While you may be satisfied with how your kitchen looks, how often do you think about your plumbing? The kitchen is the most used room of the house – and most of its uses require your home’s plumbing system. We don’t often consider plumbing issues until something goes very wrong. But you don’t have to wait for disaster, there are some telltale signs that your kitchen needs some upgrading in the plumbing department.
Signs of Poor Kitchen Plumbing
Here are five of the most common indications that it’s time to upgrade or replace your kitchen plumbing:
- Water Pressure is Low – If you find that the water pressure is low or decreasing when you use your kitchen sink, it can be a sign that you need to investigate further. There can be various reasons that you’re experiencing low water pressure, from some sort of clog to leaks in the water line. It may be something that will require a professional plumber to diagnose and fix.
- Water is Discolored – Unless you are on well water, your water shouldn’t be discolored. When it’s brownish or dark, it’s typically a sign that there is corrosion in the pipes that is causing water to pick up rust as it runs through the faucet. Over time, rusty pipes can become leaky or even burst. That’s why you should consult a professional as soon as you notice any discoloration in your water.
- Piping is Rusted or Discolored – A quick visual inspection of exposed pipes can help you determine if they need to be replaced. Watch out for signs of rust, discoloration, or flaking on pipes under your kitchen sink.
- Piping Material Has Come to the End of Its Life – Piping, like other hardware, has a lifespan depending on the make up of the material. Sometimes kitchen piping needs to be replaced simply because it’s reached the end of its life. There are typically five types of piping that are used in kitchen plumbing and they tend to have specific lifespans. Galvanized steel, brass, and cast iron usually last between 80 and 100 years, copper has a lifespan of about 70 to 80 years, and PVC piping typically lasts for 24 to 45 years.
- Pools of Water are Present – If you notice any pooling of water around exposed pipes in the basement, garage, or under the sink, it may indicate there’s corrosion or that the pipes aren’t sealed properly. This may simply mean that some of the pipe connections need to be tightened, but it could also mean that the time has come for an upgrade.
Kitchen Upgrades to Fix Plumbing Problems
There are a number of things you can do, or hire a plumber to do, that will correct problem plumbing in your kitchen. Here are a few ideas:
- Install New Kitchen Faucets – Replacing your old kitchen faucet is a quick fix if it’s been leaking or if it’s gotten so old that it’s become rusty, making the water taste funny. The cost of a new kitchen faucet can vary widely, from about $50 up to $1000, depending on the type you get. You don’t have to spend a fortune, though, to fix problems caused by the faucet. And, it’s a great excuse to try a new style or finish to modernize your kitchen.
- Switch to PVC Piping – PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, pipe is one of the most popular types of pipe used in household plumbing. It’s much lighter and easier to install than traditionally used galvanized steel. It’s also much less expensive than other options and requires little more than a hacksaw to cut it. You can buy PVC pipe in different grades depending on what it’s being used for. Schedule 40 PVC works well for most plumbing in the home, while the heavier schedule 80 PVC is ideal for more substantial jobs.
- Replace Your Water Heater – If you find that you have discolored or yucky smelling water, it may mean that you need a new water heater. Many water heaters have rods inside that are called “sacrificial anodes.” These anodes will attract any corrosive or bacterial elements that are present in the hot water tank, keeping them from entering your plumbing pipes. However, over time, the rods can break down causing smelly or discolored water. Replacing the old water heater is often the best fix for this.
Final Thoughts about Kitchen Plumbing Upgrades
Take a close look at your water and current kitchen plumbing system to determine if any of the above signs exist. If they do, it’s probably time to do some replacing and upgrading. Whether you simply need new some new hardware, new pipes, or to replace a hot water heater, you’ll be glad that you were proactive in taking care of the problem before it became a disaster.
Mark Ligon is the Marketing Manager at PVCFittingsOnline.com, a leading supplier of PVC & CPVC pipe, fittings, valves, plumbing supply, and more. Mark enjoys working on DIY projects around his home and providing advice to individuals looking to complete DIY projects of their own.