The plumbing is one of the most important and durable systems in your home. However, nothing lasts forever, and the pipes in your house are prone to regular tear and damage. Unless maintained and replaced on time, they can cause quite some trouble in every household. Damaged pipes will leak eventually, leading to costly floods of water or raw sewage. The water can damage your property and belongings to such a degree that you might have to spend thousands of dollars on repairs and remodeling.
To avoid this from happening you should spend some extra time and efforts on regular piping inspection, repair, and replacement. Over the years, pipes tend to corrode, rust, and decay, which makes regular maintenance essential. The only tricky thing is knowing what to look for when checking the plumbing system for damages and leaks. That’s why we made a list of tips on how to assess your plumbing system so you can follow it and determine when it’s time for repair and replacement.
Why should I replace plumbing?
The answer to the question is simple – because properly-working plumbing is cost-efficient and beneficial to your entire home. Needless to say, the plumbing system is crucial for having clean, drinkable water in the house. Without it, you can’t do simple daily activities such as drink a glass of water, take a shower, use a washing machine, and much more. But let’s take a look at some other less obvious reasons for replacing your plumbing:
- Lower Bills and Repair Costs
Higher water bills are the first sign of faulty plumbing in your home. Leaks can cause high water consumption and be hard on your pocketbook. Therefore, resolving leaks and other similar damages turns out to be directly beneficial for the budget.
- Longer Plumbing Lifespan
There’s no guarantee that any of the repairs you perform on the plumbing system will get it back to life after severe damage. Patching the pipes might be like plugging holes in a very flimsy boat – useless in the long run. When you replace your plumbing, on the other hand, you can be sure that the pipes will work perfectly for a long time.
In the end, full plumbing replacement is very convenient. It resolves the need for frequent repairs and gives an extra piece of mind for homeowners. Once you get the system installed, you won’t have to bother with low pressure, water damage, or any similar issue for a while.
When should I replace plumbing?
Determining when to replace your plumbing system can sometimes be quite tricky. Luckily, we can give you some guidance for performing a checkup on your own. Here are the signs it’s time to replace your plumbing:
Low Water Pressure
If you notice a decrease in your water pressure, you might have a plumbing issue somewhere in the system. The low water pressure doesn’t always require a full plumbing replacement, which is why you need to run a checkup on different parts of the system. Sometimes, the water heater can malfunction and cause improper plumbing performance. This can be fixed easily and at a low cost.
However, the change in pressure can also indicate a leaky pipe. The problem can arise for a wide range of reasons, from clogs to regular wear. If the damage is too severe and can get fixed with repairs, you’ll need to replace your plumbing. That will help you avoid further water damage and excessive leaks.
Clogged or Slow Drains
Clogged or slow drains make one of the most annoying plumbing issues in every home. Is there anything more bothersome than a toilet that won’t flush or a sink that backs up water? The good thing is – clogged or slow drains can be easily restored in regular condition. You only need a plunger or a chemical cleaner. These two options work in most light to medium-size issues, and you’ll find them in almost every store around the corner.
However, if the trick doesn’t work and your vents are damaged or blocked completely, you might need to hire a plumbing professional. A plumber will be able to detect the root of the problem and resolve it without much effort.
Discolored water raises a serious red flag that something is wrong in the plumbing system. When the water is orange, red, or yellow, you might be facing buildups of rust and corrosion inside the pipes. Blue or green-colored water indicates the presence of brass or copper in the fittings. Green and black water can indicate some growth in the system, which is dangerous for human health.
Overall, if you notice any water discoloration, make sure to replace your plumbing. This is a sign of damage and buildups in the pipes, and the issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible. Otherwise, you’ll be drinking contaminated water that poses a serious risk to your health.
If you have an open leak somewhere in the plumbing system, you shouldn’t have trouble detecting it. When pipes leak, they leave noticeable wet spots on the floors, walls, or ceilings in the house. The root of the problem is usually straight behind a puddle of water and can be fixed by replacing that particular pipe.
The problem arises when pipes hidden from the eye get damaged and start leaking. Pipes that run in basements, behind cabinets and other remote places can be challenging to inspect, much less detect the leak. That’s why you have to check the pressure and backed-up drains every once in a while.
Faucets can also wear out and cause leaks, but they usually don’t cause much harm and are easier to fix. In most cases, you can just tighten a gasket to stop the leak. Even if that doesn’t work and you have to repair and replace the faucets, the process is quite easy and inexpensive. It’s much simpler than working on pipes and can even improve the look of your interior.
Wear and Deterioration
Have you ever wondered how long do water pipes last? Yes, they are super durable, but how much exactly? Most people don’t know that the overall durability of the plumbing mostly depends on the lifespan of the pipes. They are the frame that holds everything together and allows for transporting and delivering water. Therefore, the quality of materials used for pipe construction determines the lifespan of the entire system, and here are some of them:
- Copper: Last for 50 years and up
- Brass: Reliable and medium life expectancy of 40 to 45 years
- Cast Iron: Impressive 75 to 100 years lifespan
- Galvanized Steel: Only 20 to 50 years with proper care
- PVC pipes: Most durable ones and can last indefinitely
Remember that we provided a list of general lifespan expectancy. Things can vary a lot, especially depending on the use and built quality. Not all pipes need to be replaced after the expiration date. Some can last for way longer when properly maintained, and others can deteriorate quicker because of the poor maintenance. Also, keep in mind that supply pipes are more prone to damage and need more care. They are heavily used every day and can cause a lot of damage when they leak.
Other Things to Consider
No matter if you have a new or an old house, you should make an annual ritual of checking pipes indoors and outdoors. It’s a simple action that won’t take too much of your free time yet might save quite some money in the long run. When detected on time, most plumbing issues are easy to resolve and turn out to be inexpensive.
Therefore, check the plumbing every once in a while and keep track of changes or irregularities. It will help you determine the gravity of the situation and decide whether you need to replace your plumbing or not. Along with the already stated issues, other signs could warn you about potential problems and the need to replace your plumbing. Stains on the pipes, discoloration, dimpling, or flaking are all the symptoms of a damaged system. Even the smallest leaks in pipe joints or faucets might be a sign of an underlying, bigger problem.
When to Contact Your Plumber
If you have difficulties with examining, repairing, and replacing your plumbing, it might be time to call professionals. A team of experienced plumbers can run a full inspection on the plumbing system in your house, detect potential issues, and resolve them on the spot. Plumbers will also advise you on proper actions depending on the situation, so you can do what’s best for your home.
In case you have any additional questions about replacing your plumbing, don’t hesitate to contact us. Leak Science is always there for you! Our team has experience in all kinds of plumbing issues, both indoors and outdoors, and covers the entire Phoenix area. We are here to help you with your doubts and problems, and if necessary, replace your plumbing adequately.