What Are the Primary Steps for Main Line Repair?

When you have a leak in your plumbing system, it can be a nightmare to repair. But the nightmare will be much worse if the leak is in your water main line. This pipe is buried under your concrete slab, deep underground, and finding the exact source of the leak, much less actually repairing it, can be quite an ordeal. If you want to learn more about the process, keep reading to learn how these hard-to-reach pipes are fixed.

Step 1: Detecting the Leak

The first step in this type of repair should always be leak detection. If you’re working with a plumber who wants to skip this step and dig up the whole pipe, you should find another plumber. A leak detection expert can perform a series of tests with various types of equipment to find the exact location of your leak. This might include ultrasensitive audio equipment that picks up the sounds of running water, moisture detection tools, or even thermal imaging to find cold spots underground that indicate a leak.

Once the leak’s exact location is found, the plumber should move on to the next step.

Step 2: Digging Up the Pipe

Now that you know where the leak is, you can dig out the impacted area to make it accessible for repairs. Digging up this pipe can often mean breaking up concrete, removing landscaping features, and other expensive and destructive labor to your property. You want to minimize the amount of digging you have to do on your property to reduce the repair costs. This stage is the primary reason why you can’t skip the leak detection step of the process.

Step 3: Repair the Pipe

With the pipe accessible, your plumber can now repair the water main line. If the leak is small, they may be able to simply patch it. Other times, they may need to replace the damaged segment of the pipe. When this is needed, the plumber can use a process called trenchless repair. In this process, they can dig up an access point of the pipe and feed a flexible tubing inside of the existing pipe. Then, the flexible tubing expands and bursts the damaged pipe before becoming rigid and replacing the pipe.

Step 4: Testing and Restoring

Once the pipe is repaired, your plumber should perform a complete test of the system to ensure there are no secondary leaks. Only after they are confident that all problems are fixed should they begin to rebury the pipe and restore your property to its original condition. 

If you need main line repair in Sacramento, CA, make sure your plumber follows all of these steps to ensure a reliable fix.

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