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When Is it Time to Replace Your Plumbing Pipes?

Do you need to replace your plumbing pipes?

If you’re buying a new home, renovating an old house, or concerned about the state of your home’s plumbing, you might be wondering when to replace your pipes. Good question!

Typically, a plumber will perform a camera inspection of your pipes to assess the age and condition before making any recommendations. However, some common signs indicate your pipes may be failing you.

To help you assess, in this blog, we’ll review the 5 signs that it’s time to replace your plumbing pipes:

Ready for a plumbing pipe replacement?

Plumbing can be complicated. If you’d like a professional’s expert opinion on the state of your home’s pipes, give Advantage Air Mechanical a call today: (520) 792-9400. Our licensed and experienced plumbers have decades of combined experience helping Tucson homeowners find cost-effective solutions for all their plumbing pipe concerns.

Pipes have visible cracks and leaks

Certain types of piping material need replacement over time.

If your pipes have visible cracks and leaks, you most likely need them replaced.

Typically, older pipes made from cast iron tend to crack and leak. Many homes built before the 1970s commonly use less durable piping material than current-day pipes. After decades of usage, these more fragile pipes corrode and rust beyond the point of repair and need replacement with PVC pipes that can withstand constant usage.

Sometimes the damage is limited to a single area, in which case a plumber can simply repair one pipe or section of piping. However, if your pipes are fragile enough that a hole can form when you tap on them to test their strength, it’s a definitive sign that you should have them replaced. Otherwise, you risk the potential of water damage, gas line cracks, and other dangerous repairs that come with a hefty price tag.

Frequent drain clogs

Call a plumber to inspect if your drain frequently backs up or clogs.

Other pipe materials such as copper and even PVC can form cracks and leaks. If the ground has shifted or tree roots have infiltrated your piping, you could have damage to your sewer line that can snowball into significant pipe replacements.

When this happens, you might frequently notice backed-up drains or stubborn clogs, as your wastewater will struggle to drain to the city sewer (or septic tank) properly.

To avoid needing a major pipe replacement, call a professional plumber to come and inspect the cause of your frequent clogs. If caught early on, you might have a chance to repair your pipes and save a bit of money.

Discolored tap water

If you have older metal pipes made from cast iron, steel, or brass, they will likely corrode or rust over time. This corrosion and rusting can make your tap water come out a chalky white, yellow, brown, or reddish color. Any discolored water is a sign that you need to replace them. You do not want to drink or bathe in water contaminated by corrosion or rust, as it’s hazardous to your household’s health and safety.

For peace of mind, it pays to have a professional plumbing company inspect the age and condition of your pipes. They’ll see straight away if corrosion or rust has damaged them.

Depending on the severity, you might get away with a repair. But in most cases, your plumber will recommend replacing your pipes with PVC or copper. Both materials are highly resistant to rust and corrosion.

Water pressure changes

Leaky, cracked, or corroded pipes can cause changes in your water pressure. When you notice that not enough water is flowing out of your faucets or showerheads, it's an indicator that the pipes are nearing the end of their lives.

Granted, not all water pressure issues are related to damaged pipes, but it’s all the more reason to have your home’s pipes looked at by a trained plumbing professional. For example, Advantage Air Mechanical’s plumbing professionals will evaluate your home’s plumbing problems and repair your pipes for a flat-rate, upfront price.

Old age

Brittle or corroded pipes need replacement with age.

Sometimes your pipes will need to be replaced simply due to old age. With time and normal wear and tear, they’ll be too brittle or corroded to maintain the needs of your household.

Depending on the type of pipes you have, the lifespan will vary:

  • PVC, PEX, or ABS: These three types of plastic piping are commonly used in modern homes because they’re affordable and easy to install. They’re also resistant to corrosion and can last a good 50+ years.
  • Copper: Although much more expensive, copper is a very durable material and can last around 70-100 years.
  • Cast iron or galvanized steel: Most plumbers won’t install cast iron or galvanized steel pipes because they’re prone to corrosion. However, home builders commonly used them in the 1950s because they could withstand high water pressure. On average, they last about 70-100 years. So even if your home is on the older side, you may still get some years out of them before needing a replacement.
  • Orangeburg: This type of fibrous piping was used in homes before 1900 and is essentially obsolete. If you have Orangeburg pipes, you should prepare to replace them immediately.

When in Doubt, Call the Plumbings Pros at Advantage Air Mechanical.

In just a matter of hours, our skilled plumbing technicians can assess your Tucson home’s plumbing setup. Advantage Air Mechanical provides honest and upfront pricing without any sales pressure if your pipes need replacement. Our techs don’t work on commission, so you can trust that our advice is in your best interest only! Call us today at (520) 792-9400 or click the button below.