Good plumbing is essential to a healthy home, and as long as the toilet flushes and there is plenty of hot water for a shower, most people give little thought to the pipes that deliver the water. Proper plumbing maintenance can avert behind-the-scenes problems such as wet insulation and drywall damage stemming from leaking pipes.
Upgrading your plumbing now will save you trouble and money down the road. Replacing leaky faucets reduces water bills and conserves water; five drips a minute wastes 230 gallons a year. Continual dripping rusts fixtures, stains sinks and causes calcium buildup. Permanent stains may result in the need to replace all of your fixtures; this is an over-the-top solution when a simple faucet upgrade could have solved the problem.
Old steel water lines can become corroded or clogged, reducing water pressure. Upgrading the lines increases water pressure; in turn, increased pressure causes toilets, showers and faucets to function more efficiently. More significantly, if the old line is clogged due to rust buildup, the pressure from the backed-up water can burst the rusted-out pipe.
It is often difficult to determine the exact time you should upgrade your plumbing. Some situations, such as installing a dishwasher or adding a new bathroom, naturally call for an upgrade. The odor of rotten eggs, rumbling noises and brown water are other signs your system needs improvement. Several factors can help pinpoint when it is time to consider an upgrade or new plumbing installation:
- Age — older systems often have deteriorating pipes, loose fittings and corrosion
- Usage — an existing system may not have adequate water pressure to handle an increase in use; high use means components wear out more quickly
- Efficiency — new fixtures are more efficient and promote water conservation
- Hygiene — faucets with a hands-free design are conducive to a healthier environment
- Repairs — increasingly frequent repairs mean your equipment is nearing the end of its lifespan
Upgrades that include modern fixtures result in greater efficiency and lower costs. Newer low-flow toilets, sinks and showerheads require less water than older models. The biggest benefit of upgrading, however, is avoiding catastrophic breakdowns that lead to aggravating and expensive plumbing repairs.
If left unchecked, small problems can become major disasters. Not only will components need replacement, but extensive damage can be done to carpeting, furniture and personal belongings. A malfunctioning water heater can create a safety hazard and lead to fire; a ruptured pipe can spew raw sewage in the basement family room.
Diligent plumbing maintenance reduces the likelihood you will incur unexpected plumbing repairs and can delay the need for new plumbing installation. Eventually, though, it will be time for an upgrade, and that is where the professionals at Air Conditioning by Luquire can help. If you have questions about your water pipes, lines or fixtures, contact us today.