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How Old Are Your Pipes?

plumbing old pipes leaking

Nothing lasts forever, not even your pipes. Over time, the pipes in your home will eventually corrode, rust or begin to deteriorate. Without replacing the plumbing, you will eventually get leaks that will require repair. Flooding of water or raw sewage could cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home and possessions.

The lifespan of a pipe can be determined by what kind of material from which it is constructed. Supply pipes which are 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. However, 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. If you own an older home, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your pipes.

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, 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. Homeowners also tend to forget about the hundreds of feet of piping that can’t be seen within the walls and under the floors. Being proactive with upgrading your pipes, especially when you see the signs, can save you thousands of dollars in repairs or property damage.

Noting the color of your water when you fill the bathtub—especially after the water has been sitting in the pipes for days—can give you an indication of 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.

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.

Although you may be able to spot some of the warning signs we have mentioned, it is best to rely on the plumbing experts of Bradley Mechanical to advise whether it’s time for a pipe replacement.

Bradley Mechanical is your local expert for all of your plumbing needs. We have been serving Central Virginia for over 50 years and have the experience to solve any plumbing issue you may have. Our plumbing professionals are well-trained, courteous, and will respond promptly to your calls. We know water damage can happen quickly which is why we will always treat you as a priority. Give us a call today at (804) 748-6728 and “we’ll get you outta the fix you’re in!”