Do You Need to Replace Your Pipes? Here's How to Tell

If you're noticing a drop in water pressure, it could be an early warning sign of plumbing problems. Leaky pipes don't give off many warning signs, but if they're relatively new, you may be able to get away with repairing them instead of replacing them. Most pipes are designed to last for decades, so even if they're 20 years old, you should be able to get some life out of them. Galvanized steel pipes, in particular, are known to corrode.

Once corrosion begins, it's only a matter of time before you have to replace your plumbing pipes to allow water to flow freely through them again. As with discolored water, there's a chance that the drop in water pressure in your home could be an indication of a problem in your area. If, for example, there is a problem with a main water pipe on the street, it could cause low water pressure. However, if it seems like there's always a drop in water pressure in your home, it could be your plumbing system's way of telling you that you need to install new plumbing pipes. The old ones may not be cut to provide the water pressure you need.

However, what some people don't know is that lead pipes are still prevalent in many parts of the country. About 10 million homes get water through lead service lines, and some even have lead pipes. Depending on the year your house was built, different materials were probably used for the plumbing system. Most modern systems use brass, copper or PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipes. However, older buildings used cast iron, lead, and galvanized steel. Regardless of the material, each of these plumbing products has a lifespan that you should know before you can assess if it needs an improvement.

Brass, cast iron and galvanized steel have a lifespan of 80 to 100 years, copper lasts 70 to 80 years, and PVC pipes only survive 24 to 50 years. One of the most obvious signs that plumbing needs to be replaced is if the tap water is discolored. If the water that comes out of the faucet is brown, the pipes will need a professional evaluation right away and will likely be replaced. Once you better understand your plumbing materials and their performance expectations, you should also know the common signs of pipe faults and when to replace toilet pipes, leaky faucets, slow drains, and other plumbing accessories. This brown or dark colored water is the result of corrosion in the pipes, which oxidizes as water runs through them. However, there will come a time when you need to replace plumbing pipes instead of repairing them. Take a look at your entire home and determine what materials your pipes are made of depending on the plumbing materials.

Any problem can indicate a simple need for repair or indicate that the pipes are near the end of their useful life. While most of these materials have a long lifespan, it's also important to consider pipe joints, fittings, and other components that connect pipes and fittings that may be faulty and cause leaks, obstructions, and other plumbing problems. Tree roots can also grow and wrap around pipes and eventually tighten the pipe and cause it to burst. A quick way to determine if your pipes are at risk of tree roots entering is to look at any adult mature trees around your property. But you can also consider the possibility that your pipes will corrode from the inside out. Not only are faulty pipes and pipes inconvenient but if left unaddressed they can cause significant and costly damage to property such as serious water damage.

While having quality plumbing fittings and pipes that work indefinitely would be ideal and less annoying depending on the plumbing materials your home has its age the environment and regular maintenance they may need to be replaced. Now that you know the signs that indicate that your home's plumbing needs to be replaced it's crucial that you stay alert and vigilant in case you start to notice them. You could simply have a clogged pipe or your pipes could have leaks or holes that reduce water pressure. Check all pipes for discolored peeling dimples bumps and anything else that seems out of the ordinary.

Periodically check the condition of exposed pipes in your home such as the pipes in the basement around the water heater under kitchen and bathroom sinks and in the utility room. We would be happy to send a knowledgeable and experienced plumber to your home to see if you need to replace a pipe.

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