Is It Time to Change Your Water Pipes?
Most residential and commercial properties are built strong with pipes that can last up to 70 years and sometimes even longer.
However, the longevity and functionality of all pipes depend on various factors. These include how well they are maintained, the promptness of carrying out and the quality of necessary repairs, and prevailing weather conditions.
When you do a poor job of carrying out the necessary maintenance and repair works, you need to keep a close eye on your plumbing system for signs that indicate you have to replace them with better quality HDPE pipes for water supply.
When to Replace Your Water Pipes
Below are five signs that indicate you need to change your water pipes with new ones as soon as possible:
1. Sudden drops in water pressure
Low water pressure can be unpleasant and frustrating when you are taking a shower and washing dishes.
Leaks brought about by punctures or pinholes can cause a drop in water pressure in pipes. Another possible reason for this problem is a buildup of mineral deposits or rust, which can restrict the water flow.
If leaking pipes are causing the low water pressure, failing to deal with this issue immediately can lead to more problems on your property. They can ruin the building foundation and framing and trigger wood rot and mold growth.
If patch-ups and other temporary fixes, such as using a drain cleaner, do not improve your water pressure problem, take it as a sign that you have to replace your pipes immediately.
2. Water discoloration
Another plumbing problem you should never ignore is discolored water coming from your taps.
Although slightly colored water may spout from the faucet from time to time, particularly when work is being done on main water lines, if this happens continuously, you need to take this problem more seriously.
The color of the water can tell you what might be causing this issue. Take note of the following:
- Yellow, orange, or red water usually means there is rust in your water caused by severe corrosion in the pipes.
- Blue or green water or their combined hue usually indicates the presence of brass or copper in the pipes and fittings.
- Green water is a sign of algae in the supply and pipes.
- Black water coming from taps contains toxic algal blooms. Prolonged exposure to this type of water can lead to infections, respiratory problems, and other illnesses.
Discolored water is one of the most serious signs that shows the urgent need to change your old pipes promptly.
3. Corrosion on exposed pipes
It can be hard to know if the pipes buried underneath the ground or floors and behind walls are corroded. You need to expose them, which entails digging and removing the topsoil or flooring, both of which are time-consuming, difficult, and costly endeavors.
If you want to know if you have corroded or rusted pipes, your exposed plumbing fixture can give you a good idea.
Check the visible pipes in your basement, external walls, and yard. If they have rust, discoloration, flaking, bumps, and cracks, the hidden fixtures may also already have the same problems.
In such instances, it is best to avoid delaying replacing your water pipes.
A visible leak is usually a small annoyance you or a plumber can fix quickly. This is because the broken pipe can be repaired with no difficulty.
However, there are instances wherein you won’t notice you already have this problem. Some pipes can be hidden so well that you won’t be able to see any signs of a leak.
Some signs that indicate you have a leak problem that goes deep in your plumbing system include wet spots on the floors, walls, or ceilings of your property.
Soggy patches of ground or small pools of water in your yard can also mean a water line is leaking underneath. In such instances, call a plumber and find out if you need to have your old, rusty, or broken pipes replaced.
5. Old pipe materials
The type of pipes you have can also indicate if you need to replace them immediately.
Buildings 60 years and older usually have pipes made of cast iron, brass, copper, lead, and galvanized steel. These materials are some of the most long-lasting, durable ones around.
Brass, cast iron, and galvanized steel have a typical lifespan of 80 to 100 years. On the other hand, copper lasts between 70 and 80 years.
Although these materials are long-lasting, they can wear prematurely, especially if they are not well-maintained. Additionally, high water pressure can stress the pipes, making them more prone to damage.
Also, the joints, fittings, and mechanical components that connect your plumbing to household fixtures are often not made of the same material as the pipes. When these are old or faulty, they can also compromise the whole plumbing system, leading to leaks and water backups.
When you know the type of water pipes you have, you’ll have a good idea of when you should have them replaced.
However, if your pipes are made of lead, even if they are still in excellent condition, you need to have them replaced immediately with safer options, such as HDPE pipe products. This is because lead is highly toxic and can cause health issues if it finds its way into the water you use.
If you want to have safe, healthy, and smooth-running plumbing at home, keep an eye on and maintain your pipes. And have them replaced immediately if they show any of the signs mentioned here.
If you think your pipes need replacing, you can learn more about our safe, long-lasting HDPE water pipes on our Products page and get in touch with us.