Baltimore has some of the oldest housing stock in the country with about 47% of the city’s homes built prior to 1940. While old homes may be charming and full of history, they also tend to have old plumbing systems tucked away behind walls and under floors. So how can you tell if your home’s old plumbing needs to be replaced? There are several key signs to watch out for.
The pipes in your home are constantly under pressure as they carry water throughout the house. Most plumbing materials last several decades before requiring replacement. Knowing what material your plumbing is made from can help you determine if your pipes are nearing the end of their lifespan.
The lifespans for the most common residential plumbing systems are:
• Brass: 40 to 70 years
• Copper: 50 or more years
• Galvanized steel: 20 to 50 years
• Cast iron: 75 to 100 years
• PEX and PVC: 100+ years
In recent years, homeowners have been replacing plumbing with plastic materials like PEX and PVC because it is easy to install, more durable, meant to last longer, resistant to corrosion, and can withstand dramatic temperature shifts making them less likely to freeze or burst.
Signs Your Plumbing Needs Replacing
Homeowners often don’t realize their plumbing needs to be replaced until there is a major issue, like a burst pipe. It is important to check any exposed plumbing periodically for signs of damage and repair or replace it before a serious and costly problem occurs.
● Cracks and Leaks: You’ll be able to look at the pipe and see water coming out of it as it passes through your plumbing system. Even if the pipe is hidden behind a wall or underneath a floor, it won’t take you very long to realize that you need to have a plumbing pipe replaced. When there’s a crack in a pipe, it’ll only be a matter of time before the water starts to soak the wall or floor and do damage to it.
● Corrosion: discoloration, stains, dimpling, pimples, and flaking, are all indications of corrosion. A severely corroded pipe may also cause slow drainage.
● Discolored water: “brown or dark water is the result of corrosion in your pipes, leaving rust as the water runs through them. If left untreated, mineral deposits can clog pipes, which builds pressure. Under continual pressure, the pipes eventually burst”
● Low water pressure: This can be caused by corrosion, clogs, leaks, or outdated fixtures in need of replacement.
If you notice any of these signs in your home, it is best to contact an experienced and reliable plumber to assess your plumbing and determine if replacement is necessary.
Baltimore Plumbing Services
Ace Plumbing has been providing unparalleled plumbing services to the Baltimore area for over 30 years. We have expertise in re-piping, leak repair, water/sewer line replacement, and drain cleaning, among other services.
If you need dependable and affordable plumbing services in Perry Hall, Baltimore, Carney, Nottingham, White Marsh, Parkville, Bel Air, Towson, Timonium, and Pikesville, call Ace Plumbing at (410) 256-7900 for all your plumbing needs.