Do you ever think about how much you use your plumbing? Taking showers, cooking, and cleaning, most people now rely on plumbing systems on a practically constant basis. Yet while pipes can last a long time, the day may come when you’ll need to use whole-home repiping services. Let’s take a look at some situations when it makes sense to re-pipe a home and also some tell-tale signs that you may need to look into replacing your pipes.
The Pipes Are More Than 50 Years Old
As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to look into replacing the piping in a home if the pipes are over 50 years old. This is often considered to be the lifespan of pipes. Of course, there can be some exceptions. Some pipes may start breaking down well before then, and if the failures are widespread, you may want to replace all the pipes just to be safe. In some cases, pipes may last a bit longer as well. Brass and cast iron pipes, for example, can last 70 years or more.
Leaks and Other Issues Are Constant
If you’re suffering a small leak, a plumber may be able to patch it up relatively quickly and easily. It’s possible that the pipe itself was faulty, or it settled wrong, or simply got worn out. If leaks are starting to become a constant, however, and they are occurring in multiple places, it’s possibly because your entire piping system is getting worn out.
It’s also possible that the whole system was damaged by an earthquake, the house settling, or something else. Either way, it’s probably time to cut your losses and replace all the pipes. In the long run, this might save you money compared to constantly having to fix leaks and mitigate damage.
Check Older Homes for Lead Pipes
Once upon a time, lead pipes were quite popular. Now, we know that exposure to lead can have many negative effects on people, especially children. Lead pipes these days are quite rare, but that doesn’t mean that they are non-existent. If you own or buy an older home, it’s wise to make sure that there is no lead piping in the home. If so, it should be replaced as quickly as possible. You’ll want to leave no stone unturned when going through a home with lead pipes.
You should also seek advice if your home has galvanized steel pipes. Some of these pipes are coated with layers of impure zinc that could have lead in it. If so, the zinc layer could release lead into the water. When buying a home, always make sure that you pay attention to what type of piping it has.
Replace Polybutylene Pipes
Polybutylene pipes were a popular choice for interior piping starting in the 1970s and through the 1990s. Unfortunately, these pipes have a high failure rate, and when they break down it can lead to severe and even catastrophic damage. Water can cause an immense amount of damage, and in fact, can even destroy homes. As such, if you have polybutylene pipes, it’s best to replace them as quickly as possible.
Signs That It’s Time to Replace Pipes
Eventually, the pipes in your home or other buildings will become worn out. When this day comes, it’ll be time to replace them. Not sure if you need to replace the pipes in your home yet? There are some common signs to watch out for.
Signs Your Pipes Need to be Replaced
- Rust-colored Water: When pipes are starting to break down, they’ll often contaminate the water. If you’re seeing rust-colored water, it’s probably time to replace the pipes.
- Low Water Pressure: Have you noticed your water pressure dropping? This could be a result of your pipes wearing out.
- Bad-smelling and Tasting Water: If your water starts to develop a bad smell or taste, it could be due to several factors, including worn-out pipes.
If you notice any of the above signs or otherwise think your pipes need to be replaced, you should contact professional plumbers. They can help you determine whether all of your pipes need to be replaced or if another solution might be more appropriate.