If your house is older, you may be thinking about when you should replace your pipes. If you continuously have to deal with leaks that seem to sprout from the same area, or you keep finding odd odors throughout your home for no apparent reason, it may be time to look at pipe repair or even replacement.
Here are some tips on how to know when your pipes need to be replaced:
Know when your pipes are most likely to give out
First, you should determine what your home's pipes are made out of and see how long they are purported to last. Pipes that are made out of copper should be good for around 70 to 80 years, whereas brass or galvanized steel don’t have a specific life expectancy they have the potential for a long vitality.
However, if your home has galvanized steel pipes, that may be a problem in itself. Most homes built prior to the 1960s used galvanized steel, and with these older pipes, it's easier for corrosion to build up on their inside walls, leading to lower water pressure and quality issues. Hot water especially can cause this process to accelerate.
If your home has galvanized steel pipes, you may want to think about replacing them with either copper or plastic. A professional plumber will be able to help you determine which would be the best fit for your home.
Keep an eye on your plumbing
If your home is more than 60 years old, you should be doing routine checks of the plumbing just to ensure corrosion isn't building up in your system. Be sure to watch for discoloration, stains, dimpling or flaking – these are all signs of corrosion. In addition, you could squeeze yourself into your home's crawl space in order to get a better look at the pipes with your own two eyes. Check under the sink to get some understanding of the state of them, as well. If you do find anything unseemly, you may want to bring in an expert.
There is a common theme here: If you can't reach the pipes in question or are unsure how to proceed with your pipe replacement, it's a great idea to call a plumbing professional. Getting an assessment from your local plumber is a good first step to figuring out where to begin.
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