Leaky plumbing pipes are an excellent cause for concern. They waste your water, adding to 3600 gallons wasted yearly. And they could even create mold and mildew inside the walls of your home, multiplying the cost of repairs when you finally decide it’s time to replace those leaky pipes.

Several signs may indicate when your plumbing pipes should be replaced. Contact Portland’s trusted plumbing contractor for your plumbing needs. Read on to learn when you should replace plumbing pipes. 

When Water Pressure Is Low

When the water pressure is low, it’s usually a sign that your pipes are clogged. If you think your pipes might be clogged, the best thing to do is pour hot water into the drain, then flush the pipe with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. It will force anything trapped inside them to move through and clear up any blockages. If this method does not fix the situation, Waterline Plumbing experts in Alkimos can help you out.

When the water pressure is low, it’s also a sign that your plumbing pipes are old and need replacement. The water pressure in your home depends on the size and shape of your pipes. As these pipes age, their shape can change, affecting how much pressure they can handle before bursting.

One or more of your pipes burst when the water pressure drops too low. A sudden drop in water pressure can lead to flooding and damage your home.

It Depends on Pipe Material

Your pipes can be made of different materials. Your type will determine how long your pipes last and when they need to be replaced.

  • Copper pipes. Copper pipes are the most durable and longest-lasting pipe type. The average life span of a copper pipe is 70- 80 years. They are easier to install due to malleability.
  • Steel pipes: Steel pipes are less expensive than copper. While steel pipes have an average lifespan of 50 years, some can last up to 100 years if properly maintained.
  • Plastic pipes(PVC): Plastic pipes are the least expensive and easiest to install but also tend to break down faster than other pipe materials. Plastic pipes have an average lifespan of 50-80 years; they do not rust and hence are healthy.
  • Brass pipes. Brass is corrosion-resistant and doesn’t rust easily, which makes it perfect for outdoor plumbing projects. It is stronger than copper pipes and lasts from 80-100 years. Brass has 8% lead which is harmful to your health.
  • Lead pipes. They have  100 years of life expectancy. If you’ve got lead pipes, you will need to replace them as soon as possible. Lead is a toxic substance that can leach into your drinking water and cause serious health issues like anemia, brain damage or weakness.
  • Cast iron. It has an 80-100 years life expectancy and withstands high water pressure. However, It is more susceptible to corrosion because it contains iron oxide (rust), which can produce manganese dioxide and hydrogen gas when exposed to air or water. If the inside of your cast iron pipe begins to rust and corrode, it may leak fluid into your home’s walls or floors, damaging them beyond repair!
  • Polybutylene pipes. They are less expensive than metal pipes but last for 15 years.

Due to Water Discoloration

When there is water discoloration, it can be a sign that there is rust in the pipe. The pipes are made of metal and will rust over time. Rust can cause them to break down, which can lead to leaks and other problems.

If you notice that the color of your water has changed—especially if it has turned brown or yellow—you should have your plumbing inspected by a professional.

When Pipe Changes Appearance

When you notice a change in the appearance of your plumbing pipes, it’s time to look into replacing them. You should look at your pipes and see if they look different than they did before. 

The most common signs that your plumbing pipes need replacement are:

  • Cracks or holes
  • Flaking
  • Dimpling
  • Corrosion
  • Frequent leaks or drips

Plumbing is the heart of a home’s infrastructure, and when it comes to plumbing pipes, age can often be a big factor. Specifically, older pipes tend to have a greater propensity for leaks or cracks than newer ones. Consequently, there is no set time that you should wait before replacing your pipes. If you find that they are causing issues such as leaks or difficulty with water flow, consult a plumber and consider replacing your existing piping. At the very least, you’ll save yourself some money by preventing larger problems.

By Manali