Allan Ostenfeld

How to Tell if Your Plumbing Pipes are Worn Out

While it is essential to keep an eye on your pipes routinely, if you live in an older home, it’s even more critical to do so. As the plumbing system in your home gets used a generous amount each day, your plumbing pipes will usually show signs of issues. By frequently maintaining an eye on your pipes, you could avoid problems such as blocked drain and blocked sewer which may be extremely costly. Observe every area of your house, even the one that you may not typically think about and look for the following indications which show that your pipes need to be fixed or replaced.

Discoloured Water

If you’re using the sink tap and you see odd-coloured water coming out of it, you should immediately call a professional plumber. This is usually an indication of rust in the pipes. Rust in the pipe could result in water taste unpleasant, consuming a large amount of rust contaminated water could lead to serious health issues. Moreover, rust could cause water to harden, causing it extremely hard to rinse the soap out of your clothes, your skin and dishes.

Tube Corrosion

Whenever your pipe tubing shows flaking or crumbling, this is an indication of significant corrosion has taken place. There are few explanations to the corrosion, water that has a high-acid content could eat away at the pipes. Additionally, rust inside the pipe eats into the metal, causing it to flake. Also, copper pipes that are left idle for an extended period can lead to corrosion. If you see this in your plumbing system a replacement is needed immediately.


Signs of stains and discolouration underneath your sink, on the walls or even on the ceiling, could be an indication of a problem. For example, look at a ceiling directly underneath the second-floor bathroom. If it has stains around the ceiling area this is likely due to some sort of leak in the plumbing pipes. However if there isn’t any staining present then take a closer look in the nearby wall, this could mean that the leak is farther down the pipe.

Be sure to check your bathroom walls for any fragments of stains or warping. This is usually an indication that the drywall has become moist and began to bubble. If this takes place, it will usually start to warp and eventually break apart. When this happens you will be needing a plumber to come and fix the leak. Additionally, you may also need to contact a contractor to repair the drywall the plumber needs to tear


Even a small leak around the plumbing pipes could be a warning that there is a significant problem with your pipes and a replacement is required immediately. Especially in older homes, where they are most likely to be as old as the house itself.

One of the absolute indications of a leak is the accumulation of mold or mildew, either on a bathroom wall or somewhere else in your home. Leaking in the pipes provide the perfect place for mold to thrive as it grows in moist environments. This is usually the case if the leak is hidden behind a wall or under a floor. While finding some mildew in your shower is not necessarily a cause for concern, seeing it anywhere else in the house is a sign there could be a significant issue.

The smell of mold and mildew is easily recognizable. If you notice it after a thorough clean up of your home, there is probably a leak


These are just a few indications that may help you to tell when your pipes have worn out and the time has come to replace them. If you don't have the time and you want to be on the safe side, call a qualified plumber and schedule an inspection.

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