Water Lines | Who is responsible for fixing them?

Who Is Responsible for Sewer Line and Water Main Repair

Homeowners protect their homes from floods and fires. Many have “home warranties” for appliances. However, most do not protect themselves from costly water line and sewer line disruptions and in-home plumbing emergencies. Viking Plumbing has put together a list of things to take into consideration.

This year, many homeowners will experience problems with their water and sewer lines. Even more will deal with in-home plumbing issues. Pipe clogs, leaks, and breaks are surprisingly common. In Ada County, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to repair any sewer lines from the edge of the property to the home. In Canyon County, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to repair from the home to the tap in the middle of the street where it connects to the main sewer line. Homeowners, not the local municipality or water utility, are responsible for the pipes running through their property. What’s more, most don’t know that most homeowners’ insurance policies will not cover the repair costs, leaving their biggest investment unprotected from the expense. Viking Plumbing recommends taking the following things into consideration to protect your greatest investment:

1: How old are your pipes?

Most the nation’s water pipes were installed after World War II and are in serious need of replacement or repair. A 2010 report from the National Association of Water Companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce stated that nearly half of all pipes in the U.S. were in poor shape. Knowing the age of your pipes can help you assess the risk of a plumbing issue arising.

2: What is your soil like?

Poor soil conditions – like low soil resistivity and high chloride content – can cause corrosion of pipes from the outside. Per NACE International, the world’s leading professional organization for the corrosion control industry, sandy soils are among the least corrosive, and clay soils are among the most severely corrosive. Corrosive soil can start attacking your pipes almost immediately, with corrosion building over time. This means that although your plumbing pipes are already being invaded, you might not experience a leak or break until much later.

3: Have you seen the warning signs?

Homeowners can overlook many small signs that may signify a water issue. These signs can be as simple as a family cooking frequently in the kitchen that can lead to continued grease and food disposals building up over time in the sewer and drain lines. A stammering faucet can be an indication that a water line is leaking. A clogged toilet or slow drainage can signal to that the sewer line is clogged. A lot of these signs could point to a sudden and potentially costly repair. If you suspect something with your plumbing, call Viking Plumbing for a free inspection.

4: Sudden Temperature changes

Water lines are more susceptible to breaks at times of extreme temperature swings, both hot and cold. The American Society of Civil Engineers advises that just a 10-degree change in temperature can increase stress on water mains and service lines, and increase their risk of damage. Pipes become brittle when water temperatures get below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, while air temperatures at or below freezing cause the ground to freeze. However, water main breaks often don’t occur until one or two days after the freezing temperatures arrive because water temperature takes more time to decrease than air temperature.

5: Pipe Composition

A lot of homes in our area have Galvanized plumbing. Especially in the older homes. The plumbing pipes that are the most common to break are made of Galvanized Steel, Copper, and polybutylene. Unfortunately, these were the materials that were heavily used for a lot of construction. This leads a lot of homeowners at risk without them even knowing it.

What can you do? Repairs to leaking water pipes are often not covered by your homeowner’s insurance, which could leave you paying hundreds to thousands of dollars to fix them. It is very important to be careful about what is going down your drains. Watch your taps for signs of failure. And if you suspect anything that could be a warning sign, give Viking Plumbing a call and have them come out for an inspection. Viking Plumbing has over 35 years of experience in repairing issues before they become disasters.