How to Know When Your Pipes Need Replacing


If you shower or bath and sinks seem to be draining slowly or leave water standing in basins, this could indicate a problem with your drains or sewers. The annoying thing about pipelines and sewers is that if you don’t address them, the issue doesn’t go away. It ends up getting worse and worse and more expensive and an even bigger repair job. If you pay attention to your pipes, you will be able to see when they need repairs or replacing. Being able to stay proactive when it comes to pipe lines is an important way to live. You don’t want to end up with leaks and water damage or even worse, raw sewage leaking into your home.

Cured in place pipe
The great thing about getting pipe repairs these days is it doesn’t have to be a huge job. Cured in place pipe is a trenchless method that works to repair and even replace an entire pipeline. Cured in place pipes are done by pulling a liner soaked in resin through the existing pipe and attaching it to the walls before allowing it to cure and set in place. It ends up being a pipe within a pipe. The cured in place pipe technique ensures that no digging up of foundations, streets and homes is necessary. Only one or two holes need to be dug at either end of the pipe in order to complete this process and it can be done within hours or days at most.

How to know if you need your pipes repaired

First of all, you need to know your pipes. If they have been there for at least 40 years, they need to be replaced, no questions asked. The lifespan of a pipe depends on the type of material it is made out of. There are two main types of pipes these days:

  • Supply pipes: Brass, copper or galvanized steel pipes – last 70 to 100 years
  • Drain pipes: cast iron polyvinyl chloride – last 25 to 40 years.

If your pipes are older than these, you should contact a professional plumber to come and check them out. Most plumbers will offer a free check using a camera drain inspection. If your pipes have been well maintained they may last longer than the expected lifespan. However, if they have not been properly kept or you live in an area with hard water, the pipes may not last as long as their expected lifespan.

After you know how old your pipes are, you will want to annually check them for any signs of wear and tear. If you can see any exposed areas of your pipes, it’s a lot easier to check them, otherwise you may have to call in a professional once a year. Look for any kind of discoloration, flaking, stains, rust or pimples. These are all signs of corrosion. If your pipes ever spring a leak, no matter how small, call a plumber and have the pipe repaired professionally. Even small leaks could indicate that the pipe is weakening and not going to be able to withstand much more.

Lastly, check for typical signs of clogged drains: water standing in the tub, drains filtering water slower than usual and things like this.

Also, when you fill up your bathroom, check the color of the water. Especially if the water has been standing in the pipes for a few days. If it is has a brown or yellow tint, your pipes may be rusted on the inside and are in need of replacing soon. You’ll be able to notice that your water is rusty is your drinking water tastes bad or your clothes feel stiff and look faded after washing. While there is no known health risk associated with rust, it still is unpleasant to have running through your pipes.

If you come to realize that you do need a pipe repair or replaced, don’t attempt to do it yourself. There are professionals that you can call in order to get the job done properly the first time. Chances are, they would have to fix whatever you attempted. Let the experts do what they were trained to do and everyone will be a lot happier in the end!

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