Did you know that water pipes have a limited life expectancy? Of course it makes sense because nothing lasts forever. But if anything were to last forever, it would be solid chunks of metal, right? Sadly, several forces, such as the corroding effects of water, can come into play and make your pipes unsafe or unstable and leaky over time.
Here are some signs that your home may new water pipes this season.
1. Strange Smelling Water
If you live in the city, chances are you have slightly chlorine-smelling water. But if one day you notice that your water also has a metallic tang, a sulfuric or musty odor, or some other off taste or flavor, you're right to be suspicious. The issue could be with the city's water quality, but the issue could also be that your pipes are starting to corrode.
2. Rust in Your Water
Rust is another sign of old, worn-out pipes. Most pipes are made out of materials that don't rust easily. So if you do see rust in your water, you likely have iron or steel inside your pipes that's started to corrode. In some cases, the iron could be coming from the groundwater (especially if you have a well), but in that case, it probably wouldn't simply show up one day unexpectedly.
Corrosion could result simply because your pipes are very old. But the characteristics of your water can have something to do with how fast corrosion occurs as well. For example, acidic water tends to corrode pipes more quickly. Naturally soft water (and occasionally softened water) may corrode more quickly as well.
3. Lead or Galvanized Steel Pipes
Lead pipes are a really bad idea for obvious reasons, but nobody knew about that hundreds of years ago. Fortunately, you're unlikely to have any lead pipes for your water supply unless you have an ancient house that hasn't been updated much.
However, galvanized steel pipes can also contaminate your water with lead. This happens when the zinc layer on the inside surface of the pipe starts to deteriorate. This zinc often has small amounts of lead in it, but enough to make your water unsafe when corrosion occurs. Galvanized steel may exist if your plumbing hasn't been updated since the '80s.
4. Pipes That Are Very Old
Like your water heater or your AC unit, your plumbing system is less likely to perform reliably once it's past its prime. The length of time your pipes are good will vary based on the material of the piping.
For example, PEX water supply piping (a type of plastic) may fail after 40 years, whereas PVC or ABS drain lines could last another couple of decades past the half-century mark.
5. Frequent Leaks
Frequent leaks are typically a symptom of damage or old age. But if you notice leaks opening up in your pipes on a regular basis, it could just be from old, worn-out pipes. Old pipes can be so corroded they develop multiple pinhole leaks. In this case, you'll likely save money by getting them replaced now rather than waiting a few more years and paying for a lot more repairs.
These five signs can be red flags showing you that your home water pipes are no longer safe to depend on. You may wish to drink bottled water until you can get a plumber out to figure out what the issue is and help you fix it.
Whether you're worried about your water quality, have a leak to deal with, or already know you need all new pipes, get in touch with 1A Florida Plumbing, Inc. today. We offer professional diagnoses, repairs, and replacements for home plumbing systems.