Six Signs You May Need a Whole House Repipe
It’s normal to have an occasional plumbing issue when owning a home, but if problems become chronic, like leaks or clogs, it may signify that your plumbing system needs some TLC.
If you’ve never heard of or considered repiping a home, here’s what it is and why you may want to consider it.
Repiping is when you replace all of the cold and hot water pipes in the house to solve problems like constant leaks and clogs. Sometimes, replacing a single line is enough to solve a problem, but in cases where the plumbing is over 50 years old, repiping is usually the only solution.
So, how do you know you need to repipe the house? Here are six signs it’s time.
Lead or Galvanized Steel Pipes
If your home was built before the 1986 Safe Water Act, which banned lead pipes, and you’ve never had the pipes replaced, chances are you have lead particles getting into your drinking water. Ingesting lead causes severe health problems, and it’s particularly deadly to young children.
If your home was built between the 1940s and 1970s, you probably have galvanized steel piping, which is prone to corrosion as it ages. As these pipes corrode, they weaken, which causes leaks and bursts. Because these pipes often need constant repairs, you’re better off spending your money repiping the home with more durable materials.
Frequent water leaks typically stem from pipes that crack or rupture. The problem with deteriorating pipes that leak is that you may not notice the problem immediately; many people mistake leaks for normal condensation. When they realize their pipes are leaking, there may already be significant water damage.
As metal pipes age, they deteriorate, and bits of metal flake off in the plumbing system, eventually causing clogs. Also, calcium and mineral deposits build up in the pipes over time, causing the water flow to slow and ultimately stop. It’s typically more cost-effective to replace these aging pipes than repair them.
If your water is red, brown, or yellow, it usually means you have sediment buildup in the plumbing system, and repiping may be the answer. Discolored water isn’t normal, and you shouldn’t trust it to drink.
Low Water Pressure
Weak water pressure throughout your house is another common sign that your pipes need replacing. Over time, minerals build up in your plumbing system and reduce the amount of water that flows through it. This culminates in low water pressure coming from your faucets and showerheads.
If you hear your pipes banging when water flows through them, it could be a water hammer that’s causing it. A water hammer happens when fast-moving water slams against the sides of the pipes from increased pressure. Noisy pipes don’t always mean you need to repipe your house, but it’s best to call a professional to investigate the problem.
At Fitzgerald Plumbing, our expert plumbers will examine the state of your home’s plumbing and determine whether repiping is necessary.
How Long Does Repiping a House Take?
If you’ve determined that your house needs repiping, the next question you probably have is how long it will take. Naturally, you don’t want to be inconvenienced any longer than necessary, so let’s look at the average time this process takes.
Depending on the size of your home, a complete whole house repipe can take anywhere from a few days up to a week. The good news is that you won’t be without water for the duration of the job in most cases. Most of the work involves building a new piping system along with the old one, and the only time you’ll be without access to your plumbing is when we stitch the old system over to the new one.
Our certified plumbers will give you a better estimate of how long it will take based on their findings and recommendations.