Should I Repair or Replace my Broken Water Line?

Monday, August 19, 2019

This a common question for property owners when their water lines require work. It can be hard to know which choice is the wisest, both financially and in the long run. It may cost more up front to replace the water line now, but will save you money down the road.

Here are the top things to consider when debating between a repair or replacement.

History of Repairs

The first thing to consider is the history of repairs on the water line. Has it been repaired before? If so, you want to replace the water line. Water lines do not fare well with multiple repairs as they are more likely to break again.

Multiple repairs also add up. Usually, it ends up costing more to repair the same water line twice than to replace it one time.

If the water line has not been repaired before, it is a viable candidate for a repair now.

Age of the Water Line

As with anything else, water lines tend to have more issues as they age. A typical water line will last about 50 years. If your water line is older than 50 years, it’s not a suitable candidate for a repair.

In the case of most water lines, unless they are relatively new, the better option is going to be a full replacement. Materials break down over time and water lines become vulnerable and more susceptible to breaking.


Some of the materials that older water lines are made of are no longer legal, up to code, or recommended. When these water lines (lead, galvanized pipe) break, the only option is to replace them.


Another important thing to keep in mind is cost. Do some research and perform a cost comparison. Is it cost effective to repair the water line now? Based on its age and the damage, would it cost more to repair it than to replace it? If the repair is going to cost more than 50% of a replacement, go with a replacement.

At Marines Plumbing, we want to enable you to make the best decision for you and your property. Call us today if you live in the Northern VA area and are suffering from a broken water line! We will perform an evaluation and give you an honest recommendation, always with your best interests in mind.

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