When Should I Replace My Pipes?
Much like the framework of your house, your pipes are essential. These pipes are the ones that bring in the freshwater and send away the waste from your home. When something happens to your pipes, it can be devastating. You can suffer from significant damage to not only your home but also your belongings. Knowing when to have an inspection of the sewer lines and when to replace the pipes can save you from a lot of headaches later on.
The Lifespan of Pipe Materials
Depending on the age of your home, your pipes could be made from several different materials. The only way you will honestly know what kind of piping is under your house is to have an inspection done. Different materials have different lifespans.
Historical homes were often built with clay piping. Clay is notorious for needing to be replaced sooner than any other materials that have been used throughout history. This material is known for its rapid deterioration, so if you have purchased a home with clay pipes, you can rest assured that you will need to replace these sooner versus later.
Popular Materials Used in Home Piping
After learning from their mistakes, home builders stopped using clay pipes in homes and moved on to materials with longer lifespans. The change reduced the need for frequent pipe replacement and was also more cost-efficient for homeowners and plumbing professionals.
- Copper Piping
- Copper piping was introduced in homes in the 1930s, although it was popularized in homes built from the 1960s and on. These pipes are typically thinner than their steel counterparts but also pose a higher theft risk due to the high value of copper.
- Copper pipes have a longevity of 50 years or more before they require replacement.
- Brass Piping
- Brass pipes have been around for a long time. Brass pipes are made by using copper and zinc. These pipes will often last longer when used for hot water.
- Brass pipes in a home can last anywhere from 40 to 70 years before needing replacement.
- Cast Iron Piping
- Cast iron pipes were popular up until the 1980s in some homes. It was preferred more in the 19th and 20th centuries but was found in homes as far back as the 17th century.
- Cast iron pipes can last 75 to 100 years before needing to be replaced.
- Galvanized Steel Piping
- From the 1930s until copper piping became extremely popular in the 1960s, galvanized steel was the popular choice for pipes in homes. The galvanized steel pipe was the solution found for the lead-based pipes used before their introduction.
- Galvanized steel pipes have a lifespan of 20 to 50 years, making them one of the types of pipes that will need to be replaced sooner than any of the others, except for clay pipes.
- PVC Piping
- The use of PVC pipe began in the mid-1950s. Even today, the go-to choice for piping new homes is PVC. PVC is durable and does not need to be replaced unless damage is sustained.
- PVC piping can last indefinitely in a home.
How do I know if my plumbing is failing?
There are a lot of different ways to figure out that your plumbing is failing you. The most obvious signs that you will come across are cracks or corrosion in your pipes. These are going to be more noticeable in exposed piping, or you may notice an accumulation of moisture in crawl spaces or the walls that encase the pipe.
Apparent signs of plumbing issues include:
- Wet baseboards
- Excess moisture behind dishwashers or sinks
- Water-stained flooring
- Warped flooring
- Rust-colored tubing
If clogs or buildup are problems that present themselves, low water pressure could be an indicator. A gurgling sound could indicate that a clog has trapped air inside the pipe. Mold is always an indicator of a much larger plumbing problem that needs to be dealt with.
To Repair or To Replace?
Pipe replacement can be a big and scary task. You may need only to replace a section of pipe or the entire system depending on the issues your plumbing is having. You can potentially spend more money treating the symptoms of the problem instead of fixing it. All of the quick fixes could end up with more repairs and replacements in the future.
Start by talking to a plumber you trust. If you are a homeowner, chances are you have gotten to know a San Cruz local plumber and trust them with your business. Have them inspect your pipes to see if there are potential problems. This is a step you could do yourself, but if you don’t know what you are looking for, you may miss something major.
Before you jump into committing to a plan with a plumber regarding your pipes, go over possible scenarios with repair and replacement. You can request estimates and per part, pricing to find out if there are things that could wait versus things that cannot wait. You can also find out if replacing the whole system with PVC would be a cheaper alternative than repairing piece by piece.
Santa Cruz Pipe Replacement Experts
When you find your plumbing is giving you a hard time, your Santa Cruz area plumbers at Anytime Plumbing have the solutions available that you need. At Anytime Plumbing, we use the latest and most advanced devices to look at your current system and offer you competitive rates and prices for replacement and repair.
Our Santa Cruz plumbers are knowledgeable about every type of piping system that they may encounter and can offer solutions that meet not only your expectations but also your wallet. You can rest assured that if you see problems arise from your current system, Anytime Plumbing will have the appropriate solution.
If your home is in Santa Cruz or the surrounding area, you can call Anytime Plumbing for a no-obligation consultation regarding your plumbing needs. With Anytime Plumbing, you can expect exceptional service any time you need it.