How to discover what pipe you have when it is covered by sheetrock?
If all the plumbing in the home is covered by sheet rock, don't worry, you can still identify what type of pipe it is. There should be 1-3 areas exposed enough to identify the type of pipe in your home.
The Utility Room - Where your water heater is located is a good place to take a look. The cold water comes into the water heater, and then from there the hot water is taken away from the room. The piping on top of the water heater (if it has not been updated) should give you a good idea.
Inside a Basement - The water main will come into the home (that is where the inside shut off is) usually through the basement. The type of pipe entering the home through the wall will be the clue. In some circumstances the pipe coming into the home is galvanized and then transitions to copper. That is because water main lines from the water meter remained galvanized for many years after copper became the new piping material.
If the pipe is painted, you can scrape the pipe with a knife (do not cut). If it is silver, it is galvanized. If it is copper, like a penny, then it is, of course, copper. Grey plastic would be polybutylene, and white, blue, red, or clear plastic would be PEX.
Crawlspace – If you have a crawlspace, this is the easiest place to see the exposed pipes.
Where do pipe leaks occur?
The most common area for leaks is in the joints. If you have a recirculating line for your water heater, they may occur anywhere along the pipe in a copper system. Pipes can have many things go wrong with them. Sometimes, pipes have been installed incorrectly. Over time, leaks begin due to bad soldering/sealing, loose crimp rings, and many others. If you are having issues with your pipes, this could be why.
What Can Go Wrong with Pipes?
If your pipes have been correctly installed, there are still other problems that can occur.
The most common thing is plugging and leaks due to age in galvanized pipes. Also, pipes can become plugged most often due to mineral deposits/buildups, or debris getting into the water system from the city or elsewhere.
Leaking, as noted above, is also another common pipe problem. The #1 reason for leaks is high water pressure. Leaking can also be caused by wear and tear, loose nuts, holes, hard water, and age. The best thing to do with a leak is to call “Your Personal Plumber” at Eric's Plumbing & Drain Cleaning to find out what can be done to fix it. Small leaks can turn into floods.
You do not, by any means, want this to happen to you! Houses have been destroyed by small leaks that eventually flood. Pipes naturally corrode or erode over time. You want to replace your pipes before this happens. It is recommended you have your pipes checked at least once every year. Keep tabs on how your pipes are holding up. If you are unsure how good of shape your pipes are in, give us a call. We can help you determine the life left in your pipes.
Should I re-pipe my home? Is it a good option and what does that look like?
Let's make this simple. There are thousands of homes in Utah County and Salt Lake County, built from pioneer day to now. Usually, if the plumbing has been installed properly, anything after 2005 should be a trustworthy pipe. Anything before 2005, probably needs an inspection and home evaluation.
When you call Eric's Plumbing & Drain Cleaning, we will set up a time that works for you. Our whole-home evaluation will give you a clear picture of the status, risks, and quality of your pipes, drains, and systems.
We will give you the best options and best experience. We’ll be transparent and straight with you. Ask to see our “Straight Forward Pricing Guide”. Call us today if you are experiencing drain issues.