Undoubtedly, the thought of re-piping your home is a scary proposition. It’s not so much the process that’s frightening, although the thought of no water for a little while isn’t fun to think about, the dollar signs involved are the real nightmares. It’s important to realize that no matter what, you’re going to have plumbing issues at some point; that is, if you aren’t employing the use of an outhouse. This doesn’t necessarily mean imminent doom and disaster. It’s important to know the signs to look for when it really is time to trade in the old plumbing for the new and improved.
What Kinds of Pipes Do You Have?
Different pipes last different lengths of time. Take a peek at your home inspection or call in a quality plumber to inspect your pipes and find out what you have.
Supply pipes are the ones bringing water into your home and are most susceptible to leaks. However, drain lines may also cause trouble. The type of material they’re made from goes a long way in determining their lifespan.
• Galvanized steel supply lines last between 80 and 100 years.
• Brass supply lines also last up to 100 years.
• Copper supply lines lasts between 70 to 80 years.
• Cast iron drainage lines last up to 100 years.
• PVC drainage lines may only last 25 to 40 years.
Now, if your pipes exceed their estimated lifespan, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a mandatory replacement at this time. The way they have been maintained and the type of water you have affects lifespan, too. Also, if you find you have either lead or polybutylene pipes, you should go ahead and replace immediately. Polybutylene is just prone to breaking, but lead pipes pose a serious health hazard.
Keep Your Eyes Open
The best course of action is to simply keep your eyes open for problems. One small leak under the sink doesn’t spell disaster. However, if you start having plumbing issues throughout your property, you need to consider re-piping your home sooner than later. Per houselogic.com, other times to bring a plumber in for inspection is when:
• You do an annual inspection of exposed pipes. If you see dimpling, discoloration, or obvious leaks, bring in a professional.
• You notice that your bath water is discolored. If you run a tub full of water, especially after a lengthier period of time, and notice that it’s a little dark, you’re probably getting rust or dirt in your lines.
Are You Renovating?
If your pipes are older, but not yet dysfunctional, you may still consider re-piping if you have an impending renovation. After all, walls and floors are likely to be ripped open during a reno anyway. It can save you a ton of time and hassle in the future.
The only thing worse than the thought of paying for new plumbing is paying for the disaster old, leaking, busted plumbing leaves in its wake. After all, no one wants raw sewage pouring into their home. This is a real possibility, however, if you overlook the care of your pipes for too long. The question is, exactly how lengthy is ‘too long?’ The cost to re-pipe your modest sized, two-bathroom home could run anywhere from four to ten grand. Following the above recommendations will help you determine the most appropriate time to tackle the project.