Is it Time to Upgrade Your Home’s Plumbing?
Plumbing emergencies can ruin your day, blow your budget and worse. So if you’re having too many of them, it may be time to look into a plumbing upgrade. Here are some tips that will help you decide if it’s time to replace aging plumbing.
Checking the Pipes
There is no pat formula for determining when to replace pipes. A lot will depend on the age of the pipes and what they are made of. Pipes made of copper, brass or galvanized steel (actually these are iron, with a zinc coating) may last anywhere from 70 to 100 years. If your pipes are at least 60 years old, it’s time to check them annually for signs of dimpling, cracks, leaks and corrosion.
If you have lead or galvanized steel pipes, they should be replaced to prevent lead poisoning. Polybutylene (PB) pipes, which were popular in the 1970s to 1990s, should also be replaced because it breaks easily.
Most plumbing used to involve cast-iron drains and brass supply pipes. Nowadays, plumbers mostly install PVC plastic, flexible cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) and copper.
Signs of Deteriorating Pipes
If your home’s water is consistently brown or discolored, it may be from rust in the pipes and could mean they are corroding and deteriorating. Mineral deposits from this level of corrosion could lead to blockages, and a risk for greater water damage from leaks.
Low water pressure is another problem sign. You may have pinholes or larger cracks in the lines. Water leaking behind walls and under floors can cause drywall and wood rot, promote mold and cause structural damage from flooding. The foundation may also be adversely affected by leaking water.
In any plumbing upgrade, it’s not just materials that count. Your plumber should design a properly sized system, with a properly sloped drain and well-anchored pipes.
At Sobieski Services, our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about a plumbing upgrade and other home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.