This is something we tend to ignore, but updating your plumbing is essential to properly maintain your house. When you notice these 5 signs, replace your pipes to keep your house healthy.
In the U.S., the average family household uses 300 gallons of water every day. We use this water to drink, cook, shower, and do laundry at home.
We’re so used to having access to clean, running water that we take it for granted. Until a pipe bursts or a toilet overflows, that is.
The good news is, once you know the signs you need plumbing replacement, you can prevent many of these frustrating and expensive mishaps.
Read on to learn some expert tips from Gem Plumbing on why updating your plumbing is so important and how to spot the warning signs you’re in need of repairs.
The Parts of a Home Plumbing System
Put simply, your plumbing system brings fresh water into your home and sends contaminated water out. That’s why you have two different systems in your house—fresh water supply lines and drain lines.
The supply pipes carry water into your home from the water main in the street or a well. The water is pressurized which is what sends it to your faucets, toilets, and appliances.
Once you’ve used the water, the drainage system carries it to the sewer line and septic system. All the drains in your home, from the sink drain to the toilet, all connect to the drainage system and travel to the sewer.
Why Is Plumbing Replacement Important?
Whether you’re replacing your entire plumbing system or just part of it, it’s a critical part of protecting your water supply. If you have an older home that still has its original plumbing, your pipes could be releasing harmful substances into your water.
Updating your plumbing can also protect the value of your home. If you decide to sell, new pipes won’t necessarily add value, but home buyers might put down an offer if they know the house is up to date.
Plus, staying on top of repairs can prevent expensive water damage from leaking pipes. It can also make your plumbing system more efficient and save you money on your water bill.
Below are some warning signs you might need to think about updating your plumbing.
1. Your Home Has Low Water Pressure
There are several reasons why you might have low water pressure in your home. If it’s only a problem with one faucet, you might just need to unclog the aerator.
If there’s low water pressure in your entire house, it could be a temporary issue with your city’s water supply, your main shutoff valve might not be open all the way, or your water softener might be going bad.
If you don’t have any of those problems, it’s probably an issue with your plumbing and it’s time to think about updating your plumbing. Since water moves throughout your home in pressurized pipes, it can mean there’s a crack in a pipe. If the pipes aren’t air-tight, the pressure escapes and you’ll have low water pressure.
Your supply lines could also have build-up. Over time, the natural minerals can build up and make the pipe narrower, much like a clogged artery. The only way to get water flowing freely again is to replace the pipe.
2. Your Water Looks Discolored
If your water looks brown, rusty, or green, that’s a sign you might have corroding pipes. That said, it can also point to an issue with your water heater. If sediment builds up inside your water heater tank, it can make your water look rusty.
You or your plumber can drain your water heater to see if that fixes the problem. If it doesn’t, it’s most likely an issue with your pipes.
Rusty water isn’t necessarily harmful to your health, but it can stain your sink, bathtub, and laundry. Plus, the water won’t taste good to drink.
No matter the cause, it’s important to call a plumber and discuss updating your plumbing when you have discolored water. They will know what problems to look for and how to fix it. If you’re not sure who to hire, look online for plumbing company reviews to find great service near you.
3. You Have Slow Drains or Frequent Clogs
It’s normal to have a clogged toilet or shower drain every now and then. Most of the time, you can clear the clog with a toilet plunger or a drain snake.
But, if you’re dealing with more clogs than normal, there may be an issue with your pipes. It can also point to a pipe problem if you can’t unclog it with a plunger or snake.
If you have galvanized steel drain lines, they might be corroded or have mineral build-up and then you’ll know that it’s time to start updating your plumbing. Your plumber might suggest upgrading to PVC pipes since they last a very long time and they don’t corrode.
4. You Have Lead or Polybutylene Pipes
Another reason you might need to think about updating your plumbing is if you have lead or polybutylene pipes. These materials can pose risks to your health and the safety of your home.
Lead pipes are common in homes built in the early 1900s. The material can last at least 100 years, but as they age they can put lead into your drinking water. Lead can lead to kidney and brain damage over time.
If your pipes look dull gray, you might have lead pipes. You can take a key to brush the surface of the pipe. If it scratches easily, you probably have lead pipes and should replace them as soon as possible.
Polybutylene is a type of gray plastic pipe that was popular between the 1970s and the 1990s. It’s not harmful to your health, but it can break down from the inside out. They can burst suddenly, so you should get them replaced if you have them in your home.
5. You Notice Cracks, Dimples, Flaking, or Stains on Your Pipes
These are all signs of corrosion and damage. It’s a good idea to look at the exposed pipes in your home every few months. If you notice any of these signs, call a plumber.
Remember that if they look corroded on the outside, it’s probably much worse on the inside. It’s important to get your pipes replaced before they burst or crack.
Updating Your Plumbing System Today
Running water makes our home lives convenient and comfortable. It lets us enjoy warm showers, clean drinking water, and clean laundry. If you think you need plumbing replacement, call a plumbing service right away.
Looking for more ways to turn your home into a comforting safe haven? Check out our articles on home life for more inspiration and be sure to check out Royal Flush Plumbing & Heating if you are local to northern Massachusetts and want to start updating your plumbing.