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Some signs that you need immediate plumbing repair are obvious – you’re standing in a pool of water looking at a broken pipe. Others, however, are a little bit more subtle but can cause just as much damage left unchecked. Like any part of your house, your plumbing needs regular care, inspections, maintenance, and cleaning from a professional plumbing company in order to keep working smoothly. Even with the best care, though, pipes, water heaters, bathroom porcelain, and sinks eventually wear out. Here are a few indicators that you need your local bluefrog Plumbing + Drain plumbing company to replace your plumbing, rather than simply calling in a simple fix.
Signs You Need Plumbing Replacement
While many newer homes and offices have PVC piping for much of their plumbing, older homes have a variety of piping materials, generally, copper, galvanized steel, and even lead. Cast iron is a common material in drain lines. Over time, metal pipes may become corroded and worn, even with the best preventative maintenance.
If you have an older home or commercial building, when you should replace your plumbing depends on the materials it’s made from.
- Copper: This has become a standard material for pipes containing the water coming into your house. Copper can resist corrosion and is very durable, and with care, can last anywhere from 50 to 75 years. However, one thing to remember with copper piping is that too low or too high pH levels can speed corrosion.
- Galvanized steel: These are created from melted steel galvanized with a zinc coating, protecting the steel from elements in the water. Over time, however, the zinc coating will wear off, and expose the underlying steel. Steel, unfortunately, corrodes when it meets water or air, and lead to problems with the quality of your water. With a good coating, galvanized steel can last up to 50 years, although once corrosion sets in, pipe damage follows quickly.
- Lead: The problem with lead pipes is that the material of the pipes seeps into the water flowing through them. So, while the lead itself may be quite durable, traces of the element in the water can cause lead poisoning. If your plumbing company discovers lead pipes in your home, they’ll need to be replaced immediately. Your family and pets should be checked by a physician for lead contamination.
- Cast Iron: This has been the primary material for drain lines for many decades. It’s still prevalent in older homes, due to the durability and ability to resist corrosion. Generally, it won’t need to be replaced unless it actually breaks, or unless you’re replacing the plumbing in your house completely.
- PVC: With a lifespan of 50 to 100 years, PVC piping isn’t susceptible to corrosion and generally won’t break down over time. Generally, the only items you need to replace PVC piping is if it breaks, or if excessive use of chemical drain cleaner has created worn, thin spots in the pipes.
When to Replace Your Pipes Immediately
If you’ve lived in your home for many years and can’t remember if you’ve had the plumbing replaced, or if you aren’t sure what kind of material you have, an inspection by your local plumbing company can help you determine if there’s corrosion anywhere, if the lining for your metal pips is wearing off, or if it’s time for a whole-home plumbing replacement.
However, there are other indicators that you need to replace your plumbing immediately, no matter what the pipes are made out of:
- Your pipes are leaking. While a burst pipe may be reparable with an emergency visit from your plumbing company, leaking pipes throughout the house indicate a bigger problem. Sometimes it’s obvious – you can see visible water in the under-sink cabinets. Other signs aren’t as obvious. Wet spots in the ceiling or walls are one indicator, and the formation of mold and mildew another one. The area in between your walls is a prime place for mold and mildew to form, so if you begin to smell it, call a plumbing company immediately.
- Low water pressure. If you notice that you aren’t getting the right stream of water from your shower or faucets, it could indicate corrosion. As pipes corrode, the material sloughs off and can collect in the piping system, especially at bends or connection points.
- You can see signs of corrosion. Galvanized steel, for example, doesn’t just corrode on the inside, but can corrode on the outside as well. Check the pipes under your sinks, and if you see signs of discoloration or flaking off of the material, this indicates corrosion and therefore a replacement.
- Rusty or cloudy water. The corroded material from metal pipes don’t just collect in the piping system, but also lets rut particles and other debris into the water, causing it to have a cloudy or darker colored appearance. This is a sign that you need an immediate inspection and replacement.
What Can I Expect from a Plumbing Replacement?
The idea of replacing all the pipes in their home can be daunting for many homeowners, but with bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, you know you’re in the hands of the right plumbing company. You can expect the re-piping of your home to last about three to five days, depending on the size of the house and its age. A good plumbing company, like bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, will treat your home as if it were their own, minimizing the invasiveness of the repairs and thoroughly cleaning up themes when finished.
You’ll probably not be able to stay in the house when the plumbing replacement is going on, as the water will be shut off, so make sure to arrange somewhere else for your family and pets to stay. Each job is different, so the costs for each will vary.
Choose bluefrog Plumbing + Drain for Your Plumbing Replacement!
Your local bluefrog Plumbing + Drain plumbing company can repair or replace any type of plumbing, from pipes to shower – everything including the kitchen sink! Give us a call or visit us online to find the bluefrog Plumbing + Drain nearest you – and don’t put off that plumbing replacement any longer!