Cleveland’s Water Line Replacement Program – is it worth it?

Every so often, a customer will ask if the water line replacement program offered by the Cleveland Division of Water is worth enrollment.  It certainly sounds like a good idea, and it’s relatively inexpensive at $3.25 per month.  But the fine print tells another story, and includes a few red flags.  Here are a few reasons why the water line replacement program isn’t worth your money:

  • The program doesn’t cover water lines that are clogged, leaking or damaged before enrollment.  If you suspect that your water line needs replaced, don’t assume that enrolling in the program is an easy fix to your problem.  Preexisting damage isn’t covered.
  • The program doesn’t cover damage caused by third parties, natural disasters or other insurable causes.  Double check with an attorney, but this type of clause pretty much limits any responsibility on the program to make repairs.
  • Although not extremely common, properties that are more than 500 feet from the street are not covered – an easy way for them to get out of completing a large job.
  • Water lines installed for newer homes rarely need replaced.  Homes built after 1960 have copper K piping that is much more durable than lead or galvanized pipe.  In many cases, this type of insurance just isn’t needed.
  • Although it appears you’d be supporting the Cleveland Division of Water, in reality you won’t be.  The services are offered by a third-party company called Dominion Products and Services.
  • The one item not covered in the fine print is who is hired to complete the work.  If you think you can hire the contractor of your choice, think again.  The program will send a contractor to complete the repairs (if you’re eligible) and there is almost no way for you to know who will be doing the work.

While $3.25 per month isn’t a lot, why not hold on to your money.  If you do need water line repairs, hire a licensed plumber who has plenty of experience completing this type of work.

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