Without proper plumbing in your home, you wouldn't have convenient access to clean, drinkable water, and the wastewater from your home couldn't drain away. You owe a lot to your plumbing, so you should do your best to keep the pipes in good repair.
Of course, while you may take care to keep the drains clear and the water flowing freely, your pipes will still need to be replaced eventually. But how can you know when your pipes need to be replaced?
1. Discolored Water
When you turn on the tap to fill a glass of water, wash the dishes, or take a shower, you expect the water to flow out crystal clear. Occasionally, if the city works on the main water lines, slightly colored water may spout from the faucet. This minor and infrequent discoloration isn't anything to worry about.
However, if the water consistently looks brown, yellow, red, or orange, your pipes need replacing. This discoloration results from rusted and corroded pipes. As the pipes deteriorate, the rusted bits of metal chip off, flow into your water supply, and color the water. The more the pipes break down, the higher your risk for leaks or burst pipes-and the more costly the repairs.
2. Visible CorrosionMost of the piping in your home is buried under the foundation, beneath the floors, or behind the walls, so you won't often be able to see any visible damage or wear and tear. If you have exposed piping in your home, like the visible pipes in your basement, you can more easily detect corrosion and other issues like flaking, discolored pipes, bumps on the pipes, and dimpling.
If the exposed piping is corroded, the covered pipes in your building have more than likely sustained the same damage and need replacing as soon as possible.
3. Consistently Clogging PipesAs previously mentioned, your pipes should freely drain water away from your home. Occasionally, you'll experience a minor clog, but if you notice more frequent clogs, you may have a larger issue with your pipes.
Consistently clogged drains often mean you have a clog deep within the pipe itself. Or, tree roots could have penetrated the piping material and created a blockage. A clog could also have formed if sediment builds up in the piping. No matter the cause for the clog, you'll need to have the issue solved immediately.
However, if you've had a plumbing expert repair clogged drains and pipes multiple times within a short time frame but you still experience clogs, you should just replace your pipes altogether.
4. Aged Pipes
As with all appliances, siding, roofing materials, and other home components, your home's pipes have an age limit. Brass, cast iron, and galvanized steel pipes last between 80 and 100 years. Copper pipes last between 70 and 80 years, and PVC pipes can last up to 40 years if properly cared for. Note that the lifespans mentioned in this section can vary if high water pressure stresses the pipes or the pipes contain high levels of hard water deposits.
If your pipes are older than their projected lifespan, replace them as soon as you can. If you aren't sure when your pipes were installed, look at the inspection reports or have a professional inspect them.
5. Frequent Leaks
Leaks are perhaps the most common plumbing issue many property owners face. But this small annoyance can also indicate a much larger issue with your pipes. If you notice frequent leaks in your pipes, ask a plumbing professional if replacement is the best option. Sometimes, a small leak can be patched or repaired. Other times, a visible leak is just a small symptom of a larger leak deeper within the pipeline.
If you don't see any visible leaks, look for dark, discolored patches near any water fixtures or on your walls, floors, or ceilings.
You can also look to your water bill to determine if your pipes are leaking consistently. If your building's water usage has increased drastically, you most likely have a leak somewhere. Replacing the pipes will solve all of these issues.
Rely on the Professionals at C.B. Lucas Heating & Air ConditioningIf you notice any of the signs mentioned above, get in touch with our plumbing experts. When we visit your home, we will inspect your piping and help you determine the best replacement option for your home.
While our name says we work with heating and air conditioning, we pride ourselves in being experts in plumbing woes, too. We'll diagnose the source of your plumbing issue so you can experience clear, flowing water when you need it most.