Are Your Pipes Deteriorating?
Nothing in your home will last forever. When it comes to your plumbing, it’s all about the pipes. Decades of heavy use can corrode, rust, and decay the tubing in the pipes. Unless you start repiping, you’ll get leaks and maybe even a floor of water or raw sewage into your home, costing thousands of dollars in damage to your home and possessions. No one wants a plumbing disaster in their home and as homeowner, it is your job to determine whether that disaster is imminent or well into the future. Assess your plumbing system to see how your pipes are doing.
Know Your Home’s Pipes
The type of plumbing your home has will help determine how long your pipes can last. Review the home inspection report you got when you purchased the house, in order to see what types of pipes you have. You should call a trusted plumber to give you a free plumbing inspection to get the information you need. Your supply lines are likely made from brass, copper, or galvanized steel. Brass and steel will last 80-100 years, while copper will last 70-80 years. Your drain lines will be either cast iron which can last 80-100 years or PVC, which have a life expectancy of 25-40 years. Pipes younger than this guideline sometimes need repiping and pipes older, sometimes won’t. Well-maintained pipes last longer and those affected by other variables may not last as long, but this is a good place to start.
Remove Dangerous Types
There are two types of water supply pipes that you should take out right away once you discover them, no matter how young or old they are. Lead pipes were used in the 1900s’ and can last for 100 years. But they can also place lead in your drinking water causing health hazards. Polybutylene pipes, which were used in the 1970s’ through the 1990s’ are also hazardous since they are easy to break.
Signs Of Trouble
If your home is over 60 years old, look at any exposed pipes for telltale signs. Check for stains, pimples, flaking, discoloration, signs of corrosion, and anything else that doesn’t look right. When you spot irregularities, call a plumber for an inspection. Leaks are always an indication that repairs or repiping is necessary. If you have sporadic leaks, they will start to show up in the whole system and repiping is the best way to go. If the pipes give a brown or yellow colored water, that’s a sign of decay and you should consider repiping as well.
There’s not necessarily a good time to go about repiping, but if you are working on home renovations, the plumbing lines are going to be exposed anyway. Have the professionals start with exposed lines, so that you can can feel safe and secure in your own home.