How to Choose the Right Contractor for Residential Pipeline Repair

Living with a pipeline on or near your property can be challenging. It helps to be informed and aware of the risks and responsibilities. Fortunately, there is plenty of information available. Here are some tips to help you make the best choices.  

Licensed and Insured

It’s common to come across the phrase “licensed and insured” in the small print of advertisements, flyers, or commercials for pipelining in San Diego. It is important to understand what these terms mean fully. Having insurance coverage for water line repair work is crucial. It’s a legal requirement in most states and a safety issue. If a water line contractor lacks the proper insurance, a worker gets injured, or your property is damaged, you could be liable.

During the interview, ask a potential contractor what type of insurance they have and check with your state contracting board to ensure the coverage is valid. You should also make sure the contractor is bonded. If the contractor fails to pay subcontractors or suppliers, causing mechanics liens to be filed, this will protect your project. 

Another important consideration is whether the contractor is licensed to repair sewer and water lines. Ask the company to provide you with a copy of their license and verify that it is current. It is also helpful to find out if the contractor will be handling your work directly or if they will be sending subcontractors. If subcontractors are used, requesting a list of previous projects and references is a good idea to get an idea of the level of work that will be performed on your job.

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Look for a contractor with a good reputation for customer service and reliability. It’s important to ask for references and check online reviews from past clients to learn more about their experience with the company. Also, be sure to ask about the guarantee offered by the contractor on both products and artistry. It should cover a few years, but preferably longer. Some contractors provide guarantees for up to a decade. Look for those who offer trenchless pipe repair methods, like pipe bursting and pipe lining, which avoid digging up landscaping or sidewalks.


A faulty pipeline can do extensive damage to your property if left unrepaired. This is why choosing a contractor with experience repairing buried pipes and preventing further damage is important. A good way to assess a potential contractor’s expertise is by checking their website for testimonials and other relevant information.

To repair a pipeline, the operator must first identify the location of the damage. They must also obtain permits, notify property owners, prepare a dig plan, and let contracts to outside firms as needed. Once they’ve identified the repair site, they must excavate and expose the pipe to examine the general condition of the pipeline coating. If they find a defect or anomaly, they must perform an in-line assessment (such as an ultrasonic test, a dye penetrant or magnetic particle test, or an etch) and collect dimensional data of the anomaly.

Pipeline CCTV also plays an important role in the rehabilitation process of a defective pipeline. This video footage helps the diagnostics team produce a comprehensive assessment report detailing the channel’s current state before renovation work begins and to prove a successful rehabilitation.

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Cost is among the most important considerations in selecting a residential pipeline repair contractor. A higher price may be worth it if the contractor is more experienced, uses better materials, and keeps to a timeline. A lower price, on the other hand, could be a red flag. Some contractors are known to cut corners, and you may pay more in the long run.

It’s also a good idea to ask each contractor for local references and call them. Ask about their concerns about their experience working with the contractor and whether they were satisfied with the job. Find out about the contractor’s billing practices and if they use subcontractors. A reputable plumber should be more than happy to provide this information.

You should also find out about the company’s history and see if they have had any name changes. Contractors who change their names often are untrustworthy and may need a solid track record in your area.

The cost of repairing residential pipes can vary depending on the location, condition of the lateral, and chosen repair method. Typically, the excavation and backfill portions of the project will be more expensive than the actual repair. However, the financial incentives that are offered through the Pipe Check program can help offset some of these costs.