If your home is more than just a few years old, checking for plumbing problems is wise. Pipes are continuously exposed to the elements that make them prone to rust, corrosion, leakage, and eventually failure.
One way to tell if you need new pipes is to check the material. The materials used in the plumbing system depend on when your home was built. If you find lead, cast iron, or galvanized steel, chances are the pipes were installed a very long time ago. Cast iron and galvanized steel can last up to 100 years, while copper can last up to 80 years. Newer piping systems are often made of copper, brass, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Some older materials might last without a problem. However, lead pipes pose a unique danger; it is highly toxic and can harm children even in small quantities. If you suspect a pipe may be made of lead, have it tested. Stop using water and replace lead pipes immediately if levels are higher than federally recommended numbers.
If your pipes need to be replaced, you may also notice these symptoms:
- Discolored water: If your water is coming out of the faucet brown or dark, and you don’t live in a rural area, use well water, or are under a boil order, it’s an immediate cause for concern. The discoloration is due to rust entering the water while it flows through corroded pipes. Address the problem before mineral deposits build up and create pressure that can cause pipes to burst.
- Low water pressure: Reduced pressure from sink faucets or shower heads can mean there is a clog somewhere. A leaky pipe could also be the cause, which can also lead to frame and foundation damage, wood rot, and mold growth. If a drain cleaner doesn’t fix the problem, call a plumbing professional. Slow drains may be fixed by adding venting so your pipes can drain easier.
- Foul odors: If you smell something moldy or otherwise unusual, check your plumbing. A raw sewage odor is a serious problem that may indicate your cast iron or galvanized pipe needs to be replaced. The smell isn’t the only effect you may notice by not addressing the problem; trapped or backed up waste can affect air quality and expose your family to dangerous toxins and pathogens.
- Gurgling/bubbling sounds: You may hear your drains percolating. If you have old pipes, they may be clogged or damaged, causing the system to back up. The demands of modern-day laundry machines, sump pumps, and dishwashers add to the risk of pipe failure. And if the basement floor drain backs up with excess water, a main line may be affected.
- Degraded pipes: There should be exposed pipes somewhere if your home is over 60 years old. You can often find these in the basement. If the pipes look discolored, dimpled, or flaked or there are bumps all along them, call a plumbing professional for replacement. Other causes for concern include moisture accumulation, which indicates poor sealing, or anything that doesn’t look normal.
Call Detour Plumbing Today
Customers in Santa Clarita and surrounding communities rely on us for high-quality repairs. Licensed, bonded, and insured, our team can handle any plumbing issue and is available 24/7 in case you have an emergency. We provide up-front pricing and offer payment plans to suit your budget, and even work with insurance companies that can cover your project. For service done right the first time and to schedule an appointment, contact us today.