If any portion of the pluming in your home fails, it can cause a major damage to your property and furniture. Pipe connections and piping often fails because of age, poor maintenance, major changes in temperature, poor-quality installations or faulty components. The fact that the piping in a home is concealed behind walls or beneath concrete makes it hard to identify a problem in the pipes.
Fortunately, there are a few telltale signs that can help you determine if the plumbing pipes in your home need to be replaced. These signs are discussed below.
Your Pipes are Old
If your home was built a long time ago, chances are that different materials were used for the pipes. In most modern plumbing systems, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), copper or brass pipes are used. However, in plumbing systems of older buildings, lead, galvanized steel or cast iron were used as piping materials. Different piping materials have different life expectancies and you should know about those life expectancies of various pipes to gauge whether your home’s plumbing pipes need to be replaced.
PVC piping lasts indefinitely, galvanized steel pipes last for 20 to 50 years, cast iron pipes last for 75 to 100 years, brass pipes last for 40 to 45 years and copper pipes last for more than 50 years. While it is important to consider the life-expectancy of the material of the pipes, you should also consider the fittings, joints and mechanical components which are used to connect the plumbing system with household fixtures. Faulty or aged fixtures or connections can cause leaks, blockages and backups.
Discolored water coming from your tap is definitely not a good thing. This dark or brown colored water is the direct result of corrosion in the plumbing pipes. If you don’t treat these pipes, mineral deposits can build up and clog the pipes. When pipes stay clogged, pressure builds up inside them. The end result of this continuous pressure is that the pipes burst, resulting in catastrophic damage. If discolored water is coming from your taps, you should immediately get your pipes checked.
If low water pressure is an issue in your home, it will be difficult to determine the exact cause of the problem. There could be a clog in the plumbing or there be leaks in the pipes that are affecting the water pressure. You should call a plumber to determine the exact cause of the problem.
Leaks from exposed piping and fixtures are obvious, but you cannot spot the leaks in pipes hidden behind the walls or beneath the concrete. Signs of a leaked plumbing pipe in such cases might be slow running toilets or tubs, stains on walls or ceiling and slow running faucets. These leaks may indicate clogs, corrosion or piping damage and must be addressed promptly to avoid major plumbing problems in the future.
Exposed Pipes are in Poor Condition
If your home is older, there may be exposed pipes somewhere. Typically, piping runs through the basement so by looking at the exposed pipes in the basement, you can get an idea about the overall condition of your plumbing pipes. If the exposed pipes are in poor condition, it means that other pipes that are hidden behind the walls are also damaged and need to be replaced.
The Best Time for Pipe Replacement
If your pipes are beyond their life expectancy, you are getting discolored water from the pipes, you are facing problems of leaks or low water pressure or the exposed pipes in your home are in poor condition, you should consider getting your plumbing pipes replaced.
The best time for replacing the plumbing pipes of your building is when you are renovating. If you are demolishing partitions and walls, pipes will be exposed; therefore, the plumber can replace them easily. If you are only renovating one area of your home like a bathroom or kitchen, you can inspect the plumbing pipes of that area and have them replaced as the floors and walls are exposed. If you don’t plan to renovate, you should at least consider replacing the plumbing pipes in your building that can be easily accessed by the plumber without demolition.
Weigh the Costs and Risks
Replacing all your home’s plumbing pipes is a major expense and you can’t just jump into such a large project before considering all the aspects. However, as you might have guessed from reading the warning signs mentioned above, if you don’t fix your plumbing pipes, you can face serious health and safety issues.
If your home is very old and lead pipes were used in it, you shouldn’t wait to have those pipes replaced. Lead pipes release compounds that can cause major health problems. Other types of plumbing pipes like polybutylene are prone to breakage and leaks. Replacing these plumbing pipes is necessary. If you are unsure about the type of material that is used in your plumbing pipes, you should call a professional plumber to check your pipes and determine the material that was used in those pipes. The plumber will determine whether the problems you are experiencing with your plumbing system demand replacement of the pipes or simply need a few repairs. This will save you from spending your valuable dollars in a plumbing system replacement that is not required.
At Mesa Plumbing Company, our qualified and trained plumbing professionals can evaluate the plumbing pipes of your home or commercial building to determine if they need to be replaced. If the pipes need to be replaced, our plumbers will provide you a cost estimate for the replacement project. If only minor repairs need to be made on your plumbing system, our plumbers will complete the repairs to ensure that your plumbing system runs efficiently and you remain safe from experiencing a major plumbing problem in the future.
To hire our plumber, call us at (480) 832-1660.