There are a lot of advantages to old pipe replacement. Some, like improving your home’s resale value or preventing future maintenance problems, are obvious. Other advantages are more like happy surprises.
For instance, if your tap water looks rusty or tastes weird, did you know that replacing your water supply pipes could solve your problem? Fresh, new water supply pipes will improve the quality of your tap water for all kinds of reasons. Here are a few of those reasons:
Did you know that lead was the most common plumbing pipe construction material in the 1930s? Boy, that generation really couldn’t catch a break, huh? Chances are your pipes are from a bit more recent than 1930, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re lead-free. Lead-based products were used to solder copper pipes up until they were banned in 1985. That means if you have metal plumbing pipes from before then in your home, there’s a chance they contain lead.
Not only is lead toxic and dangerous to consume, it’s also less resilient than modern plumbing construction materials. As lead pipes or solder ages, it corrodes and begins to chip away into your water supply. That weird taste or coloration in your water might be caused by minuscule lead minerals floating in your tap water. Learn what your pipes are made of, and have your water tested for lead ASAP if you suspect your pipes may contain it. Strongly consider having a professional replace your water supply pipes immediately if you discover there’s lead in your water.
Corrosion happens when water and minerals scrape against and wear down the inner walls of water pipes. Corrosion effects pipes in a few different ways, and none of them are good. It can lead to rust accumulation, mineral clog, bottlenecks, pressure buildups, leaks, and even ruptures. When rust or minerals start to build up on the insides of pipes, the water that moves through those pipes will chip it away and carry it downstream–to you. That rust or mineral buildup could account for the taste, smell, or appearance of your water.
Virtually all plumbing pipes wear down over a long enough period of time, but some last longer than others. Having new, well-constructed water supply pipes installed in your home should ensure you don’t have to worry about corrosion for a long time. Manufacturers design new pipes to resist corrosion as long as possible, and make them out of materials that won’t chip away into the water supply.
While it’s true that all pipes break down over time, those breaks happen a lot faster if the pipes are multiple different materials. When different kinds of metals come into contact with one another in the presence of an electrolyte (such as the minerals in your water), they may begin to break down at a faster rate than they should. This occurs because of a somewhat complicated process called galvanic corrosion. When galvanic corrosion occurs, the differing electrical conductivity of the two metals accelerates the rate at which one of the metals wears down.
Unfortunately, the older your pipes are, the more likely it is that they’re multiple different materials. The previous homeowners may have replaced some pipes but not others, or may not have considered pipe material at all. Professional pipe installers can take steps to make sure your new pipes resist galvanic corrosion, even if you’re only having part of your system replaced.
Clean, Inside and Out
The average homeowner probably never even thinks about the cleanliness of their water supply pipes. After all, how could they get dirty in the first place? Unfortunately, mineral accumulation and corrosion can happen even if you do everything “right”. Having pros replace your old pipes is a great way to start over again with clean pipes. It’s also a great opportunity to check on the health and cleanliness of the rest of the plumbing system, while your installer’s in there.
Cleaning the inside and outside of your water supply pipes will help prevent future leaks, clogs, ruptures, or mineral build ups. Dallas’ public water is quite clean, so if you have a tap water problem, chances are it’s coming from inside the house!
We’re not implying that every home needs to replace their pipes. Water supply pipes last a long time, and they don’t even require much maintenance.
Get in touch with us today with any water quality or plumbing questions you may have. We can inspect your system and give our best recommendations. If we find out that you should have your pipes replaced, we can do that too. Here’s to clean water!