House Repipe Starting From $3500 (Free estimate)
5 Questions Every Homeowner Should Have About Water Pipes
Here are 5 water-related concerns every homeowner should be aware of in order to help protect themselves from the hassles, headaches and potentially high costs of water line, sewer line and in home plumbing problems.
1. How old are your pipes?
The vast majority of the nation’s water pipes were installed after World War two and are in serious need of replacement or repair. In fact, a 2012 report from the National Association of Water Companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce stated that nearly half of all pipes in the U.S. were in poor shape. Knowing the age of your pipes will help you to assess their need for repair.
2. Do you have mature trees near your water service lines?
Invasive tree roots often “follow” and disrupt service lines. Roots seek out pipes because they provide essential elements that trees need to grow – water, nutrients and oxygen. When tree roots get into pipes, they can cause clogs and blocks that lead to serious problems and need for repair.
3. Do you have clay soil?
Poor soil conditions – such as low soil resistivity and high chloride content – can cause corrosion of pipes from the outside, and lead to leaks and contamination.
4. Have you been ignoring the warning signs?
Many times, it’s the deceptively small things homeowners overlook that may signify a water issue. Something as simple as a family cooking frequently in the kitchen can lead to continued grease and food disposals building up over time in the sewer and drain lines. A stammering faucet can be an indication that a water line is leaking. And, a clogged toilet or slow drainage can signal to a homeowner that the sewer line is clogged. All of these signs could point to a sudden and potentially costly repair. Detecting these easy fixes and taking care of them can save you from potential problems – and save you more than 10% on water bills.
5. Do you know what your pipes are made of?
A 2012 study conducted by the Utah state University Buried Structures Laboratory showed that nearly a quarter of all water mains in the U.S. are more than 59 years old. These older pipes were generally made from clay, galvanized steel or tile – materials more prone to deterioration over time. Additionally, Steven Folkman, USU professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering completed a comprehensive pipe materials study and discovered that “nearly 75% of all utilities have corrosive soil conditions and combined with a high portion of old cast iron and ductile iron pipes, corrosion is ranked the second – highest reason for water main pipe failure in the United States. If your home was built before the 1980s, it is mostly likely that your pipes are made of clay, and in need of repair or replacement.
Old Water Pipe Problems
Many, many homes built before the mid 1940s and some as late as 1960 have galvanized steel/iron water supply pipes. Once in a while, We’ll find some brass pipes still in use. On some rare occasions, We’ll find lead supply pipes. It’s more common for lead to be used for drain pipes and underground water services, between the water main and the house. Identifying lead pipe is quite easy. The metal is dark gray and soft. When scratched with a screwdriver, a lighter color gray is revealed. Where the lead pipe connects to other pipes, there’s often a big bulbs of lead at the joints. If you suspect lead supply pipes, have your water tested to be sure it contains less than the 15 ppb EPA action limit.