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Sometimes change is a good thing, especially if it’s needed. A new hairstyle, new phone, and brand new piping are always at the top of the list (At least for us)!

Old, worn-out pipes and sewer connections are more prone to leaking or collapsing.

Your plumbing system may be behind a wall, but it ages just like any other appliance system would, even if you can’t see it. Clogs and leaks can weaken the integrity of your pipes, and more so if your piping is not routinely cleaned or maintenanced. Drain cleaners are another factor since the chemicals wear out your pipes’ walling. All of these issues can lead to significant damage and increase the risk of plumbing problems for homeowners and commercial buildings.

If it’s been a few years since you’ve had your pipes checked, and you’re concerned about their current state and age, here are a few reasons why having a professional pipe inspection is necessary.

Several Years of Wear and Tear Damage

We use plumbing systems in some sort of capacity every day. Whether we go to the bathroom, wash dishes, or take a shower, our piping has constant objects and debris being flushed down them. Because we can’t see them, we often forget that our pipes can take a heavy amount of damage. Some of the reasons include:

  • Debris Buildup- Hair, soap scum, and food scraps are just a handful of things that can get stuck in the pipes and lead to obstructions. Buildup from these items can create consistent clogging problems and may lead to unpleasant odors.

  • Tree Roots- Roots are drawn to sewer lines because they contain water, nutrients, and oxygen, which trees need to grow. As nice as they are, trees and their roots can cause a ton of unseen damage to pipes, like cracks and contamination to the water. Since plumbing systems and tree roots are both underground, the tree roots have the potential to puncture or push through the piping, and cause sewer backup.

  • Earthquakes- If you live along a fault line that is prone to frequent earthquakes, then you have a whole other reason to protect your pipes. The shifting ground can cause just enough damage underneath that your pipes could be crushed or bent.

The real issue comes from our inability to see these problems when they’re present. Since pipes are underground, we often just assume everything is working as it should be. Only a professional plumbing service performing a pipe inspection can spot hidden issues since they have the proper equipment to check a pipe’s integrity.

Certain Homes Still Use Outdated Plumbing Materials

Homes that were built before 1990 may have plumbing systems made from materials you will never see a plumbing business use today. In fact, Congress has banned the use of certain piping materials due to safety issues and other plumbing problems. An inspection and replacement service will become absolutely necessary for you if you know your plumbing system is made up of one of these three outdated types of pipes:

  • Lead- Lead is one of the oldest metals used for piping and was mainly used for sewer and water main lines. However, lead is highly toxic and regular contact can result in joint and gastrointestinal pain, irritability, memory loss, and even physical and mental development issues in children. The use of lead was restricted in 1920, but it wasn’t banned in full until Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1986.

  • Galvanized- Galvanized pipes are made from iron and then coated with a layer of zinc. While the piping itself can last almost 60 years, the zinc erodes over time and can cause the pipes to become clogged with rust.

  • Polybutylene- Once seen as an alternative to traditional copper piping, this pipe material was considered the “pipe of the future” due to it’s easy installation and low cost. The manufacturer was forced to pay out millions, however, when a lawsuit alleged the pipes of being defective. The plastic experienced a chemical reaction with oxidants in public water that led to the plastic flaking, become brittle, and then cracking. This type of material no longer meets US building codes and should be replaced in any home or commercial building before failure.

  • Orangeburg- Made from wood and sealed with coal tar, Orangeburg piping saw widespread use during WWII for housing developments due to the shortage of cast iron materials needed for the war effort. Because of the brittle materials and poor structural strength, these pipes experienced failure after about 10 years, though they were expected to last for 50 years. Though obsolete, this type of piping can still be found in older home models.

If you are unaware of how old your piping is, you may want to invest in a professional inspection service. You don’t want to have an underground problem costing you hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars in repairs and maintenance. At Express Sewer, we offer a wide range of plumbing solutions to fix any piping issue found in your home or commercial plumbing system. Our experienced professionals use only the best precision tools and equipment to safely and easily remove your old or outdated piping for an affordable rate. Contact one of our representatives to receive your free quote today!

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Topics: Plumbing in Sacramento, Video Sewer Inspection, Sewers