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If your plumbing system is causing issues, it can be hard to know whether to repair or replace it. Plumbing is designed to be durable, so you can expect your pipes to last for 20 years or longer with proper care. However, at some stage, you will probably need to replace some or all of your plumbing system. Here are the most important signs that it’s time for new pipes.
1. Corroded pipes
Over time, your pipes can become corroded, leading to leaks or even flooding. This could cause serious structural damage to your home. Galvanized steel pipes are particularly prone to this problem, and you should think about replacing them sooner rather than later if corrosion takes hold. If you suspect that your pipes are corroded, book a trusted plumber for a plumbing inspection.
2. Low water pressure
There’s nothing worse than turning on the shower to find that the water trickles out too slowly. Sometimes, low water pressure is caused by a temporary, local issue, such as a problem with the water main.
However, if your neighbors’ water pressure is fine and yours is persistently low, this is a tell-tale sign that you need to call a professional. Often, the only way to permanently resolve low water pressure is to upgrade your plumbing.
3. Cracked pipes
A cracked pipe is a plumbing emergency. Water will seep quickly into your home, causing wet patches on your walls, floors, or ceiling. You may even see water gushing from the damaged area. Never ignore the signs of a cracked pipe, or it could lead to serious structural damage.
You shouldn’t attempt to plug a cracked pipe yourself as you’ll need to have the faulty part replaced. Instead, call a plumber to remove and replace the cracked pipe and get your system up and running again.
4. Leaking pipes
Unlike cracked pipes, smaller leaks may be hard to notice. If you hear trickling water, notice damp areas in your home or your water bills rise without explanation, this could indicate a plumbing leak somewhere in your home. The solution depends on whether the pipe itself is leaking or there’s a loose connection. A plumber may be able to repair smaller plumbing leaks. However, in some situations, they might recommend replacing part of your system to solve the problem.
5. Murky water
Generally, water should flow clear from your faucets. Slightly cloudy water isn’t usually a cause for concern as long as it resolves when you let the water run. However, reddish, brownish, or black-flecked water is a sign of a problem with your plumbing. Often, it’s caused by corrosion inside the pipes.
If your water is discolored, call a plumber right away. You shouldn’t drink or wash in the water until the professional has assessed and resolved the issue. It may be as simple as cleaning your pipes thoroughly. However, discolored water is often a sign that your plumbing needs to be replaced.
6. Lead plumbing
Nowadays, it’s well-known that lead is hazardous to human health. Frequent exposure can cause learning and growth difficulties in children and kidney and fertility issues for adults. However, many San Antonio, TX homeowners don’t realize that their plumbing systems may still contain lead components.
If you live in a new-build or have a relatively new plumbing system, lead exposure won’t be an issue for you. However, if you have an older property, it’s worth finding out whether there’s any lead in your plumbing system. An expert plumber can inspect your system for you and replace any lead sections with a safe material.
7. Old system
If you have a PVC plumbing system, you can expect it to last for a very long time. However, older metal plumbing systems will eventually need replacing.
Galvanized steel and brass pipes generally last up to 50 years, although they may need to be replaced sooner than this. Copper pipes last upwards of 50 years, while cast-iron pipes are more durable with a lifespan of 75-100 years.
Many people are unaware of what type of pipes they have in their homes. If you’re unsure, you can ask a plumber to take a look at your system and tell you what kind you have. This should give you a rough idea of how soon you’ll need to replace it so you can prepare.
How Can I Avoid Replacing my Plumbing?
Replacing your pipes is inconvenient and can be expensive. So, it’s understandable if you want to put it off for as long as possible. While it’s inevitable that you’ll need to replace metal plumbing systems at some points, there are steps you can take to increase their lifespan. These tips are worth following even if you have more durable PVC piping.
Try to avoid flushing food and grease down the sink as this can lead to blocked, cracked, and leaking pipes. Never flush anything down the toilet that isn’t human waste or toilet tissue. Flushed sanitary items and other materials such as cotton wool are a major cause of plumbing emergencies.
Booking a plumber to perform regular drain cleaning can also help to prevent problems developing in your plumbing such as clogs and corrosion. If you detect a problem such as a leak, call a plumber to resolve it right away. This can stop it from turning into a more serious issue that may then require you to replace your plumbing.
Call a Trusted Plumber
If you’re concerned that your plumbing may need to be replaced, the friendly team at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio, TX are here to help. Our professionals can assess your system to help you decide whether to repair or replace your pipes. We can also perform all aspects of plumbing maintenance to keep your system in good condition for as long as possible.