Water Line Repair And Replacements: Legality Issues And How They're Resolved

Your main water line is the pipe that comes into your home or building to deliver water to all of the rest of the pipes. If a plumber tells you that your water line needs serious repair or your water line just breaks, there are few legal issues that you need to be aware of prior to having any work completed. Those issues, and how they are typically resolved, are as follows.

Lead or Galvanized Lines Restrictions

While most efforts have been taken over the last forty years to remove and replace lead and galvanized pipe with modern pipe materials, there are still some really old buildings with really old plumbing in them. If your home or commercial building is one such building, you may find that when it comes time to repair broken water lines made of lead or galvanized materials, you cannot. Many cities and states have made it illegal to repair such lines, although it is perfectly legal (and expected) to replace these lines completely. To avoid legal issues with your city/state, make sure that your broken lead or broken galvanized water line is completely replaced.

Water Line Repairs and Replacements That Are Not Your Responsibility

There are some cities and states where water lines are not the responsibility of property owners, despite the lines entering the home or building and being quite accessible. These cities and states have made arrangements with private water treatment facilities to manage the city plumbing that enters the structures. Property owners are not to address, DIY, or pay professionals to manage the issues that erupt from the main water lines.

Instead, you are required to contact the company designated as responsible for these pipes and repairs. Despite the clear emergency you have, you will have to close your main line and sit and wait for the repair technician. If you cannot close the water line, ask if the company can do it remotely (there are some private water treatment facilities that can shut off the water line remotely, but only if you ask them to).

Age of Line Restrictions

There are building codes that prohibit repairing old lines because old lines are already weakened and will not hold the repair. They must be fully replaced. If the busted line is less than twenty years old or younger, it may be possible just to repair it. Your plumber will know and tell you the age of the line so that you know which to expect.

For more information, contact a plumbing contractor like Good Ol'boys Plumbing.