Depending upon what they’re made of, the pipes in your Plainfield, IL home could last between 20 and 70 years. Given that range, it’s important to know the telltale signs of the need for pipe replacement. New and high-functioning plumbing systems rarely require repairs. They provide clean, fresh-tasting water for bathing, cooking, and consumption, and they reliably transport waste out of the building. Aging and badly degraded pipes do not. If you’re unsure of the age and integrity of your home’s pipes, the following are several ways to know when it’s time to schedule repiping service.

Constant Problems With Clogging

If you have excessively hard water in your home, mineral buildups will gradually accumulate at the interior of your pipes until there’s virtually no room for water to flow through. These buildups are especially problematic in plumbing systems that have reached the ends of their lifespans. Although hydro-jetting and hydro-steaming services can eradicate sediment, grease, hair, and other materials that inhibit the flow of water, these treatments are too forceful to use in aging systems. More often than not, they’ll cause far more problems than they resolve.

Even without hard water, age-related clogging can occur as galvanized steel and cast iron pipes become pitted and rough over time. Small protrusions on worn surfaces at the interior of pipes are prone to catching and retaining small amounts of toilet paper, hair, waste, and grease. If you’re constantly plunging, drain snaking, or paying for professional clog removal, you may be able to avoid a fair amount of spending and frustration by simply having your home repiped.

Frequent Pipe Leaks

Leaks are another common concern among aging pipes. Aging pipes are often riddled with rust and other corrosion even as their integrity progressively declines in other ways. As water struggles to force its way through massive buildups of sediment and other matter, the resulting pressure causes pipes to crack and pipe connections to loosen.

Unfortunately, leaking pipes aren’t always an obvious issue. Even if an older plumbing system appears to be working perfectly, there may be slow or hidden leaks in your crawlspaces, behind your drywall, at the backs of your appliances or behind them, and at the building’s foundation. If you have older pipes and have noticed a steady rise in your water bills, you can rule out slow or hidden leaks by scheduling a whole-house plumbing inspection.

If you purchased your home as existing construction, it’s also important to account for the type and level of care that your plumbing system received from past owners. While you might be diligent about scheduling professional plumbing service whenever problems arise, your home’s past owner may have regularly used corrosive drain cleaning solutions to clear blockages. Although some of these products can effectively break down buildups of soap scum, grease, and hair, they also undermine the integrity of pipes. Thus, even in plumbing systems that are just two decades old, pipes can have cracks and other openings that allow water to flow out.

The Age of Your Pipes and Their Composition

Copper pipes have expected lifespans of 50 years, while galvanized steel pipes may need replacing after just 20. Some galvanized steel pipes can last up to five decades with proper installation and maintenance, and if they were dipped in a protective zinc coating. Zinc coatings stave off problems with rust and keep these pipes functioning optimally for far longer.

Some homes have brass pipes. Ideal for use in pipe fittings, brass is highly resistant to corrosion. While less common than either copper or steel, brass pipes typically last between 40 and 70 years.

Given that most of your home’s pipes are hidden and that most plumbing systems are comprised of multiple materials, the only way to accurately pin down the expected lifespan of your pipes is by having them professionally inspected. We can tell you which materials were used during the initial installation of your plumbing system, whether or not these materials were treated with protective coatings, and whether or not they remain in a safe and usable condition.

Noisy, Smelly Pipes That Rumble Loudly When in Use

A sure sign of aging pipes is increasing noise when in use. If your pipes rumble, rattle, or outright bang when you turn the water on, it’s time to have them assessed. Pipe noises could be the result of air moving through your plumbing system, expansion and contraction due to temperature changes, or poor mounting.

There are several ways to reduce the noise caused by aging pipes without actually replacing them:

  • Installing hammer arresters
  • Partially closing valves
  • Replacing your taps
  • Installing pressure limiting valves
  • Tightening loose connections and mounting brackets

It may even be possible to reduce pipe noise by installing new intake connections. However, none of these solutions is guaranteed to last forever, and none of them will address issues with foul-tasting water or water that smells bad. These are both indications that the age and degradation of your pipes are affecting your water supply and potentially your health.

You should additionally take note of the color of your water. If it’s cloudy, brown, gray, or any other color but clear, scheduling repiping service will protect your skin, hair, digestive system, and general health. It will also improve the taste of any foods that you cook using tap water.

Issues With Water Pressure

Water pressure problems in aging pipes typically mean that they’re rife with debris. This debris could be sediments like small rocks and bits of concrete, built-up minerals, grease, hair, soap scum, or paper products that have gotten caught on snags. At the building exterior, they can also be comprised of fatty accumulations of “flushable wipes” if your household regularly uses these products. Since most older pipes won’t hold up well to hydro-jetting treatments, the best way to resolve water pressure issues due to aging is by simply having your pipes replaced.

Evidence of Corrosion

If your exposed pipes have visible corrosion, it’s safe to assume that the pipes you cannot see have problems with corrosion as well. Smelly and foul-tasting water is also often associated with pipe corrosion. Caused by an electrochemical reaction that occurs between metal and oxygen, corrosion weakens pipes, diminishes the quality of water, and increases the likelihood of leaks and clogs.

Water That’s Never Hot Enough

In some instances, aging pipes also have a hard time carrying and delivering hot water. When age-related wear includes buildups of minerals and sediment, there’s a high likelihood of having these same issues in the interior of water heaters. When both pipes and water heaters reach the ends of their lifespans at once, hot water could feel tepid by the time it reaches the tap. Scheduling a water heater inspection when planning your repiping project will allow us to determine whether or not your water heater needs replacing as well.

We’ve been proudly serving residents of Plainfield, IL and the surrounding communities since 2008. We offer first-rate heating, cooling, drain cleaning, and plumbing services. We also provide sump pumps, water heaters, tankless water heaters, and toilet repair and replacement services. If your home needs repiping, give TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing a call today.

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