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Thread: Repair or replace broken pipe in ground?

  1. #1

    Default Repair or replace broken pipe in ground?

    Hi - I just found out that the copper pipe from the water
    meter to my house is leaking. The house is 28 years old.
    I have a choice of having a new pipe run which would cost
    about $2000 or paying $250 to locate the leak and probably
    another $250 to repair it. Is it likely that once
    the pipe failed in one spot that it will fail again and so I
    should just replace the whole pipe or is this more of a
    freak event that isn't likely to happen again? I don't
    know why the pipe is leaking but one friend suggested
    that it could be because I don't have an expansion tank(?)
    on my water heater. Thanks very much for the help!
    Jeff H.

  2. #2
    Plumber Deb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Cool Deb

    The chances are that if you have one failure in a copper line, you will have more.
    You will not know the exact cause of the failure of your water line until you dig it up (it is not the absence of an expansion tank--tell your friend not to give up his day job ). Acidic soil or water conditions often cause leaks in copper.
    The Pipewench

  3. #3

    Default Thanks Deb ...

    I appreciate the advice. Will dig up where the break is
    and see how the pipe looks before deciding.

  4. #4
    DIY Member jrejre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004


    I used to live in a tract in Southern California. All the homes were slabs where the majority of the pipes were layed in the ground and then the slab was poured. All our houses were prone to slab leaks. Most of the spots that leaked were actually not in the concrete, but rather under it in the soil. After some time talking to area "old timers" I found out the area used to be farm land with livestock. Certain areas in the tract were much more prone to problems - almost certainly caused by where the animals left most of their "acid" contribution.

    I do think once you start having problems, you are likely to have more. I would just replace it. You'll know it's fixed right.


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