Signs Your Plumbing Needs Replacing
Poor plumbing can lead to major damage to your home and valuables. Pipes and fittings can fail for a huge range of reasons including age, low-quality products, faulty installation, temperature and defective equipment. Knowing the life cycle of your plumbing is important when you consider that much of it is concealed. Knowing how to spot the signs of potential failure is important if you do not know the age of your plumbing fittings.
What are Your Pipes Made Of?
Life span varies greatly between the pipe materials. It is important to know what your pipes are made of and how long they have been installed. If you had an appraisal or building inspection when you purchased your home, it should be detailed there. There are two different types of pipes to consider. Supply pipes are under constant pressure and are most likely to cause damage when the they leak. Supply pipes are made of copper, brass and galvanized steel.
- Copper: 70-80 years
- Brass: 80-100 years
- Galvanized Steel: 80-100 years
As the name says, drain pipes aren’t often put under pressure and allow water to flow freely. Drain pipes are usually made of cast iron or PVC.
- Cast Iron: 80-100 years
- PVC: Indefinitely
These life spans seem like a long time but there are also the joints and fittings connected to everything to consider. If you know your pipes are older than their average lifespan, you should look at getting an experienced plumber in to make an assessment.
When Should You Replace Your Old Plumbing?
You should take any opportunity to replace your old pipes. Exposed pipes should be replaced as possible as they also have more exposure to the elements and will usually show more wear than internal plumbing. Internal pipes should be replaced if you’re doing any renovations to your kitchen, bathroom, laundry or any adjoining rooms that will allow access to the pipes. If your plumbing is already showing signs of damage, you should call a residential plumber or gas fitter.