Most of us don’t think much about the pipes in our homes – out of sight, out of mind, right? But this has the potential to be a huge mistake, since any problems with the piping could cause enormous damage. If you live in a newer home, you probably don’t have much to worry about, but for those of us in older houses it’s important to keep an eye on those pipes and replace them before it’s too late.
When Should Pipes Be Replaced?
Most plumbing systems have a pretty long life span, anywhere from 50 to 100 years. Here are the signs that you might need new pipes:
- Low water pressure: If you notice that your water pressure is diminishing, it’s possible that it’s due to corrosion in the pipes. This could be a serious problem, so you’ll want to get it checked out quickly.
- Leaks: Are you noticing wet spots on your walls or ceilings? If one pipe has sprung a leak, chances are there are others in the house that you haven’t noticed yet.
- Discolored water: If you’re noticing a brown or yellow tinge to your water, you’re probably looking at rust. It’s possible that it’s just a rusty hot water tank, but it could be coming from your pipes.
Additionally, if your pipes are made of lead or polybutylene, you should look at getting them replaced pronto! Lead, of course, is a toxic heavy metal that could leach into your drinking water. Polybutylene is not toxic, but is a very poor quality piping material that was used from the 1970s to 1990s and is prone to breaking.
What Material Should You Choose?
If it’s time to replace the plumbing in your house, the next step is to choose your material. The two most popular options are copper and cross-linked polyethylene tubing (PEX).
- Copper: This is the traditional plumbing material for very good reason! It’s safe, durable, reliable, and has been used for centuries. Also, it has a very long life span, often over 50 years. The only drawback is that installing copper pipes usually involves significant demolition, since the plumber will have to break through the walls to be able to access the piping. This means added disruption and cost.
- PEX: Although this is a newer option, it’s becoming increasingly popular. PEX is a flexible tube that can be fed into the walls like a plumber’s snake, meaning the installation is much quicker and can be easier than copper. It’s also cheaper, making it a very attractive option to many homeowners. On the other hand, while PEX usually comes with a warranty, it’s only been in use for about 25 years, so its long-term durability hasn’t yet been proven.
Call Plumbing Nerds To Replace Your Pipes
Although the cost of replacing old pipes can be off-putting, it’s less than the cost of repairing the damage from a flood of raw sewage into your home! If you think it might be time for new plumbing, contact the Plumbing Nerds for a consultation at 239.471.7557 or request an appointment online.