The pipes that make up the plumbing system of a home will eventually get old and wear out. Luckily, your pipes will give you a lot of warning signs before they completely fail. This allows you to go ahead and re-pipe before a disaster occurs. Replacing old sections of pipe or your entire system with new materials can save you a lot of headaches and help you to avoid the frequent repairs also associated with old plumbing. So how can you tell when your plumbing pipes are reaching the end of their lifetime?
Water Pressure: Decreasing water pressure is a big indicator that your home needs to be re-piped. This is caused by a build up of corrosion in old pipes. The corrosion will continue to accumulate until the pipe is completely stopped up if you do not address it. This will affect your water pressure more and more until it is little more than a trickle, even at the highest setting.
Slow Drains: Along the same lines as decreased water pressure, slow drains can be the result of corrosion build up. Your first thought may be that you have a clog, but if you know that your piping is older, then corrosion is a likely cause. Snaking and drain cleaners will not fix corrosion. The piping needs to be replaced.
Strange Noises: Sputtering noises when you turn on your shower or sink indicate that you have air in your water line. Air gets into the pipes as they degrade with age. You may also hear clunking or banging noises when water runs down drains or even when you flush the toilet. Pay attention to the sounds that occur when you use water.
Water Quality: Your water should run clear the moment you turn on your tap. Older piping materials will begin to rust and that rust will sometimes appear in your water when you first turn on your faucets. Even if the sediment isn’t visible it can leave reddish stains in your sink, toilet, and shower. Water contamination can also occur if the pipes have become porous. It will cause your water to taste unpleasant as well.