If you’re like most people, the pipes in your home are somewhat of a mystery to you. You know what their function is (or at least you’re pretty sure you do), and you know that sometimes they can leak and cause a problem. If this describes you accurately, then get ready for your knowledge to expand: we’re going to share some important facts about your home’s pipes with you.
Fact #1: Water is only meant to flow in one direction through your pipes.
It would be disgusting and unsanitary if the water coming out of your faucets traveled through the same pipes as your wastewater, just in a different direction. Fortunately, modern plumbing is not designed that way. Your home is equipped with pipes that bring water into different areas of your home from your main water line. Your home is also equipped with drains that transport your wastewater to your sewer line.
Fact #2: When water flows the wrong direction through your pipes, you have a “backflow” issue.
There are occasions when you may experience a problem known as “backflow.” Backflow occurs when wastewater flows back into your home through your plumbing, rather than out to your sewer line. When backflow occurs in your home, it’s important to hire a plumber for a professional to repair the problem. Many plumbers can also install a backflow prevention device as well to prevent the problem from occurring in the future.
Fact #3: There is a huge list of items and materials that can cause harmful clogs in your pipes.
Clogs are bad for a number of reasons. Not only do they prevent the flow of water through your drains, but they can also cause pipes to burst from a buildup of pressure. Clogs can also create standing water in a pipe that can cause it to corrode. For this reason, it’s important to keep these things out your toilet and any other drains in your home:
Cooking oils and grease
Stringy items like hair or dental floss
Any paper that isn’t toilet paper (napkins, paper towels, “flushable” wipes, etc.)
Feminine hygiene products
Fact #4: All pipes need to be replaced eventually.
Even the most durable piping material wears down and corrodes over time. Galvanized steel or polybutylene pipes are particularly prone to issues, which is one of the reasons why these materials are no longer used in new constructions.
While the upfront cost of repiping may cause some homeowners to postpone repiping for as long as possible, delaying the inevitable doesn’t always pay off. Leaks from a broken, corroded pipe can result in costly water damage and mold issues.
Is your home is dropping hints that it’s time to repipe? Here are 5 common signs that the time has come.