Main water lines see a high level of activity in their lifetimes because they are an essential part of your home’s water supply. Because of this, say can suffer some wear and tear over time. So, does the main water line need to eventually be replaced? Find out in this post.
The Importance Of The Main Water Line
A domestic main water line is a sometimes overlooked yet vital part of a home’s plumbing system. The main water line, being the conduit that brings water into the house, is always in use. If there are any issues with the line, they might cause service disruptions, substantial property damage, and, in certain situations, serious health risks.
Main Water Line Lifespan
The water line is a major component of your home and it’s important to keep aware of its condition. However, many homeowners sometimes neglect the task because they assume that their main water line will never wear out or become damaged. Although you should replace your pipes eventually, often times a standard-sized pipe will last more than 30 years before needing replacement. However, if the size of your house or plumbing grows larger over time, changing out the old pipe becomes necessary sooner rather than later.
It’s difficult to check the status of the main water line on a regular basis since it’s usually buried. In most circumstances, it’s completely appropriate to use the “out of sight, out of mind” approach. Water lines may endure anywhere from 20 to 100 years, depending on the material they are composed of. Many individuals may spend decades in the same house without ever knowing where the main water line is!
Replacing the main water line from the meter to the house is a process that can be done by the homeowner if they are willing. It will help you save money on your water bill and also ensure that you are getting clean safe drinking water.
Problem Source: The Type Of Pipe Used In Your Main Water Line
Over time, main water lines can become corroded, leaks can develop, and the line can break.
If you have an older home, your main water line is likely made of galvanized steel. This type of pipe is particularly susceptible to rust and corrosion, which can lead to the leaching of lead and other metals into your water supply.
Other main water line materials include:
- Ductile Iron
Copper pipes are the most commonly used main water line material because they are malleable and are less affected by ground shifting. This helps to make them some of the longest-lasting pipes installed for plumbing.
Signs The Main Water Line Is Malfunctioning
When anything goes wrong with the main water line, though, the consequences are usually obvious. Here are a few signs that your water line is malfunctioning:
Water Pressure Drop
Because the water line is the pipe that transports water into the house, any break or blockage in the line will typically result in less water reaching the fixtures and taps. Isolated dips in pressure affecting just one shower head or sink might suggest a problem with the lines within the house, however a consistent loss in pressure impacting the whole house most likely signals a supply line problem.
Higher Water Bills
A little leak may not reduce water pressure considerably, but since water is always flowing through the line, it will result in considerable waste over time. If your water bills are frequently higher than usual and you’ve eliminated the typical suspects (leaky faucets, malfunctioning sprinkler systems, etc. ), it’s time to check the main water line.
Pools of Water in the Yard
This is the most visible (and severe) sign of a water line break (or if accompanied by a foul odor, a sewage line break). It may range from a moist patch of exceptionally vivid grass to a filthy fountain popping up out of nowhere. Even if the water pressure in the residence isn’t damaged much, this issue should be handled right once. Water pouring into the soil surrounding the pipe will loosen it over time, turning the yard into a flooded quagmire. The muck is a great breeding ground for insects and may lead to more significant issues with the home’s water supply, in addition to pushing water costs over the sky.
Water That Has Been Contaminated
Cracks and fractures in a water line may enable dirt and debris to seep into the water, which then flows into the home. These alien items typically contain hazardous substances and, once in the home’s water pipes, may become a breeding ground for germs, presenting a major health danger to everyone within. It’s quite likely that the main water line has been damaged in some manner if the water flowing from the faucets has a gritty texture, a weird odor, or seems abnormally hazy.
So, Your Main Water Line Isn’t Working…, What’s Next?
The next issue to address is whether the main water line should be repaired or replaced after the problem has been identified to it.
In many circumstances, the repair is out of the question.
Lead or galvanized water lines may be found in older houses constructed before 1960, which are not only prohibited from being used in new construction in many places (including California), but also from being repaired. Galvanized pipe corrodes from the inside out over time, posing severe long-term health concerns.
Additional repairs to a pipe that has already been fixed may solve the current issue but make it more likely to fail again in the future. The expense of these regular repairs will rapidly outweigh the cost of completely replacing the line. The pipe’s total age must also be taken into account. Many materials grow brittle as they age, making them more prone to failure.
Repairing a water pipe isn’t always as straightforward as it seems. Plumbers must first find the leak, which might take a long time and effort if the home is far away from the municipal line near the street. This may entail a great deal of harmful digging. Even when they’ve found the break, they can find it impossible to repair. By the time they’ve dug all that, it could be more cost-effective to just replace the whole line.
Modern trenchless technology, fortunately, provides a cost-effective compromise between maintenance and replacement choices. Experienced plumbers can restore water lines without going through the time-consuming and costly process of digging up the old pipe by using the same pipe-lining methods used to rehabilitate sewage lines using epoxy-based glue. Even with older lines that plumbers could not normally fix, a trenchless approach may often be used.
Whether you’re contemplating repairs to your current water line or a total replacement, make sure you call a seasoned plumber to assist you in properly assessing your alternatives. They can provide you with the most accurate figures on how much the job will cost, what local rules will apply, and if a trenchless option may be used.
“How long do water supply lines last” is a question that many people have been asking. After the age of 20, it is generally recommended that you consider replacing your main water line, especially if you are having issues. However, this depends largely on the type of pipe material used in the original line. Some main water lines can last up to 70-100 years if they are sturdy enough.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I replace the main water line?
A: If there is currently no danger in the water supply, then there are two reasons why you should not replace it. The first reason is that it will cost a lot of money to replace and the second reason is that if any bacteria gets into your system, there could be an outbreak with dangerous consequences such as food poisoning or even death.
How often should water supply lines be replaced?
A. This depends largely on the type of pipes used and if there are any problems. Every 10-20 years depending on the volume of usage and type of system used. However, some main lines can last far longer before needing replacement.
How long do exterior water lines last?
A: Most exterior water lines should last 15-20 years provided that they are installed properly and in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
If your main water line is not having issues, your plumbing fixtures may need attention. For more, see Do Your Commercial Plumbing Fixtures Meet California’s New Water Saving Standards?
- who is responsible for water line from street to house
- main water line replacement
- water main line replacement cost
- pex pipe
- plumbers near me