Home owners can have it tough when there are so many issues that can go wrong with your home. Electrical and plumbing problems are ones that can cost you a pretty penny. One of the issues that we were facing was how to tell if your pipes are worn out. We didn’t want to sink more money into our home but didn’t want to take any chances either.
4 ways to tell if your pipes are worn out
Wearing out due to old age isn’t something we tend to consider when it comes to the plumbing. Maybe the fixtures do get old, dated or worn out but not the pipes themselves. The reality is that even household plumbing pipes have a limited life-span and do not last forever. If you see any of these signs, your pipes may be on their last legs. You can investigate on your own, or hire a professional (click here) to help with replacement.
This can be one of the first things you notice, that the water has started to get brown or cloudy. It’s the best indication that there is rust or corrosion going on somewhere in your pipes. You may also start to notice a metallic taste from the rust before you really notice any color changes in the water. This one sign is limited to metal pipe, obviously.
Of course, leaks are an obvious sign that something is wrong. Leaks tend to happen at joints or where fixtures are attached to the pipes, and they can be the result of a small amount of water seeping through the connection. It’s not necessarily a sign of wear. On the other hand, if you find leaks that seem to be coming from the pipe itself, possibly through small cracks or pinholes, then you likely have a worn-out pipe.
Loss of Pressure
While not really a sign of wear, gradual pressure loss can be a result of aging plumbing. Hard water will leave a mineral residue behind at the ends of your faucet, and that also happens out of sight through the pipes. After years and years of gradual accumulation, the pipe will begin to narrow on the inside with all the build-up. That means less water getting through to your taps. You may have to scour out the inside of the pipes, or just replace them for an easier fix.
Before you start wondering about wear, you should consider how old your pipes are to begin with. Obviously, pipes that are only a few years old shouldn’t be “wearing out”, but if you live in a home that is 50+ years old with the original plumbing, then it should be a consideration when you start seeing the above issues.
So if you are seeing these issues, it may be time to replace the pipes. And unless the plumbing has seen replacements already through the years, most of the pipes are going to be the same age. Once a few start to go, there is a good chance you will start to see additional failures throughout the system.
Depending on the particular problem, it may be more effective to bite the bullet and do a larger renovation to replace all the main pipes instead of continually replacing a few lengths here and there. When doing any replacement, try to use either PVC or copper pipe if you want to avoid doing this sort of work again in the future. Both of these materials will last over 50 years. PEX is cheaper but won’t last as long.