No pipes last forever. Though plumbing is designed to last a long time, eventually your pipes will need replacing. Most water lines are built to last around 70 years but the chances are, you don’t know how old your pipes are or what condition they’re in.
What is your main water line?
All your household pipes will be connected to a main pipe that brings water from the pipes outside of your property. Your main water line is under a lot of strain from all that toilet flushing, showering and washing dishes every day.
As the main water line is so important to the functioning of your house, any problems with it are going to cause a huge disruption. If the main water line has a problem your house could be cut off from running water for however long it takes to fix the problem.
If the pipe needs replacing, this is going to end up very disruptive for you and isn’t likely to be a quick and easy fix. It’ll probably end up taking several days if your pipe becomes damaged beyond repair or collapses.
One of the greatest threats to your water pipes are tree roots. There’s no way of stopping them eventually creeping over to your pipes and eventually damaging them. This could take years for them to cause a collapse or a leak. Other causes of damage could be simple wear and tear if the pipes are old.
Ideally you don’t want to wait until your pipes have burst before repairing or replacing them. If you know your pipes are really old, then an inspection is recommended so that you’re prepared for any disruptions.
Who is responsible?
There are several different pipes involved with getting water to your house, but which ones are you responsible for?
If you own the house, then the pipe from your house up to the property boundary is your responsibility or that of the property owner if you’re just renting. This is called the supply pipe.
The pipe that goes from the property boundary to the main line in the street is called the communication pipe and that’s the responsibility of your local water company as are any publicly owned pipes.
What can you do?
The decision to replace your main water line is something that should really be left to a licensed professional. A plumber can help you identify where the problem is and whether it’s your responsibility to arrange a repair or that of the water company.
Do you really need to replace that pipe?
You might be able to just repair rather than replace but considering that you’ll have people digging through your garden and breaking through concrete to get to the pipes anyway, you might as well go with a replacement so you don’t have to do the same thing in a few years.
If there’s a leak or a collapse, then a plumber will recommend a replacement right away so that you’re not left too long without water.
If it turns out that you have lead pipes, then these need to be replaced as soon as possible as lead can cause certain health risks. If your property was modernised after the 70s you’re most likely fine, but you should still check this out, particularly if you’ve got an older property.
It’s always best to hire a licensed, local plumber so they can carry out an assessment of the area around your main water pipe. Once they’ve carried out their inspections, they can then go ahead and replace or repair it.
If you need a drain repairing or replacing, you can find out more about our services here or call us on 0105 522 0736.