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How to determine the age of the plumbing pipes in your home? What are the signs of bad pipes, and when to replace them?
If we talk about quality copper plumbing, those pipes would last about 50 or more years, but brass pipes’ general life expectancy is around 40-70 years. Galvanized steel has the lowest lifespan of 20-50 years. So if it’s been years that you have been living in the same home and you built it yourself, then you would already know the age of your plumbing pipes.
Tips to determine the age of the plumbing pipes in your home
If you have bought a house from someone else and are worried about the age of plumbing pipes in your home, here are a few tips. These tips will surely help you to determine the approximate age of the plumbing system:
· Clogging and leaks frequently
We have already discussed the lifespan of different types of plumbing pipe material above. So, you can get a good hint just by checking the condition and material of the plumbing pipes in your home. Another tip for finding the age of your plumbing pipes, whether old or not, is the clogging and leaks situations.
With time passing, every type of plumbing pipe would get rusty and erode, and debris will build up in them. It won’t happen when the pipes are new, and if you face frequent leaks and clogging situations, the plumbing pipes are old.
Corrosion is the enemy of your plumbing pipes, making the situation even worse when the pipes are already old. Clogging can happen if there is debris present, but the leakage will only take place when the pipes are old and corroded.
· Pipes made of lead
Houses that were built before 1986 were mostly constructed with plumbing pipes that were made of lead. Lead is a toxic material, and if you use tap water and the plumbing pipes are made of lead, you are literally drinking poison. The lead gets rusty, and you can imagine that if your house was built back in 1986, then the plumbing pipes are already over 30 years old.
When the lead gets rusty and corroded, its parts start to break and become a part of the water that you use daily for different purposes. If you have been noticing discoloration in water and it tastes terrible, then this might be a sign that the plumbing pipes are made up of lead and are quite old.
The debris will also lower the water pressure in all water connections of your home. So, notice these two signs and check which material has been used to construct your house’s plumbing system.
Signs to find the condition of your plumbing pipes and you must replace them
If you have read about the tips to determine the age of plumbing pipes, here are a few signs to find the condition of your plumbing pipes. Sometimes it is hard to find the actual age of the plumbing pipes. Well, if you find the following signs in your home, then it is time to replace your plumbing pipes as soon as possible:
· Discolored water
If you have noticed that the water coming from the faucet, shower head, or any other tap in your home has a rusty or orange shade, your plumbing pipes are old. Older pipes get rusty, and you get discolored water, and the water can turn into a green shade if some bacteria are growing in the plumbing pipes. Discolored water is a big sign for you to notice that you need to replace your plumbing pipes.
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· Smelly water
Are you noticing that those spots smell bad in your bathroom, kitchen, or wherever you have water connections in your home? It means there is something wrong with the plumbing pipes. There is a great possibility that the plumbing pipes are cracked, and the water is getting mixed with the sewerage pipes. Well, anything can happen once the plumbing goes bad, so smelly water and smelly spots in your home are a sign that your plumbing pipes need replacement.
· Minimal water pressure
No one likes to stand in the shower and enjoy slow water pressure, especially if you are in a hurry. If the water pressure is getting slow with every passing day in the shower head and the faucets, there is a blockage in your plumbing pipes, or they have gone bad.
· Damaged and stained walls
When your underground plumbing pipes cracks, you will start noticing stains and damage on the walls inside your home. Damage and stained walls are a big sign that your plumbing pipes are cracked, and you must replace them. If you keep ignoring this sign, the damage will keep spreading into your walls, leading to further problems.
· Sounds coming from the faucets
The last sign we should discuss in the list has to be the sounds coming from the faucets whenever you turn them on. Once the pipes are old, then whenever you turn on the pipes, you get air coming out of them first, or you will find sounds coming out of the faucet whenever you turn on or turn off the water. So, it is quite a sign that your plumbing pipes are old and you need to replace them.
Older pipes won’t be able to handle the water pressure, especially if you are using a hot water supply, and they will start shaking whenever you turn on the faucets.
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You won’t be able to survive with a faulty plumbing system in your home for a long time. If it’s been 40-50 years, you are one lucky person, and your plumbing pipes are still good to go.
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