Even if you take the best care possible of your home and your plumbing, nothing is going to last forever. Your pipes are going to get used quite a bit and will need to be repaired. Over the years, the tubing can corrode, rust, and start to decay. Unless you take the time to work with a professional to replace the plumbing, you are going to end up with leaks. Finding these as soon as possible will help keep a flood of water, or sores, raw sewage, from getting into your home and causing thousands of dollars of damage to everything that is there.
Being prepared for when the plumbing needs to be replaced will help you save up for it and not have it be a big surprise. The cost can be higher, with the cost of replacing the pipes in a 1500 square foot, two bathroom home being somewhere between $4000 and $10,000. It also requires cutting through walls and floors, so most homeowners want to put the work off as long as possible.
So, how do you assess the current plumbing system in your home to make sure that you get it done on time, but not too early? Some of the steps that you can take includes:
Know Your Pipes
The first thing to consider is the type of plumbing that is in your home. The type will help determine how long it can last. If you built the home, then you probably already know this, but if you bought it from someone else, then take a look at the inspection report to see what is there. You can even hire a trusted plumber to come and take a look if you would like a bit more guarantee on this one.
First, we can look at the supply pipes. These are under the most pressure in the home, so they are more likely to break first and cause some water damage. If. You have brass supply pipes, they last between 80 to 100 years, copper is between 70 to 80 years, and galvanized steel will be between 80 to 100 years. If it is getting close to this amount of time since the pipes were replaced, then you may need to talk to a professional plumber.
Then there are the drain lines. These are made out of different types of materials as well depending on the age of the home or how long it has been since the plumbing was done in the home. If you have cast iron on these, they can last between 80 to 100 years. Polyvinyl chloride is becoming more common, but these only last 25 to 40 years.
If you have certain types of piping material in your home, then you need to replace them as soon as possible, even if they are nowhere near their end of life. This includes lead and polybutylene. Lead pipes were used in the early 1900s and can last for 100 years, so most of them have been replaced by this time. But if they are still in your home, the lead can leach into the water you drink, causing some serious health problems. Polybutylene pipes were put into homes from the 1970s to the 1990s and are prone to breakage so you should still replace them.
Look for Trouble
As the homeowner, you need to look out for any signs of trouble that may pop up with the plumbing around your home. You can make it a ritual that you do each year to look into some of the exposed pipes, such as in the utility rooms, crawlspaces, and basements, to see whether something is wrong. Check the tubing to see if there is flaking, pimples, dimpling, stains, and discoloration. Any of these would be a sign there is a major problem to worry about and if you see them, ask a plumber to stop by and take a look too.
You will also want to keep your eye out for any leaks that show up as well. Even the small ones that you can repair quickly can be a sign that there is something wrong and that you need to work with a plumber to look at replacing the piping. The original pipes in your home will wear out and if they show some of these signs already, then it is just a matter of time before you need to get them replaced to keep your home safe.
Best Times to Replace Pipes
No homeowner really wants to spend the time and worry about the hassle of replacing the pipe. A plumber will be able to give you some advice on how to do this, but some options include
- # Replace what is exposed: It can be difficult to replace some of the piping that is hidden under floors and in the walls. You should start by replacing the pipes that are exposed since the plumber can get to them quickly. This is a good start and can protect the pipes while saving money.
- # During a renovation: if you are already planning to do some renovations along the way, then you can replace some of the plumbing at that time. It may only cost an additional $250 to $1000 depending on the area, but this can be a steal and gives you peace of mind knowing that you have better plumbing in place.
When you have a major plumbing problem around your home, then it is time to trust the right professionals to get the work done. That is where our team at Spartan Plumbing in Cincinnati, OH will be your best friend. We are here to provide you with the best quotes for all of your plumbing work and are here to answer all of your plumbing-related questions along the way. The plumbing in your home is going to be one of the most important steps that you can take to keep your home safe and make sure that water is able to run through it well. And having the right team by your side to handle some of the problems will make all the difference. Contact us for all your plumbing needs.