Your water main is the connection between the utility company’s larger streetside main and your home’s plumbing system. If your personal main develops a problem, your whole home could suffer for it. Main water line replacement is a big decision and we’re here to help you understand the stakes.
If you experience plumbing problems that aren’t limited to a single fixture or appliance, a main water line leak is likely the culprit. When this happens, it’s time to replace your water main. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the process below.
Do I need to replace my water main?
Problems with your main are harder to diagnose than most plumbing problems because your main is underground. Underground hidden leaks tend to be difficult to find, but there are a couple of ways to look for them. Watch for any of these three signs that you have a water main leak:
Water in your yard or street.
This is the most obvious sign that there’s a problem with your water main. If the main water line to your house is leaking or ruptured, the only place the water can go is out. Once enough of it builds up, it’ll breach the surface of your yard or the street.
Inexplicably higher water bills.
If you aren’t using more water than usual but your bills are increasing, there’s a problem. That problem is likely a hidden leak inside your walls or with your water main.
Low water pressure.
If your main can’t deliver the water to your home with the same pressure due to a problem, you’ll notice. If all of your fixtures and appliances have low pressure, instead of just one, you’re likely dealing with a main issue vs an isolated clog.
Do I replace or repair my water main?
There are three factors you should consider when it comes to deciding whether to repair or replace your water main:
- What your current main is made of.
- How old it is.
- If it’s been repaired before.
Most water mains are made from copper, brass, or iron. Historically, some have been made with lead or galvanized pipe, but those types of water main aren’t permitted anymore. If your main is made from outdated materials, a replacement will be required.
Age and repair status also factor in because they determine the likelihood of additional problems or of repair failure. Is your main old? Has it been repaired three times before? If either of those things is true, then the foundation of your main is weaker than that of a new pipe. In that case, we would recommend replacing it. On the other hand, if your main is made from strong, up-to-date material and has never been repaired before, then a repair might be an easier alternative than replacement.
How do you replace a burst water main?
A water main replacement is more complex than average plumbing work because it involves excavation. Here’s a quick rundown of how a technician would conduct your water main repair:
1. We’ll excavate around the area where the pipe connects to the house.
Traditionally, our technicians dig a trench to make these repairs, but trenchless repair is an option in many situations.
2. We’ll calculate how much new pipe is needed.
We measure for the right size and make a list of the fittings and connectors needed for your line.
3. We’ll shut off the water at the main.
At this point, the technician will disconnect the pipe at both ends, drain it, and remove it. Then, they’ll lay the new pipe and reconnect it to the main using the proper connectors and tools. Finally, they’ll connect the new pipe to the actual house.
4. After letting the new pipes set, we’ll turn the water back on.
We check to make sure we’ve completed the installation successfully and that nothing is leaking. If there are any issues, your technician will solve them before filling the trench.
Water Main Repair and Replacement in Dallas
Water main replacement is a complicated process. It involves not just your home’s plumbing, but your lawn as well. We understand water main repair is a big expense for many families and we want your investment to last.
Give the team at Ben Franklin Plumbing a call. We’ve repaired and replaced countless water mains in Dallas, Plano and McKinney over the years. We’ll make sure your new water main delivers clean water to your home for years to come.