If you have an older home, the plumbing in your home can be a ticking bomb. The problem is that older homes use metal pipes. While copper is a good metal to use because of how easy it is to work with, it does have its weaknesses. Copper can degrade over time, and when it does, you will be dealing with some serious leaks. In order to protect your home, you need to make sure that you catch problems early enough so that you can upgrade your plumbing before you have serious water damage to deal with.
What Can Cause Copper to Degrade?
Copper will degrade under certain conditions. You should check your copper pipes for the following reasons:
1. Check your water from time to time to see how acidic it is. Water that is too acidic will eat away at the flux that creates the joint between metal pipes. It will also eat away at your pipes from the inside out. Check the PH of your water and make sure that it never drops below a 7.
2. When a home is empty, the water company will cut off the home. When there is no water in your pipes, the flux can start to react with the copper. When you turn the water back on, it will only aggravate the problem and cause leaks. Make sure you carefully inspect your pipes if they have been sitting idle for a while.
3. Copper is not flexible, so if water freezes inside your pipes, the expansion of the freezing water can cause your pipes to rupture. When the water thaws, it will cascade into your home and cause all sorts of problems. Thus, you should always take precautions to protect your pipes from freezing, and you should check your pipes just to be safe.
If you find that your water pipes are damaged, you need to look for a good way to renovate your plumbing system. Simply replacing old copper pipes with new ones will only delay your problem for a little while. To really solve your problem, you need to replace your pipes with something that will work better. PEX tubing, for example, will not react with water, it is flexible enough to expand if the water inside them freezes, and is cheaper than copper anyway. Experts like Smedley & Associates, Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning can help guide you in this endeavor.