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When Should You Replace Your Home’s Pipes?


Although replacing plumbing fixtures is more aesthetically pleasing and fun, it's more important to recognize the signs of an aging plumbing system to gauge when it's time to upgrade your pipes for maximum efficiency and safety. Learn more about how to determine whether a re-piping project is in your future.

Decreased Water Pressure

Water pressure can vary slightly from time to time, but it should always remain generally at the same levels in different rooms of your home. There are some issues that can attribute to low pressure but do not require replacement, including pipe leaks or clogs. However, if you notice a significant change in water pressure but do not have either of these issues, it is a telltale sign that your pipes may no longer be able to deliver the pressure you need.

Age of Plumbing

If you own an older home, find out what type of material your pipes are made of, as it can help you generally estimate how long your plumbing will last. For instance, the lifespan of cast iron pipes ranges from 75 to 100 years, copper lasts at least 50 years, and brass can vary from 40 to 45 years. That said, there are factors that can accelerate the aging process, such as minimal preventative maintenance and poor plumbing habits, such as pouring grease down the drain and flushing more than just toilet paper.

Water Discoloration

When you turn on your faucet or shower, you should always expect to see clear water, but if you notice a brown or yellow pigment, there is a significant problem. Occasionally, local water supplies can have temporary issues that cause discolored water, but if tinted water becomes a common occurrence, call your plumber. Discoloration is one of the most common signs of internal pipe corrosion.

Cracks or Leaks

While minor leaks can occasionally pop up in any home plumbing system, they should be few and far in between. Plumbing leaks that start small can eventually grow if the area is exposed to consistent pressure. Many cracks and leaks can be patched and quickly repaired, but if leaks begin to occur frequently throughout your system, contact a professional. This could mean you need a re-pipe.

For questions about your home's plumbing system, as well as those more fun fixture changes, contact David Gray Plumbing at (904) 605-8190.