As a homeowner, one of the things you can’t avoid is the fact that you have to maintain your home in top condition. Sometimes, this means replumbing the house. Although this is not something that you’ll need to do frequently, you still have to face it when the time comes or else risk getting a flood on your hands.
If you’re reading this, then the most important thing you need to do is determine whether you’re facing an imminent plumbing disaster or if it’s just a distant threat. This is not to be taken lightly, because replacing old pipes is not cheap.
For instance, if you live in a 1,500 square foot home with two bedrooms, then a replumbing job could easily set you back $4,000 to $10,000!
Read on to find out what you need to consider before you decide whether or not to embark on a replumbing project.
Why You Should Replumb Your House
Look out for the following signs to figure out if it’s time to replace your home’s old pipes or not:
- Running Toilets
The last thing you want to see when going into your bathroom is clogged washrooms. A toilet that’s constantly running can significantly increase your water bills not to mention the cost of repairs and replacements.
The first thing you need to do is figure out the lifespan of your cast iron pipes considering the fact that they’re mostly utilized in the drainage system.
- Clogged Drains
Over time, drainage systems will inevitably become clogged, making it difficult for the pipes to do their job and allow water to flow. This is a common plumbing issue that requires a quick solution or it could lead to bank-breaking damage.
The damage caused by a clogged drain is unbearable not only to your quality of life but will hit your pockets hard. You could always clean your drains by yourself, starting at the toilets, bathrooms, and sinks.
Or, you could hire a professional to do it for you without breaking the bank. For the best results, apply certain preventative measures to keep your pipes clean and in good condition before they get damaged enough to require replacement.
- Leaky Pipes
If you don’t pay attention to your pipes when they start leaking, you could find yourself facing a very serious and costly problem. In fact, pipe leakage can significantly damage your whole house. No matter how minor the leakage seems, it can wreak havoc on your home’s structures if left unchecked.
The best way to detect whether or not your pipes are leaking is to determine the age of your pipes. Copper and brass pipes have a rather long lifespan and can last for decades without leaking when compared to galvanized steel, which is much more susceptible to damage.
In fact, copper water pipes can last well into 100 years. This doesn’t mean that you should neglect your pipes. You should still check on them to avoid the cost of repairs and replace them before they cause further and costlier damage.
- Dripping Faucets
High water bills are often caused by dripping faucets in most homes.
Before you try and learn how to change the pipes in your home you need to look and see if there are any leaky or dripping pipes and faucets.
Leaky faucets can be caused by cracked or broken plumbing components, high water pressure, worn-out cartridges and damaged system components.
- Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure is often caused by old cast iron pipes which are typically damaged through harmful deposits and corrosion. This makes it difficult for water to flow through and get to where it needs to go.
The fastest and easiest solution is to replace your cast iron pipes with PVC ones. If the low water pressure isn’t caused by your pipes then you should check for clogging in the showerheads and kitchen taps.
When to Replumb Your House
If you live in a centuries-old house then you want to check all of your exposed pipes at least once a year, particularly in utility rooms, crawlspaces, and basements.
Look at the tubing for things like flaking, pimples, dimpling, stains, and discoloration. These are all telltale signs of corrosion and should drive you to call on a plumber to test the place to make sure.
Look out for leaks as well because even tiny leaks can be repaired in order to avoid a house-wide replacement. Keep in mind that if your house is older than 60 years old, they’re probably made from the same vintage material and have been going through the same usage and water supply patterns.
If you’re noticing sporadic leaks in certain parts of your house, you’ll probably see signs of this showing up in your house. If this happens, then it might be time for your water lines to get changed.
Fill your bathtub with water and see what the color of the water is. If it comes out looking yellow or brown then you’re seeing a lot of rust and decay from years of nonstop use and they should be replaced as soon as possible.
How to Replumb Your House
While it’s possible to avoid most plumbing issues, you simply can’t avoid the problems that come with them, particularly if you’re dealing with poorly installed and old plumbing.
The good news is there is always a way to overcome these problems and you have the power to do something about it before the chaos starts to unfold.
- Find the Shut-Offs
This is incredibly important. Prior to beginning any plumbing project, it’s important to understand what your shut-off valves control, even if you’re doing something as simple as tightening your toilet seat. If you have a well-installed system then you should have shutoffs in every bathroom of your house.
- Sweat Copper Pipes
It might not sound like it, but sweating copper pipes is a pretty simple and straightforward process.
All you have to do is get the following plumbing tools: copper pipes, a small torch, flux, and solder at your local hardware store to get the job done right.
- Know Your Home
No matter how small a plumbing project is, it’s always a good idea to get an overview of the entire plumbing system.
Do your due diligence to understand the basics of plumbing including things like the waste pipe pitch requirements, drain line capacity, and how vent pipes work.
Once you understand how these work it shouldn’t be hard to map out and take care of your home’s plumbing system.