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It’s easy to take water supply lines for granted until something goes wrong with them calling for a water line repair need. The average American family uses about 300 gallons of water at home each day. Fresh water from your municipal supplier or a private well comes into your home through pipes called water lines. Flushing toilets and taking baths and showers account for the majority of that use. Water lines also bring potable water to sinks, water heaters, and hose faucets. It’s easy to understand why a water line issue can cause major problems.
If you think you might have a water line problem, contact a reliable plumbing service right away. A water main that’s malfunctioning can affect all of the water coming into your home, causing significant disruptions. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about water line repair in Arlington, TX.
How Do You Know If You Need Water Line Repairs?
The primary pipe that brings water into the home is called the main water line. This water line is usually located underground and connects to a municipal water source. A water line repair might be needed because of damage to the pipe due to freezing and thawing, high water pressure, mineral build-up, overgrown tree roots, corrosion or age.
If you stay aware of signs of water line leaks or clogs, you can help to avert a water main break, which can be a costly major repair. How do you know if you need main water line repair in Arlington, TX? These are some signs to look out for:
- Water pressure drops: If you notice a drop in water pressure, a water line could be clogged. There are several reasons that water pressure could go down, but water line clogs are a common cause. Weak water pressure in the shower is noticed most often, but sinks might also run slowly or you might notice that the clothes washer takes much longer than usual to fill.
- Water bills go up: Leaks from water lines can cost you a lot of money in wasted water that never even makes it into your home. Make sure to keep an eye on your water bill for any unusual or unexplainable increases in water usage. In the long run, a water line repair can be way less expensive.
- Cracks appear in the foundation: A leaking water main can damage the concrete foundation of a home. Water pipes are under pressure and water flowing outside of the pipe can cause erosion of building materials.
- Strange sounds emit from drains: If you hear an atypical gurgling sound from drains, there could be a water line problem. Rumbling or hissing sounds where the water line enters your house is another warning sign that there’s a problem.
- Puddles collect outdoors: A leaking water supply line could create puddles in your yard, even on days when there’s been no rain. Alternately, you might notice that the grass is more green above the water line if that line has leaks. Also, look out for unexplained damp spots on the sidewalk above where the water line runs.
- Water looks discolored: Corrosion of the pipe or the entrance of soil into it can cause water discoloration. The water could be reddish brown from rust or look muddy if dirt is getting into the pipes. A good indication that a water line repair is needed.
- Water spots or mildew on walls or ceilings. An obvious sign of a water pipe leak is water spots in the home. They can appear on the walls or ceilings. Water under sinks or on the floor could also be from water line leaks. Make sure to call a water line repair professional as soon as possible.
According to the EPA, as many as 10% of all homes have undetected water line leaks. The way to determine if you have a hidden water line leak is to turn off all of the water-using appliances in your home and look at your water meter. If it shows that water is being used even when everything is shut off, there is a concealed water line leak somewhere. Contact a plumber to inspect your water supply system.
What to Do
If you think you have a leak or break in your main water line, you should contact your water company right away to alert them to the problem; some companies will work with you to help manage payments if you’ve had an unexpected spike in your water bill.
Shut off the main water line as soon as possible and call a plumber. If you don’t know how to shut off the water to your home or business, our plumbers or your utility company can do that for you. Stop using appliances or drinking tap water if the water is discolored until you can verify that it’s safe to use.
What to Expect
Hidden leaks can be hard for the non-plumber to find. Once on-site, a water line repair plumber will pinpoint the precise location of the leak, using professional video and acoustic inspection tools if needed. Once a leak is found, they’ll typically dig a trench to access the water line. Water lines are usually located about 1 to 3 feet below the ground, or just below the freeze line in your area.
If the main water line needs to get dug up, your local utility service will mark the yard for safety, with blue lines to show where the potable lines are, red for electrical lines, green for sewer lines, and orange for gas, oil, and steam lines. A permit might be required before any digging can start.
After the plumber digs the access trench, they’ll drain out any pooled water and perform the pipe repairs as needed. They’ll repair failed sections of pipe, make sure connections are secure, test the lines, and leave the work area neat and clean.
The water main might enter your home or business at the foundation or by going through a crawl space. The main valve for that line could be in a garage, basement, or utility room. Our plumbers could need to carry out water line repairs in the crawl space under the building, or they might need to open up a section of concrete slab in the basement. All the work we do is performed as neatly and with as little disruption to you as possible.
