If your water line is leaking or has broken, you have little time to decide what to do next. Hopefully you’re able to shut off the water before your home sustains significant damage. But now what? Should you have it repaired or replaced? Here are some issues to consider.
How Old is The Water Line?
According NACHI.org, the service life of copper or plastic water line is 50 years. If your home was built more than fifty years ago, the water line could be simply be beyond its service life and needs replacement. If possible, ask the previous owner if it was ever replaced.
What Material is the Water Line?
We have mentioned copper and plastic, but could your water line be made of lead? In some municipalities it is not legal to repair lead water lines. The answer must be water line replacement. In Wilmington DE, for example, the city removes lead lines whenever they are discovered. Given the dangers of lead poisoning, it is always wise to replace lead lines.
What is The Repair History?
Every time a repair is made the water line is weakened. Check DEP records or with previous homeowners. If the water line has been repaired two times, the cost of another repair might be throwing money down the drain. It is best to consider water line replacement.
What About Cost?
Most of us don’t have money to burn and so the cost factor comes to mind first of all. A general rule when considering replacement is to ask if the repair will cost 50% or more than the replacement cost. This is a rule of thumb that makes sense for many repair or replacement issues for homeowners.