It’s no secret that plumbing is a dirty job. However, it’s one that requires a lot of skill. There’s a common misconception that if you have a strong enough stomach and are persistent, then you don’t need any real know-how to fix your own plumbing. Not so fast.
There’s a lot more to plumbing than simply finding a leak and plugging it. A task could range from replacing a gasket or seal to replacing a whole outdated plumbing system. While your spouse may appreciate your can-do attitude, they’ll appreciate it even more if you know what you’re getting yourself into before you decide you “can do” the plumbing in your home. Here’s what you should know about your home’s plumbing, and why it usually requires a professional.
Replacing old pipes
Old pipes present numerous problems for your home. Galvanized pipes could be the main culprit behind your failing plumbing. While galvanized pipes have not been used to deliver drinking water in homes since World War II, they’re still present in many older homes.
What’s the problem with galvanized pipes? First of all, they are not nearly as dependable or heat tolerant as copper or plastic pipes. Their use within homes has been discontinued for over 50 years, so if they are present in your older home, they need to be replaced.
Chances are, any such pipes in your house are likely corroded and possibly even dangerous to your family’s health. Galvanized pipes can deposit lead in your drinking water and poison you and your loved ones over time. Even if the pipes in your home have been replaced, if it was a DIY job, then you may want to call in a professional.
A professional plumber knows that when copper pipes are fitted to galvanized ones, they require a dielectric coupling. A typical homeowner has no knowledge of this. Without dielectric couplings in place, the joints can become corroded and compromise your tap water. Also, replacing galvanized pipes with more of the same is a temporary fix at best. You will be doing it all over again in the foreseeable future.
Replacing old pipes is not the only way to deal with issues related to old and worn plumbing. Sewer relining is a quicker and less invasive way to deal with aged, worn, and cracked pipes. Also, it could be less hazardous.
Replacing your pipes is very costly — you have to pay for the excavation of your pipes. This means that not only will your yard get essentially demolished, but the crew might even have to hammer some concrete to get to all of your pipes. Even once the pipes have been replaced, there is much restorative work to be done and paid for.
Pipe relining involves shooting a coating resin down into the pipes. As this resin courses through the pipes, it sticks to and coats the inside of them. Once it hardens, it creates a jointless pipe within the piping. While it does narrow the passage of the pipe by about an inch, it will not affect your commodes’ ability to flush waste out of your home.
Pipe relining usually requires digging only one access hole to the lateral pipe. This means that you won’t have to dig up your entire yard or pay someone to jackhammer and repair the street in front of your home. You’ll save thousands of dollars on excavation and restoration costs alone this way.
While not all plumbing is heavy duty, it is not something that you should jump head-first into for your next DIY project. Make your loved ones proud: call a professional.