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Water Line Issues: Should I Repair or Replace Damaged Equipment?

Imagine coming home from a lovely vacation…only to find water pouring into your house via the walls.  It can all seem very overwhelming at first, so how do you decide whether to repair the broken pipe or replace the entire system?  There are some sensible guidelines to follow when assessing whether you need a London Ontario water main replacement or a water main repair.

What Causes a Break?

Before we discuss your water main repairs, it’s a good idea to discuss the various reasons why water mains break in the first place.  Here are the five most common causes of a water break:

  • Age: after 50 years, your water main can cease to be useful.  If your pipes are getting old, it’s best to forgo the repair and go for a full London Ontario water main replacement.
  • Neglect: it’s easy to forget about your pipes since you can’t see them, but your water system needs regular visual inspection, flushing, and lining.  Often by doing these things, you can catch a breakage before it becomes a significant problem.
  • Fluctuating temperatures: London can get extreme temperatures throughout the year that makes the ground expand and contract.  This places added pressure on water mains, causing them to break.
  • Construction: sometimes ground work can strike and split water mains.
  • Heavy traffic: this sends vibrations underground, stressing the pipes to the point of bursting.  Just because this generally happens in the street, it doesn’t mean it can’t affect you and your home.

Age of the System

As earlier stated, the lifespan of a water main is 50 years.  On top of that, if your system is made out of galvanized or lead pipes, it is at least 60 years old.  In those situations, forget repairing and proceed with a water main replacement.  Another thing to keep in mind is that even if your system is not quite 50 years old, metal becomes brittle as it ages.  Therefore, replacement is usually a smart option as a proactive measure.

The Price is Right

The good news for you is that the cost for either a water main replacement or a water main repair is relatively similar.  Things such as permits fees, restoration costs, labour costs, as well as tools and equipment are all required regardless of the scope of the work. A good rule of thumb to follow - if the repair costs 50% or more of the cost of replacing, then replacing the product is your best bet.

BEST Plumbing and Drainage offers both repair and replacement services.  Contact BEST every time you have an issue with your water main.

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At BEST Plumbing and Drainage Contractors, we feel it's important to help homeowners understand the role of the contractor and the various construction solutions available for each unique plumbing, wet basement repair and drainage issue. We are more than happy to consult with you and help navigate the process.

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