Photo By Katrina Brown at Shutterstock
Your home’s pipes are like the offensive line for the Minnesota Vikings: you only really notice them when they don’t do their job. When all goes well, your pipes are a critical part of making the things we do every day — cooking, doing laundry, showering — possible. But just like a leak in the Vikings’ offensive line can lead to Kirk Cousins flat on his back, a leak in your pipes can cause catastrophic problems in your Minneapolis, MN home, problems that only a plumber can fix.
Luckily, your home and your pipes have a way of telling you that you’ve got a problem before you run into real problems with your water supply. Here are a few signs that you need to call a plumber in to replace your home’s pipes!
Your Pipes Are Older
If you live in one of the older homes in Hennepin County, there’s a good chance that your home’s pipes are coming toward the end of their useful life. Your pipes are only meant to last you about 50 years before you need to replace them, and that’s especially true if your home was built before changes in the way that pipes are installed.
That’s because decades ago, many homes were fitted with galvanized steel pipes, which replaced lead as the piping of choice in the 1950s but had fallen out of favor with many plumbers by the mid 1960s. Since that time, copper and PVC have long been the choice for all plumbing needs because they last a lot longer and they don’t corrode from the inside like galvanized steel does. But if your home was built in the 1950s or 1960s, there’s a good chance that your home still has these older pipes.
If that’s the case, it’s time to call a plumber and get them replaced. If your pipes are older than 50 years, it’s really only a matter of time before you end up with a serious plumbing issue. Before you get to that point, make sure to replace your pipes.
You See a Small Leak
Let’s be honest: when it comes to your plumbing, there’s really no such thing as a small leak. Even a drop or two a minute can waste several gallons of water over the course of a month.
If you spot any kind of leak around your pipes, whether it’s a couple drops or a pool of water, it’s time for you to call a plumber. Obviously, if it’s a pool of water, you need to make that call immediately, but even if it’s just a drop or two, this isn’t a call that you can wait to make. Every minute that you leave a leak ignored is just more time that allows your pipes to further deteriorate. As soon as you spot any amount of water coming out of your pipes, you need to make a call right away to a plumber so you can prevent any further damage.
Your Water Is Discolored
When your water comes out another color than clear, that’s a sign that you’ve got some kind of issue with your plumbing system. Sometimes, this is harmless, but other times, it’s a sign of something that’s seriously wrong with your water. If your water comes out red, brown or yellow, that’s a sign that your water is coming into contact with oxidation at some point in its journey to the faucet.
There are a couple of possibilities here, but if you’ve never seen a strange color with your water before, the most likely possibility is that the pipes in your Minneapolis, MN home are having some kind of issue. That’s because red, brown and yellow water is a sign of either iron or manganese in your water, and that usually happens somewhere in your plumbing system. Even though iron and manganese are harmless minerals in small quantities (and iron is actually necessary for your body to stay healthy), you still need to call a plumber if you notice these colors in your water. That’s because even if your water is safe, you’ve still likely got a problem with your pipes — and every second is critical when it comes to your pipes.
Your Pipes Aren’t Smooth
If your pipes have been coming into contact with corrosive chemicals, there’s always a risk of real problems. In this case, the telltale sign is the shape and texture of your pipes, because corrosive chemicals can eat away some of the metal that keeps your pipes completely intact. A pipe that’s been damaged by corrosive chemicals might be disfigured, bumpy or rough to the touch, and in any case, you need a plumber to come in right away.
Your pipes are never supposed to be disfigured, and if they are, you’re really at risk of your pipes either bursting or otherwise tearing and forming a leak. If either of those happens, the only question will be how extensive the damage will be before a plumber gets the chance to make repairs, so don’t wait around to make a service call.
Decreased Water Pressure
Here’s a problem where it pays to know your neighbors. If your water pressure decreases for no reason, there are two possibilities. The first is that the pressure has simply decreased on your street, which should be fixed as soon as your water provider can do so. But the second requires you to call a plumber, because if the loss of pressure is limited to your own street, the problem is likely with your pipes. If your pipes are aging, they might no longer be able to keep up with the demands of your home.
At Paul Bunyan Plumbing & Drains, we’re experts at knowing which pipes work best for each Minneapolis, MN home, and we’re happy to replace aging and damaged pipes with quality new pipes that can reliably serve your home. If you’re in need of a plumber to replace your old pipes, just give us a call!