that lead is not a safe material for water lines, because of that, they cannot be repaired.

It’s always important to review the obvious signs of a water main break, and those are:

  • Water running above the surface of your property, or public sidewalk or roadway.
  • A drop in water pressure throughout your home.
  • A discoloration in your drinking water when no construction is taking place nearby.
  • A loud rumbling sound in your plumbing.
  • Water present in your basement when there are no visible leaks, or recent rainfall.

If you see any of the above signs, take a look to find your water service line. It is usually right near your water meter. Because water mains serve so many people and travel the whole city underground, it is possible that you have the break but it is also possible to be anywhere else in the line ahead of you.

The professionals at E & K Contractors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week should you experience break in a line that requires immediate attention.  Once the emergency situation is under control, we can then determine which is the best option for you, either a repair or replacement of the water lines.


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  • Your NAngel Bogart
    March 19, 2019, 8:40 pm REPLY

    Thank you for mentioning that a pipe lasts effectively for about 50 years, after which it would no longer be eligible for repair. Grandpa should know this because his residential pipes are more than a hundred years old, at the least, and they had been fully functional serving the country house fresh water from the mountain springs. It would be good though to have local pipe repair experts to get a thorough inspection if his pipe system could be upgraded safely and new pipes added without compromising its integrity.

  • Braden Bills
    March 20, 2019, 10:11 am REPLY

    I want to make sure that I get my water line repaired properly. It makes sense that I would want to get a professional to handle it for me! They would be able to ensure that everything is handled right.

  • Ethan Hansen
    May 30, 2019, 2:41 pm REPLY

    It’s good to know that old pipes can burst at any time and cause damage. My wife and I just moved into an old home and we don’t want a burst pipe to ruin the foundation. I will keep this in mind as we find plumbing contractors that can replace the pipes!

  • Benjamin Andrews
    July 5, 2019, 12:56 pm REPLY

    I found it interesting that you state that the average life of a water line is 50 years. My parents have been mentioning that they have been smelling a sewage smell at the bottom of their yard and want to find a way to get rid of it. I will send them this information so they can make sure to find a sewer repair service to fix the problem for them.

  • Brendan Shelton
    August 14, 2019, 8:50 am REPLY

    I like that you talked about how seeing water running above the surface is usually not a great sign. My son and I have noticed that a few puddles are starting to form on the sidewalk and around our lawn. We will keep your article in mind as we look for someone to come out and check to see what is causing this problem.

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