Pinch your nose and tighten your belt, April 25 is National Hug a Plumber Day!
Plumbers have to endure a lot: smelly sink clogs, confined spaces and the risk of indecent exposure, not to mention all the jokes we make at their expense. But without plumbers we’d drown in a sea of leaky pipes, water damage and black mould, not to mention that our health relies on modern sanitation and sewers. So the next time you see your plumber, ask them if they’d like a hug!
Signs it’s time to replace your homes pipes
- Decreased water pressure or an increased water bill: Signs that there are leaks in your plumbing system, even if you can’t find signs of water damage.
- Red or brown coloured water: A sign of rust in your plumbing system, which indicates corroding pipes.
- An aging home: If your home was built before 1995, you may need to replace your plumbing system (if it hasn’t been done already). Homes built between the 1970s and 1995 often used Polybutylene pipes (commonly called Poly-B) and are known to corrode prematurely. Even older homes may contain galvanized steel pipes, which also have an increased tendency to corrode or burst.
Plumbing systems are designed to last for decades, but eventually all pipes need to be replaced using a process called repiping.
“Small leaks can be repaired without repiping, but if your plumbing system is old or made from ineffective materials, further leaks are likely to keep occurring. In that case, whole-home repiping will save you money, time and stress in the long run,” says Ted Fox, owner of Fox Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electrical in Vernon.
The problem with Poly-B
Durable, inexpensive and easy to install, Poly-B piping was extremely popular in homes built in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. But home owners soon learned that polybutylene reacted to disinfectants and treatments in water (including chlorine), causing flaking, cracking and leaks. Some Poly-B can last up to 30 years, but many systems failed as early as 10 years after installation.
“Not all plastic pipes are Poly-B. Typically, Poly-B pipes are light grey (though they can be blue, black or white). They may have copper connections or crimps, and ‘PB2110’ is usually stamped somewhere on the pipe,” Fox says. “Poly-B was used for water supply, not drainage, so the best place to look for it is near your water heater or in your basement.”
Ask a Fox plumbing technician if you’re unsure if your home needs to be repiped. And while you’re chatting, ask them if they want a hug, too!
For more home maintenance tips and exclusive savings, visit foxandsons.ca or follow them on Facebook. Call 1-833-793-4569 to request service for plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical issues, or schedule service online.