There is no good time to have your plumbing fail, but it does seem to always happen at the most inopportune time. Many people know the horror of waking up to find their entire basement flooded or to have the floor sink in an entire section of the kitchen. These plumbing disasters are awful and expensive. They are, however, preventable. You just need to know how to avoid them.
What’s Your Plumbing Made Of?
Your plumbing can be made from a wide variety of materials. Different materials were used in different time periods and different areas. Also, different contractors used various materials for many reasons. You need to know what your pipes are made of. If you don’t know, you should have a plumber come out to your house and inspect them. Each material only lasts for a certain amount of time. Also, hard water and other dissolved particles in your water can shorten the life of your pipes.
PVC pipes typically last between 20 and 40 years. Copper pipes last about 75 years. Cast iron pipes and brass fittings can last for upwards of 100 years. Knowing how old they are is critical to avoiding disaster.
Polybutylene pipes were used in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s as a cheaper alternative to PVC or metal. They have been known to leach certain harmful chemicals into your water in certain cases. Also, they have been known to grow brittle and break suddenly. A plumber can tell you if you have these pipes, the chances of breakage, and when you should replace them.
Good Plumbing Hygiene
Part of avoiding a plumbing disaster involves your daily practice. If you don’t have a garbage disposal on your sink, you should avoid any food particles going down the sink. If you do have a garbage disposal, you should still be somewhat cautious. A garbage disposal can be overwhelmed with food, especially hard foods such as bones. It’s still best practice to scrape food particles into the household trash. Don’t put any coffee grounds or grease in the sink either. Those just build up to create blockages.
Monitor The Water Bill
You should make sure you check your water bill each month even if it automatically deducts from your bank account. You are charged for any water that passes the meter. So, a leaky pipe will constantly run the meter; if you notice a sharp uptick in water usage on a bill, it could be a sign that a pipe is leaking.
Call Your Local Boise Plumber with Questions
Think you are in the middle of a plumbing disaster or about be in one? Call your local Boise plumber immediately. Don’t wait. Time is money!