Pipes are some of the building blocks of good plumbing. Without durable and reliable pipes, you will have problems with plumbing. If you are on the planning phase of your dream home, it is a must for you to have basic knowledge of plumbing. You will be living in the house and you will be investing a good amount of money on it so you have to make sure that you get the best plumbing for the price you are thinking of spending.
Pipes do not last forever, nothing ever does in homes. You will have to replace pipes one time or another. Fortunately, the majority of pipe materials sold today perform well for decades. When pipes reach their lifespan, leaking and other problems may start.
Review the report
If you have just newly acquired a home, you should look at the home inspection report. This will help you determine what kinds of pipe you have. If you have been living in your home for quite some time, you should hire a plumber to inspect your plumbing system. The service call should not cost you a lot of money.
Plumbing can be made of different materials and different materials have different lifespans. Some last longer than others. Supply pipes are under constant pressure and when damaged, they are likely to cause leaks. Supply pipes can be made of copper, galvanized steel or brass. Brass has a lifespan of 40 to 70+ years; galvanized steel has a lifespan of 20-50 years; and copper has a lifespan of 50+ years.
Drain lines are made from cast iron and polyvinyl chloride or most commonly known as PVC. Cast iron has a lifespan of 75-100 years; and PVC has an indefinite lifespan.
One of the things, which every homeowner must find out is if they have polybutylene piping in their homes. This is a plastic plumbing material used in the 1970s until the 1990s. It is extremely prone to breakage and is common in old houses and buildings. If you do find out that you have polubutylene piping, you should contact the professionals and have them change it asap.
Various studies have been made on lead and it is a material, which is hazardous to the health of children and adults alike. Lead pipes were extensively used in the 1990s and it has a remarkable life expectation of a century. However, lead is a material, which can easily leach in your drinking water. Lead pipes have a dull gray colour, which can be easily scratched off the pipe with a knife.
If you suspect that you may have lead pipes, have the water tested right away. If there is lead content of 15 parts per billion or more, have a professional plumber replace the pipes right away. With the right pipes, you need not stay up all night, wondering when the pipes in the house are going to burst. You can be assured that your plumbing will do what is supposed to do for a long time to come.