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7 signs you might need new water pipes

While spending more time at home, you’ve probably started noticing repairs you need to make. You may have even tackled a few home improvement projects. However, there are some improvements you might not consider, because they’re hidden until they reach their breaking point — like your home’s plumbing system.

You rely on the pipes to bring safe water into your home for cleaning, laundry and drinking every day. But you can’t usually tell something is wrong until they leak, creating water damage costing thousands of dollars.

There are signs that indicate it’s time to repipe your home. And when you do it right, that one project can save thousands of dollars and lots of future headaches by preventing leaks, water damage and unsafe drinking water.

1. Is your home over 50 years old?

If the original pipes weren’t replaced, repiping might be a good idea — before large-scale water damage occurs. Older homes typically used galvanized pipes prone to corrosion, leaking and bursting.

If your house was built even earlier — around the 1920s — the pipes were probably made of polybutylene and/or lead. These materials are dangerous and should be replaced immediately. Polybutylene is highly prone to breaking and leaking, so it’s only a matter of time before a serious problem occurs. And lead seeps into drinking water, which can cause serious health problems for your family.

2. Do you have low water pressure?

When pipes contain rust or mineral buildup, it eventually restricts water flow into the house. By the time it affects your water pressure, it’s the result of years of buildup — a clear sign repiping is needed.

3. Have you had leaks?

Bigger problems start small. If you’ve welded or patched leaks in small sections of pipe, this can indicate your entire system is at risk.

4. Do you see a problem?

Stains, flaking, indentations or rust on the pipes signals corrosion. Corroding pipes may leak and should be replaced. Rusty pipes can also turn water reddish or brown, indicating the need to repipe to make your water healthy to drink.

5. Does your water taste or smell bad?

An unappealing smell or taste may also mean your water is unsafe, because of a breakdown of your pipes. It’s best to have them inspected immediately — and drink bottled water in the meantime.

6. Is it making odd noises?

If your plumbing rattles, clanks or bangs, this is a sign of a larger problem. You should have your pipes checked right away.