Having a well-maintained older home is something to be proud of. Knowing that the plumbing is still in great shape is icing on the cake. How do you know, though? There are a few ways to spot aging plumbing, and you don’t have to be an expert to see them. If you notice any of these, it’s time to make a call.
- Rusty Water Ruins Your Day
Your pipes can actually give you hints that the plumbing is damaged or on its last legs. Rusty water could be one of the first. No matter what kind of material you have for your plumbing, unless you use a well, the water should come through clean and clear. While this may also be caused by a buildup of sediment your water heater or older galvanized waterlines, water that is brown, grey, or otherwise discolored may contain flakes of the pipes that are coming off. This level of corrosion shows you that the pipes are seriously wearing out.
- Water Pressure Is Down to a Trickle
You turn on the faucet, but water only trickles through. While you may be able to deal with this problem for a little while, weak water pressure throughout the home is an indicator that the pipes may have corroded such that only a little water can get through. However, this could also be caused by a bad pressure reducing valve, an old galvanized water main, or cold galvanized waterlines. If this situation sits for too long, the pipes may block and eventually burst. Burst pipes can really cause a lot of damage, so prompt attention from Mr. Plumber is an excellent idea.
- You Have Frequent Problems with Leaks
When you see your faucet dripping, you turn it off. What happens when you don’t see the leaks happening because the pipes are out of sight? Most of your plumbing is out of your field of vision, and the pipes stick close to your home’s structure. Frequent leaks can slow your water pressure, create water damage in your walls and floors, or eventually lead to a flood.
- Exposed Pipes Need a Face Lift
When you look at exposed pipes (which might be behind cabinets, in your basement, or in your crawlspace) how do they look? Do they appear clean and solid? If they look cracked, flaky, rusted, or like the material is falling in or popping out, it’s time to consider replacement. Some pipes will last much longer than the standard estimate, while others get old before their time. Your task is to help figure out when is the right time for them to go.
- You Don’t Know How Old the Pipes Are
At the end of the day, most homeowners don’t fuss too much about their plumbing until it becomes a problem. In return, your plumbing generally does a pretty good job without your constant monitoring. If you have lived in the home for a long time and haven’t had an upgrade, or you just bought an older home and are uncertain about the plumbing, it’s well worth your time to schedule an inspection. There may be more issues hiding under your floors and in your basement that you can’t see.
Old homes need extra care to keep running in a modern world. A plumbing upgrade could go a long way toward keeping vintage houses in great live-in condition.