Sure, your bathroom fixtures can rival any showroom this side of town. But is the bathroom plumbing behind them at par?
The daily baths, toilet flushing, showers, and sink use eventually cause inevitable wear and tear. In time, your plumbing will need replacing. And we’re talking more than just cosmetic repair. In many cases, substantial work is needed. Here are the five warning signs that indicate a need to upgrade your plumbing.
- MOLD – Mold anywhere is a cause for concern. It’s a sure bet. When you see it, you will, more often than not, need to change your bathroom plumbing. Once mold appears on walls and ceilings, you know that water is running where it shouldn’t. And the sooner you find the leak source, the better. Look for moist or wet areas in the walls and ceiling. It won’t be obvious especially after a hot shower or bath. But wait a few hours and do a complete ocular of your bathroom. If you still see wet spots on walls and ceilings, its time to call a professional plumber.
- FAULTY HARDWARE – Old and outdated fixtures are prone to rust and chipping. Don’t wait till you see visible signs. If your fixture is at least five years old, consider a complete bathroom plumbing and fixture replacement. Bits of chipped metal isn’t always obvious to the naked eye especially when it mixes in with the water stream. If you are DIY-ing it, make sure to turn off water from the source before removing any type of bathroom fixture.
- LOW WATER VOLUME – Tolerating a weak shower can be dangerous! If the water in the bath or shower isn’t coming out in a strong stream, your pipes may be corroded. Galvanized steel pipes degrade over time. Their diameter narrows, causing the volume of water to decrease. Ignore it, and you can expect costly leaks down the line. Low water volume often leads to a complete pipe replacement.
- SMELLY, RUSTY WATER – Water quality problems (such as foul-smelling, rusty water) often lead to bathroom plumbing replacement. But the culprit is not what you might expect – your water heater. Many water heaters feature sacrificial anodes – steel cores that are covered in zinc or magnesium and aluminum. Over time, these rods break down. And the result is, you guessed it! Foul-smelling, rust-colored water! The fix is a new water heater.
- OTHER WATER ISSUES – Leaks and faulty bathroom plumbing are obvious reasons for an upgrade. If you turn on your tap but find that water collects around the fixture or the tub, you need to do some proper sealing. Be mindful of drainage as well. A slow draining type or shower points to a clog. Flush your drains with a baking soda-vinegar mix (or a commercial cleaner) to keep clogs at bay. Eventually, you will need to replace your drain hardware.
Replacing and upgrading your bathroom plumbing don’t just update your bathroom’s look. They also guarantee safety. Catch your problems early enough and you can save both time and precious resources.