You’re pretty sure that your pipes need cleaning. In fact, it seems like they are developing partial clogs or need to be cleaned much more often than before. If these are aging pipes, their deterioration or their age may be a factor. It also might make it more challenging to clean them. Here’s how the age of your pipes will impact how often they need to be cleaned or how often they develop partial or complete clogs.
Brittle, Corroded or Weak Lines
While we think of plumbing pipes as really strong, they do eventually age. Hairline cracks gather, the pipe walls thin from corrosion, and the structural integrity starts to decline. Eventually, all pipes need to be replaced, even ones made from copper or modern materials like PEX. When your plumbing lines are significantly weakened, there is a lot more risk in cleaning them out and removing clogs. These treatments, though often necessary, can cause stress to your pipes and make them break or burst. That’s why when a professional plumber sees your pipes are in poor condition, they’ll recommend re-piping.
A big problem can occur if you have brittle, corroded or weak plumbing lines and you attempt to clear clogs on your own. The pressure caused by vinegar reacting with baking soda can be enough to burst these pipes. Using chemicals like Drano is also an issue as if a leak develops in the line, the chemicals can leak out.
If you know you have old plumbing lines and you need your drains cleaned or cleared of a clog, always reach out to a professional plumber.
Deterioration is not the only risk of aged plumbing systems. Your system might suffer from outdated fixtures, old repairs that were done poorly, or pipe materials and layouts that are no longer to code. Any or all of these amount to poor plumbing system design, which can then create the conditions for frequent clogs or other issues like leaks, scale development, low water pressure and more. Sometimes it is worthwhile to update your plumbing system to resolve these ongoing problems, and sometimes it isn’t. A quality plumber should be able to help you assess the pros and cons of fixing poor design issues with your plumbing system.
You Try to Clean Your Drain Lines and They Backup
You or your plumber tried to clean out your plumbing drains, and it didn’t fix the backup, at least not for the long term. What’s going on? You might have bellied lines. This is where old plumbing lines develop a slope issue. The bellied lines slope towards your home instead of away from it, causing water to sweep back into your home. If you’re lucky, all this does is make a backup in your shower. It can also cause other very serious issues, including foundation damage, exposure to sewer gases, and more. Plumbers can replace bellied lines and make sure that the new ones stay in place.