When Should You Replace Your Plumbing?

Plumbing Company In Marlyand: Replace Your Plumbing?

Plumbing is largely invisible in most homes and rarely the cause of any trouble. Part of this is because plumbing itself is ingeniously simple, not relying on many moving parts or sophisticated electronics to work properly. Water lines pump safe, drinkable water into a home, and pressure moves the water through the pipes. Drain pipes are just empty tubes waiting to carry used water away, whether that is dirty dishwater from a dishwasher or human waste from a toilet.

But as with the rest of your home, plumbing doesn’t last forever. So if the plumbing is something that is eventually going to break, when should you be thinking of calling a plumbing company in Maryland to replace it?

Materials Matter

The biggest determining factor for how long plumbing lasts is the choice of material used for the pipes. Water pipes have a different function from drainage pipes, so their material and construction often differ. The lifespan of the typical water pipe breaks down like this:

• Brass: 80-100 years
• Galvanized Steel: 80-100 years
• Copper: 70-80 years

Modern water supply pipes are made with three common materials. Copper is still in use, but so are synthetic plastic solutions like chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) and Cross-Linked Polyethylene (PEX).

Brass pipes are a common choice for water supply lines all the way up to World War II. Galvanized steel was also a popular choice. It was only in the post-war period that copper became the favored material. From the 1950s onward, it became a popular standard material for plumbers to use.

In the 90s, with the perfection of synthetic materials manufacturing, plastics like PEX became popular since they could be custom-built to any configuration.

The Risks

One of the biggest problems with older pipes, especially brass, is a danger to health. This isn’t such an issue for adults, but it can be a significant issue for children who are smaller and more sensitive. Brass, for example, is an alloy, meaning that it is made up of different metals to form a more robust combination.

Unfortunately, back in the days when brass was a popular material, lead was one of the most versatile materials used in alloys. Lead can have a harsh impact on children’s health if they drink water from old pipes with lead lining that corrodes and contaminates the water they consume.

At best, lead poisoning can lead to digestive issues, irritability, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and even constipation in children. At worst, severe lead poisoning can result in vomiting, diarrhea, coma, and even death.

Look At The Building’s Age

Always take a building’s age as a gauge of whether you should have the pipes inspected. Any home built in this century, for example, should have decades of reliable, worry-free, and safe operation behind it. 20th-century homes, however, need to be looked at more closely.

If a home is more than 50 years old and still has original features like wiring and electricity, have a plumbing company in Maryland take a look. Well maintained pipes, even if old, can continue to operate, but poorly maintained pipes should be replaced quickly.