A smooth-running plumbing system is essential for every home but is regular maintenance enough to keep the drainage system in top condition?
Well, yes and no. Even though regular maintenance ensures your pipes are functioning well, you can’t avoid specific problems in the long run. Natural wear and tear and ageing of pipes are common problems, and you need to fix them. Also, some factors can ruin your plumbing fixtures. But how do you know when to repair or replace your old plumbing?
That’s what we will tell you in the following sections.
When Should You Replace Your Old Plumbing?
Since you use your pipes daily, they can experience problems like gunk build-up from soap scum, debris, cooking oil and other materials. There’s also corrosion breakdown or rust. You don’t have to worry about all the pipes facing these problems, and with proper maintenance, you can easily avoid most of these issues.
A good time to get your pipes and plumbing checked out is when they show clear signs of damage. It could be an obnoxious smell, slow drainage, or gurgling sounds that can become a major plumbing problem later on.
Apart from these factors, knowing what material your pipes are made of or how long it’s been since they’ve been installed will help determine the right time to replace them.
Knowing Your Drain Pipes
Knowing the kind of pipes used is a crucial factor in determining when your house’s plumbing system needs a repair. If you are unaware of the pipes in the home plumbing, you can depend on the plumbing report provided along with the house. Aside from the report, you can also contact a licensed plumber to inspect the pipes and give you a better idea.
Here is a summarised breakdown of the most common pipes used.
1. Supply Pipes
These pipes are made of brass, copper or galvanised steel and last long, but they’re easily prone to rust and corrosion.
- Brass: 80-100 years
- Copper: 70-80 years
- Galvanised steel: 80-100 years
2. Drain Lines
Drain lines are commonly made with PVC pipes or cast-iron pipes.
- Cast-iron: 80-100 years
- PVC: 25-40 years (with heat and chemical degradation resistance)
When there is a lack of maintenance and high damage, pipes cause further problems unless you resolve the matter immediately. And no, it doesn’t matter if your pipes are sturdy or expensive since every pipe has a finite lifespan.
As pipes age, they are exposed to the elements affecting their structural integrity. This does not mean you will have to keep replacing the aged pipes frequently, but you may have to be prepared for eventual wear and tear.
Signs Of Damaged Drain Pipes
But what happens when there is no proper pipe maintenance, and your pipes begin to break down?
Several signs point to damaged drain pipes. You must also watch out for leaks and test your plumbing for them. While most of them are apparent, some remain hidden until the situation worsens, so to avoid this, regular plumbing inspection is required.
Common signs of damaged pipes that might need replacing are:
- Dampness near the appliances
- Constant leaking of fixtures
- Water stain or warp on floorings
- Stains and flaking on walls
- Low water pressure that doesn’t respond to quick fixes
- Change in the colour of the water coming from taps, toilets etc.
- Unpleasant sounds like gurgling, bubbling etc.
- Your lawn develops greener patches.
Signs You Should Replace/Repair Your Plumbing
Now that you know the signs of damage in old plumbing, how do you know if you should repair such issues or replace the components?
Nobody will want to replace a functioning plumbing system if it needs repair. Similarly, you wouldn’t want to keep repairing damaged plumbing when it needs replacing.
Before you make a decision, here are some questions to ask yourself to analyse the situation better.
1. Is The System Made Of Old Materials?
If the answer to this question is a resounding yes, you don’t need to look further. Aged pipes are the biggest culprits for severe plumbing problems and must be replaced. Pipes like cast iron installed decades ago can be prone to damage from tree roots, corrosion, and even rodents.
2. When Did You Last Repair The Pipes?
After you spot a leak, it’s natural to get it fixed, but how many times have you repaired the same thing? When the number of repairs exceeds a specific limit, it probably means that your pipes are damaged significantly.
In such cases, you would need to replace the existing plumbing system.
Out With The Old, In With The New: Time To Replace That Aging Plumbing!
Irrespective of how well you maintain your plumbing system, it is essential to know what it comprises, including the material and condition of various components.
Knowing what’s in your plumbing system will help you determine what fix is needed for a particular problem and when.
And then there’s prevention which is better than cure. Know what to avoid to help keep your pipes and plumbing system healthy. After all, a healthy plumbing system saves you from trouble and a pricey water bill.
If you need regular maintenance for your plumbing system, don’t hesitate to call one of our professional plumbers in Sydney. And if you’ve got damaged or broken pipes, we can provide the best solutions for you, like our pipe relining services.