Types of Water Lines
Water supply lines may be made of copper, PVC, PEX, CPVC, or galvanized steel. Local codes typically specify the required minimum diameter of a water line (usually about 3/4 inch) and how far the potable water line must be located from the sewer lines to avoid any chance of cross contamination.
Some water lines are used for electrical grounding and so cannot be replaced with PVC piping until an alternate grounding source is established. Professional plumbers know these codes and standards to ensure the job is performed correctly and safely.
Trenchless Water Line Repair in Arlington, TX
Trenchless water line repair is a non-invasive approach to pipe repair since no digging to access the pipe is required. This type of pipe repair works by rehabilitating the water line; the existing pipe is lined with a material like epoxy or, in the case of slip lining, with a smaller pipe. Trenchless water line repair is typically faster, more cost-effective, and much neater than traditional line repair where plumbers need to dig trenches to access the pipe.
Water Line Repair vs Replacement
How do you decide whether your water line needs replacement or if repairs will suffice? Water supply lines have a typical lifespan of 50 years. If yours are 50 years or older, it could be a better option to replace the pipe rather than pay for repeated repairs.
Old, Weakened Water Lines
Old pipes were often made of galvanized steel; over many years, mineral buildup started to form inside of them, restricting the flow of water. Also, the metal can start to rust once the anti-corrosion lining wears away, negatively affecting water quality. The metal gets brittle over the years and connecting and disconnecting old pipes can result in the metal disintegrating in places where it is weakened. Once that happens, the pipe can’t be repaired and needs to be replaced.
Lead Water Lines
In homes built before 1950, the water line and pipes could be made of lead; lead pipes are no longer legal to install because of their potential to leach lead into the water, potentially causing toxic lead poisoning that affects both children and adults. If your home or business has lead water supply lines, they should be replaced if at all possible. Old, non-lead pipes could also have lead fittings or lead soldering that can impart lead into the water.
If you’re concerned about your water quality, you can conduct at-home water quality tests. Also, your local water utility issues annual reports on water quality in its service area.
PB Water Lines
Another type of pipe found in older homes is the polybutylene (PB) pipe; this type of water line is present in houses constructed from 1970 to 2000. PB water lines tend to be susceptible to leaks and bursting. Some good replacement options are PVC and PEX water lines, which use modern materials and have estimated life spans of 80 to 100 years.
If the pipe needs frequent repairs, it is likely more cost-effective to replace it. In addition to the cost of frequent fixes adding up, the repairs put more wear and tear on the pipes and could weaken them overall. Homes with water pipes that have experienced ongoing problems for several months or years could probably benefit from pipe replacement.
Keeping Water Safe
State laws and local codes protect the potable water in your home or building. DIY home centers and hardware stores offer a large number of plumbing products that don’t meet code. When plumbing work and materials don’t conform to code, it can increase the odds of the water supply becoming contaminated. Our licensed plumbers ensure that all work that’s done adheres to state and local laws. They can also make recommendations to help improve the water quality in your home or business, such as installing point-of-use water filtration systems.
What’s the Cost of Water Line Repair in Arlington, TX?
In most cases, homeowners insurance doesn’t cover water line repairs or replacement, so it’s natural to be concerned about the cost. The price for repairing water lines varies. A water line repair plumber can give you a detailed cost estimate once they’ve assessed the plumbing and determined which repairs are needed. The final cost depends on a few factors, such as:
- The labor required to access the water line. Tree roots, old tree stumps, and concrete slabs are just some of the things that could create obstacles to accessing the water line for repair. If jackhammering is needed, for example, it adds to the cost.
- The materials used. PVC and PEX water line tubing is a budget-friendly choice, while copper is more expensive. Depending on where you live, there could be limitations on the type of materials you can use for the water line.
- Licensing and permits. There might be fees that have to be paid for permission to do the work.
- The labor hours required to complete the repair.
Our plumbers provide comprehensive estimates so that you’ll know the cost of the recommended repair work up front. We are happy to answer any questions and discuss your concerns.
Call Us Today for Water Line Repair in Arlington, TX!
A supply of fresh, clean water is essential for daily living. If your water lines aren’t working right, we’re here to help you get them fixed as soon as possible. Contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth to schedule an appointment with one of our water line repair plumbers and see for yourself why we’ve earned so many loyal customers in the Arlington, TX, area. Our goal is to fix plumbing issues in one visit whenever possible so that we save you money and time.