Having to cope with plumbing problems is always challenging as clogged drains, dripping fixtures, or leaking pipes can lead to much bigger concerns. And there are warning signs that the time is coming to replace your lines. Knowing these signs of aging or failing plumbing systems will help you stay ahead of plumbing replacement efforts before more significant problems occur, like overflowing water and water damage.
Here are five major signs your plumbing could be failing and in need of replacement.
1. Clogged or Slow drains
A clogged kitchen or bathroom drain may seem like a small issue, but occasionally, it can indicate that a more serious problem exists. For example, poor venting within the pipes can sometimes result in clogged or slow-moving drains. And a professional plumber can determine if your vents are blocked or damaged.
Another problem that isn’t always immediately visible involves underground drain clogs or slow drainage caused by tree and plant roots, blocking your pipes and restricting the flow of water.
2. Discolored water
When the water that emerges from your pipes looks discolored, it can be a severe problem. Take a closer look, as the color can actually indicate the nature of the issue. Orange, red, or yellow water could be a sign of rust, with bits breaking off from inside your metal pipes and then getting into the water. This corrosion and rust can also cause holes in pipes over time.
There are not a lot of warning signs leading up to leaking pipes. Wet spots might show up on ceilings, floors, and walls in many cases, although this is not often the case due to how concealed these pipes are. Backed-up drains and low-pressure water can all be a sign of pipe issues.
Leaky faucets need repairing or replacing immediately. Replacing an outdated faucet or fixture isn’t all that expensive and can be the quick fix needed to repair your leaks. But if left unchecked, or if the leak is hidden from view, it will only worsen and result in bigger issues.
4. Low water pressure
A decrease in water pressure can serve as an early sign of potential plumbing problems. Make sure your water heater is in good working condition, as malfunctions can cause sudden losses of pressure. More gradual changes in water pressure might also suggest a leaky pipe.
5. Pipe materials
The longevity of pipes often depends on the type of materials used in their construction. Water supply and drain pipes are typically where leaks present first. The former can cause more damage due to leaks as they are under more pressure and are usually made of galvanized steel, copper, or brass. Galvanized steel and brass have the most extended life spans of up to a century, with copper lasting about eighty years.
The PVC materials normally used to make drain pipes generally last no more than forty years. It is important to know your pipe materials and their age so they can be replaced before problems begin.
If any of these plumbing problem signs sound familiar, or you want to evaluate your plumbing, call Pro-Service Plumbing today.