Plumbing and Pipe Problems to Watch Out For

Plumbing and pipe problems most often arise when you least expect them. However, if you know the signs to look out for, homeowners can better prevent plumbing issues and save themselves a big headache, time and a lot of money.

Signs of Aging Pipes

Over time, the pipes in your home corrode, rust or begin to deteriorate. This is more common in older homes where the plumbing hasn't been updated since the initial build. By forgoing plumbing services and replacing old plumbing pipes, you'll likely run into leaks and bigger problems.

How can you know the state of your plumbing? Here are a few ways to keep an eye out for signs of aging pipes:

  • Age of your home. If your home is more than 60 years old, make it a habit to check exposed pipes every year—in basements and crawlspaces—for any signs of failing. Check for discoloration, stains or flaking, which can be indications of corrosion. If any of these signs are present, it's time to give the plumbing experts at Bradley Mechanical a call for a further inspection.
  • Leaks of all sizes. Leaks, even the small ones that are easily fixed, can be indicators of larger plumbing problems approaching. However, it can be hard to predict when exactly older plumbing may fail. It's also easy to forget about the hundreds of feet of piping that can't be seen within the walls and under the floors. Proactively upgrading your pipes, especially when you see the signs, can save you thousands of dollars in repairs or property damage.
  • Water discoloration. Noting the color of your water when you fill the bathtub—especially after the water has been sitting in the pipes for days—can indicate what is going on inside your pipes. If the water looks brown or yellow, it could be rust, and you should consider having your pipes replaced soon.
  • Strange smells. Odor can be another indication your pipes have reached an old age. Sewer plumbing that is in good condition should be airtight, with the exception of vent stacks. Cracked or broken pipes can allow sewer gas to escape, which can be unpleasant to smell and unhealthy for you.
  • Rising water bills. If a sudden and unexpected spike in your water bill appears, there's a good chance it's due to a hidden leak. To monitor the situation, try to not use running water for a few hours and keep an eye on your water meter. If the reading changes, call your local plumbing professionals at Bradley Mechanical, and we'll do a thorough inspection to find and fix the leak.

The biggest sign of plumbing issues and worst-case scenarios can appear as flooding of water or raw sewage. Old plumbing pipes can cost thousands of dollars in damage to your home and possessions, so it's better to be safe than sorry and stay alert to the possible signs.

Is it Time to Replace Your Old Plumbing Pipes?

If your pipes are old, it doesn't mean they need to be replaced just yet. Pipes that have been maintained well will last longer than those that have not. Either way, having a certified and professional plumbing team inspect and maintain your pipes is a great way to determine the state of your plumbing system and whether you need to replace your pipes.

The lifespan of a pipe can be determined by what kind of material from which it is constructed. Supply pipes, often made of brass, copper or galvanized steel, have a lifespan of 80 to 100 years. Whereas drain lines made of polyvinyl chloride (also known as PVC) only last for 20 to 40 years.

Trust the Plumbing Pros

Although you may be able to spot some of the warning signs mentioned, it is best to rely on the Bradley Mechanical plumbing experts' advice on whether it's time for a pipe replacement. We understand how big of a project pipe replacement is and work hard to develop a plan that fits your timeframe and budget.

Bradley Mechanical is your local expert for all of your plumbing needs. We have been serving our community for over 50 years and have the experience to solve any plumbing issue you may have. Our plumbing services are completed by certified plumbers who receive optimal training and approach every project courteously and promptly.

We know water damage can happen quickly, suddenly and unexpectedly. Your plumbing and pipe problems are our priority. Give us a call today, and we'll get you out of the fix you're in.

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