Let’s face it, nothing lasts forever and that includes the pipes in your home. As home ages, things wear out or break — paint starts to peel, floors need refinishing or new carpet, windows get drafty and the plumbing shows signs of rust and corrosion.
Most of the time, your home is going to let you know when its plumbing is worn out and it’s time to replace it. Here are some of the most common signs:
- Leaks. Plumbing leaks waste nearly one trillion gallons of water in U.S. households each year, or 12 percent of the total water used in our homes, according to the Water Research Foundation. Leaks destroy property to the tune of more than $10 billion in insurance payouts annually, so it’s important to inspect the inside and outside of your home regularly. Review your water bill and compare it to previous months; an increase may indicate a leak somewhere in your plumbing. Indoors, look for dripping sink and tub faucets and repair or replace worn parts. Outdoors, look for drips from hoses and the moist ground around irrigation systems and fix preventable leaks.
- Slow or clogged drains. Do you have a persistently slow draining tub or sink, despite your efforts to clear it? Many times the problem is caused by a build-up of soap scum and hair and sometimes a simple plunger is all you need to move the clog. If plunging doesn’t solve the problem, an auger might work. However, if neither of these methods work or you have more than one slow-running drain in your home, there may be a bigger problem with the wastewater system.
- Pipes that show rust/corrosion. Several different types of materials can be used to manufacture the plumbing that serves your home. Supply pipes can be made of brass, copper or galvanized steel. These pipes are the most likely to leak because they are under the constant pressure of supplying water to your home. Drainpipes that conduct water and waste away from your home are made of either cast iron or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Galvanized steel and cast iron are prone to show decay over time and will usually be replaced with PVC.
- Unpleasant smells. Your nose is a good detective. Bad smells from plumbing may come from stagnant water, mold and raw sewage. Water can seep out from a toilet that needs a new seal or its bolts tightened. Appliances like dishwashers and washing machines can develop leaks that produce musty smells. The rotten smell of raw sewage could mean a broken sewer line or a problem with a floor drain or stack (the pipe that carries waste from toilets to the sewer line).
- Running toilet. A toilet that runs constantly wastes hundreds of gallons of water a day. Some problems are easily fixed, such as replacing a worn-out flapper, adjusting the tension of the flapper chain, adjusting the water level or replacing the fill valve.
If you suspect your home is trying to tell you it needs a plumbing update, it’s time to call a reputable, licensed local plumber for help!
Howell Services provides quality, trusted plumbing services to the Fort Bend area. We are a family-owned company, dedicated to ensuring that our employees are the most qualified in the industry, so you can be assured that all of our plumbers are fully licensed, insured and bonded. Whether it’s an emergency or a garden-variety plumbing problem, we can help! Call us today to schedule a repair or a comprehensive plumbing inspection of your home.