There are multiple signs that you may need a water line replacement and some of them being frequent leaks, low water pressure throughout multiple water fixtures in your home, or even an orange color or chunks of orange debris in your water. In some cases, low water pressure throughout your home may be outlying to a specific area of your home like the bathroom. In every case, low water pressure throughout the house will apply to multiple fixtures, not just one. However, if you are having an issue with just one fixture, then this may indicate the problem is just a clogged aerator.
On the other hand, if you are having frequent leaks, this may indicate you need a water line replacement. If you are having just one leak, typically this is not really exhibiting a replacement, however, if you have three or more leaks, on a galvanized water system, this is a clear sign that you may need repiping. Lastly, if you are having orange chunks or orange debris in your water, this is a significantly clear sign that your pipe (which would typically be a galvanized steel pipe) is tearing apart from the inside out.
There are three options when it comes to replacing residential water lines - copper, CPVC, or PEX. The standard gold for water piping is copper due to being able to stand up against leaks and it does not add pollutants to water, also has a longer lifespan than the other two by being soldered together. PEX is made out of crosslinked polyethylene and it is more flexible and stronger than average plastic. PEX pipes are connected together with compression fittings that are bonded together using a clamping machine. On the other hand, CPVC is a rigid plastic which is bonded with glue.
Replacing water lines can be pretty costly, but knowing which option is the best is essential. There are disadvantages of plastic water piping due to rodents loving to chew on plastic, and if you live in a rural area, plastic piping is not recommended. When it comes to copper piping, it comes in three grades. Type M (lowest quality), Type L (commercial grade), and Type K (highest quality). Due to Type K being exceptionally expensive, the best option for a home or a commercial property would be Type L. Type M, is not much more expensive than Type L, but Type M has about double the lifespan. Depending on which jurisdiction you live in, will depend on what options you have on the table.
The main water line is a pipe that is essential for bringing water to your home. It is located underground and it connects your home to your community’s water source. Holes and cracks usually develop over time and is usually as a result of external corrosion from the soil or frost. A break in the water line will cause water to flow out the pipe and eventually will reach the surface (i.e. front lawn, basement of your home, or in the street) due to the fact that water pipes are under pressure. Water leakage can cause extensive damage to your home and it is most certainly expensive, but you can determine if this is the cause of your issue before you call your plumber.
Noticing wet spots, mildew on your floors or walls? This may indicate you have a leak in your main water line. Usually, leaks are located under slabs or buried in the lawn and due to their location, unforeseen damage can occur. The most certain way that you can detect if your plumbing is leaking is to turn off all water fixtures and look at your water meter in order to see if water is flowing or not. If you are still uncertain, hiring a leak detection company with specialized skills will be your next and best option.
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