An emergency is, by its very nature, an inconvenience at the very least. An emergency home repair definitely fits that description, especially when the cause is a pipe bursting or failing, and all the disruption to routine that includes. Then comes the repair, and no one who has gone through the process of an emergency pipe repair needs to be told how expensive it is. Of course, an emergency is the least opportune time to replace such an important part of a home, when you have no time to research companies and options. To avoid it making a bad decision in a high stress time, follow these four simple guidelines for pipe replacement in your home.
- First, Know What Pipes You Have: This information should be on the report you received from the inspector at the time of your home’s purchase. If you cannot find that, call around for a plumber that will do a free inspection, and the good ones will, so keep the information of the company or freelancer that performs the service. The supply pipes are subjected to constant water pressure and are likely to leak, and their lifespan is between 80 and 100 years for galvanized steel and brass or 70-80 years for copper. Drain pipes have two choices with extremely different life spans: Polyvinyl Chloride, or PVC, lasts between 25 and 40 years, while cast iron can last 80 to 100. If your pipes have passed these points, they might still be fine, but have them inspected, if you have not already.
- Pay Attention: Every year, check what pipes you can for discoloration or flaking, which are signs of corrosion, and for leaks also. If your water has a yellow or brown cast to it when filling a tub or the sink, its a sign of rust and a sure sign you should be replacing your pipes soon
- Experts: Only a good plumber will be able to tell you for certain if you need sewer and drain replacement. No matter how good or trustworthy, and hopefully they are both, it is still a good idea to get a second opinion, and possibly a third.
- Renovation and Exposed Pipes: If you know that your pipes are nearing the end of their lifespan, take the opportunity to replace any pipes that are exposed in the basement or in a crawlspace. This is an easier, and thus comparatively cheaper, option than the underground pipes. This is true as well for renovation. It might be an added expense, but better to pay the bill when you can plan for it.
If your pipes do need to be replaced, a good option that many homeowners are still unaware of after roughly 15 years of widespread use are trenchless options for pipe repair. It involves snaaking a lining down through the drains which then cures into a permanent pipe. With the advanced warning from taking appropriate care of pipes, you will have more than enough time to research and find the option that is best for you.