August 21st is World Senior Citizens’ Day, and what a great time to celebrate those in our lives who’ve reached their golden years. However, when the plumbing in your home reaches its golden years, it may be time to assess whether or not it’s time to upgrade your pipes and fixtures.
In this quick article, we’ll point out a couple of things that might be your home’s way of telling you it’s time to take a closer look at its pipes. We’ll also tell you about some potentially serious health issues that older plumbing can cause. Let’s start with a look at one of the main culprits caused by older plumbing.
An Undesired Drop in Water Pressure
Do you constantly find yourself complaining about low water pressure? Are your showers just not as invigorating as they used to be?
The problem might be older pipes in your home. Many older homes relied on galvanized steel pipes to bring water in from the municipal water supply. These pipes were coated with zinc to protect them from corrosion.
Over time this coating wears away, leaving the minerals dissolved in the water to react with the iron in the pipes. This can cause sediment to build up. Once exposed the iron in the pipes can even begin to form rust.
These sediments and rust accumulate and narrow the diameter of the pipe, lowering the amount of water available at the tap. We may tell ourselves that we can live with a little less water pressure, but is all that sediment and build-up safe?
Heightened Risk of Health Issues
These sediments can discolor the water, making it uncomfortable for bathing and cleaning. It’s hard to feel clean when the water coming out of the tap isn’t exactly crystal clear.
Some of these sediments can build up and cause complications when we ingest this water, whether from drinking or cooking. In fact, older deteriorating galvanized pipes often contain lead. Lead is highly toxic when ingested in sufficient quantities.
Even if your home is free from galvanized piping, the solder used to join copper pipes used to contain lead. After a number of years, this lead can also leach into your home’s water supply.
Children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning. If you notice symptoms such as excessive fatigue, headaches, stomach upset, and any cognitive decline in your children, it’s best to have your plumbing checked out right away.
Suffering from Constant Clogs
If you find yourself dealing with clogged toilets, sinks, and drains on a regular basis, it might be the sign of aging plumbing. Just like corrosion in your water supply pipes can cause issues, corrosion on your drain pipes can cause constant clogs.
Also, the build-up of hair and residue from soaps and detergents can also cause frequent clogging. Most plumbers can effectively deal with this source of constant clogs with regular maintenance, but when it comes to a build-up of metallic sediment, their only option may be a replacement.
Don’t make the mistake that many homeowners make, ignoring these simple signs. Many fear that replacing pipes is too costly. Your plumbing system requires regular maintenance and some older materials definitely have their own “expiration date.”
Your pipes will not improve like a fine wine or our seniors over the years. To see if your system just needs a tune-up or if it’s time to replace it, we offer expert advice. Don’t hesitate to call us at 803-398-2090 with your questions, especially if you suspect there’s any lead in your plumbing.