The cost of fully plumbing a home can range anywhere from $1,500 to $15,000, depending on the size of the home and the materials you choose to go with. The national average cost is about $4,000. While that isn’t a big number, it is still enough that you will probably need to plan and save ahead of time. In order to do that, you will need to know how old your current plumbing system is. Most systems can last 50 or 60 years, but different materials have different lifespans, and the location of your home can also impact that number. Here are a few things to look for if you think it is getting close to replacement time for your plumbing.
- Material – Knowing the age of your home can help you to predict when it will be time to change or replace the plumbing system of your home. Homes built during certain time periods will most likely have certain types of plumbing. Newer homes will have polyvinyl chloride (PVC), copper, or brass pipes while older homes could have different types of piping like galvanized steel, lead, or cast iron. Each material has a lifespan and when that number gets close, it is time to start thinking about a replacement. Most of these materials have a lifespan of 60+ years, but PVC is only 25 to 40 years. If your home has lead piping, this should be an immediate red flag – consumption of lead (even tiny bits) can hospitalize children and adults. Have your plumber do a quick inspection to determine what time of piping you have, and what condition it is in.
- Pressure – Another sign that it may be time to upgrade or replace your plumbing can be your water pressure. Sometimes pressure changes because of clogs or build-up somewhere along the line. However, another reason for bad water pressure can be caused by leaks (big or small) in the plumbing. Pipes that are leaking may need to be replaced due to age or damage to them. Try using a regular drain-clearing liquid to clear up a potential clog. If that doesn’t solve the problem, contact your plumber to look for leaks. Aside from the obvious waste of water, leaks can be a big problem because they can damage the foundation of the building, making it unsafe to be in. Water leaks can also cause mold to grow, which can be damaging to your health because the air you are breathing is not safe.
- Discoloration – If you live in a city or town that provides water, the discoloration can be a cause for concern. Folks that live on a well, in a rural area, or have a boil order should still get their water tested for health safety, but discoloration may be more common and less of a concern in these situations. Living in a more suburban area, your water will be treated through a water treatment plant, and it should not appear discolored. Discoloration could be caused by pipes that are old and corroding. Corrosion means that rust and other particles are getting into your water, causing the brown or dark coloration. Not only is this a problem, it can also lead to the bigger issue of bursting pipes. We’ve heard of pipes bursting due to cold water, but this can also happen because of mineral deposits. When a pipe corrodes, it creates a surface that minerals and other particles can attach to. Eventually, the build-up will get too big and the pipe can burst, causing a lot of damage and a big bill to take care of it.
- Look at Pipes – if you have exposed pipes, like in the ceiling of your basement or crawl space, you can use these as a guide. If you see anything out of the ordinary on these pipes (dimpling, water droplets or condensation, discoloration, bumps, rust, or flaking) you should get in touch with your plumber. These may be small areas that need a quick tightening or tune-up, or they could be a sign that you are in need of an entirely new plumbing system.
If you aren’t sure of the age of your plumbing system, get in touch with Drain Wizard and we can help you determine that, as well as discuss what type of plumbing you might want to go with when it is time for a replacement. Our highly-trained team is ready to answer any questions you may have and help you with any plumbing needs. Don’t wait until you’ve sprung a leak, make an appointment today.