Being able to turn on a faucet and be rewarded instantly with an ever-ready supply of water is a great gift. Save yourself the hassle of a plumbing maintenance emergency and potentially costly repairs by knowing how to assess if your piping system has any issues.
Type of Pipes in Your Home
Copper pipes are most often found in homes built from the 1960's to the present day. This type of pipes tend to be thin walled, allowing the plumber to fit them into smaller spaces. Copper is known for properties like durability, a tolerance to heat, and a long life span.
Steel is a very durable metal, making it a go-to choice for the plumbers of the early 20th century. If you own a home built between the 1930's and the 1980's, there's a good chance you have steel pipes that are either galvanized or coated with zinc. Modern homes built in the latter part of the century rarely contain steel pipes.
Plumbers adopted PVC because it doesn't corrode, rust, or degrade over time. It's an obvious solution for your home's grey water needs, specifically sinks, toilets, and bathtub drain lines.
PEX piping is a cross-linked polyethylene composite. This types of piping solved the cold vs. hot conundrum, quickly becoming the predecessor to PVC. Most homes built or re-plumbed in the last thirty-years have PEX pipes.
Signs Your Plumbing Is Failing
- Copper is prone to intense oxidation that leads to rust. When inspecting your pipes, look for a color change from copper's natural shiny red hue to either green or a dark brown.
- When the outer-coating on steel piping begins to break down, the pipe can develop internal rust build-up. Over time, this leads to clogged water lines. One sign of an inner-pipe issue is consistent lack of water pressure.
- You shouldn't use PVC pipes as hot water supply lines. Call a professional at once if you suspect PVC has been used for this purpose.
- Inspect your PEX lines to be sure you're using the right fittings. Financial shortcuts can cause major damage over time in the form of shifting or leaky fixtures.
- Check your water pressure. If you notice either a consistent drop or a "yo-yo" effect, call a professional.
- Do not store PEX in the direct sunlight for any length of time as it immediately begins to weaken.
- Do not install PEX anywhere it will be in the path of sunlight.
Use Your Senses
- Listen when you turn on the faucet. If you hear any strange sounds, you may have an issue.
- Sniff your drains. If you smell either foul or "different" odors, you may have an issue.
- Watch the drain. Fill the basin two-or-more inches and watch the pace at which it drains. If it's uncommonly slow, you may have an issue.
- Look at your walls and ceilings. Stains, warped sections, and bubbles can indicate interior wall leaks and water build-up.
Take a proactive approach and enjoy a safe and effective water supply for the lifespan of your home. Contact The Pink Plumber today with any plumbing inspection or repair needs.