How Can I Make My Pipes Last Longer?

Your pipes are operating nonstop, all day, every day. Whenever you brush your teeth, flush the toilet, wash dishes, run the washing machine, or shower, your pipes are working. That’s a lot of water to move, and a lot of work to do!

All that water and work can wear out your pipes. Over time, they can thin out, start leaking, and occasionally even burst! You can’t stop your pipes from wearing out entirely, but you can make it happen much more slowly. With a little TLC and effort, you can make your pipes last a lot longer than they might otherwise. Here are six easy ways to do that:

Make sure your water pressure is at the right level.

High water pressure tends to wear out pipes and their connections faster the harsher it is. Check that your home’s PSI stays below 85 to ensure pipe safety.

If you’re concerned about water pressure problems, consider installing a water pressure gauge so you can keep a closer eye on it.

Don’t use chemical drain cleaners.

Chemical drain cleaners can’t tell the difference between the clogs they’re clearing and the pipes they’re in. Once they eat away a blockage, they’ll keep eating away. Using chemical drain cleaners regularly could inflict irreparable damage to your pipes.

Don’t leave leaks alone.

Small leaks may seem like no big deal, but unfortunately, they never are. The constant drip-drip-dripping of even the tiniest leak wears away at the connections over time. As leaks wear away at your pipe, they grow. As leaks grow, they wear away at your pipe more. It’s the worst kind of vicious cycle–an expensive one.

Invest in regular drain cleaning.

The more gunk builds up on the inside of your pipes, the more work they have to do to transport water. Eventually, all that work can wear out the insides of your pipes until they start leaking… or worse.

Cleaning out your drains on (at least) a yearly basis will help you avoid build-up. They’ll will work more effectively and you won’t have to worry about clogs or leaks.

Don’t flush things that aren’t supposed to be flushed.

A toilet is a toilet, not a trash can. Don’t flush things that have no business being flushed. That includes wet wipes–no matter what the label says. When you flush trash, wrappers, or similar items down the toilet, parts of these things break off in your pipes. Over time, those broken off pieces collect other debris and form clogs.

Debris clogs create chokepoints. Chokepoints create places where too much pressure builds up. When too much pressure builds up, it creates leaks, bursts, or back-ups. Long story short: flushing non-flushable materials will hurt your pipes and lower their effective lifespan. Watch what you flush to preserve your pipes longer.

Don’t ignore slow drains.

All of the tips listed here have one main purpose: to decrease the amount of pressure on your pipes. Slow drains are a sign of a blockage somewhere in your pipe system. Blockages almost always lead to increased pressure. The more pressure builds up inside your pipes, the harder they have to work and the faster they wear out.

If you ever notice your water draining slowly, don’t wait to look into the problem. Try plunging or snaking the drain right away. If that doesn’t work, call a pro. Whatever you do, don’t leave a slow drain alone. The problem won’t go away and will get worse–and hurt your pipes in the meantime.

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