Do you know some of the unique plumbing needs of your Denver-area home? Are you prepared for the impacts of Colorado’s climate on your plumbing system? Do you know whether your pipes are safe or reaching the end of their lifespan?
These are all important questions to consider, regardless of where you live in Colorado. Extreme weather, the age of your home, and the plumbing codes in your jurisdiction all have an impact on how you maintain your plumbing system.
Keep reading to discover five things you need to know about your Colorado home’s unique plumbing situation.
Extreme Weather Can Wreak Havoc on Your Plumbing
Whether you’re a Colorado native or you’ve just moved to town, you probably know about our region’s extreme weather. It can get very hot in the summer and dip into the single digits quite often during the winter. What’s even trickier is that the wide temperature swings we see in a short period of time.
When sunny spring weather suddenly gives way to a late-April deep freeze, we see a lot of burst pipes. Even hot weather can cause pipes to expand and burst, especially if the pipes are aging or otherwise stressed. And sudden heavy rains—or even a series of soggy days and a water-logged yard—can pose a flood risk.
It’s important to make sure your home is prepared for whatever weather Colorado throws at it. Check out these blog posts for more info on how to protect your home: Here are 6 Things You Need to Do This Fall to Protect Your Plumbing + Protect Your Sump Pump from Freezing This Winter.
The Age of Your Home Matters
Your plumbing system is not infinite. Unless it’s made of PVC which lasts pretty much indefinitely. And while new construction is booming, there are still plenty of older homes in the Denver metro area.
The plumbing in a Victorian mansion has vastly different needs than that of a midcentury ranch, a 1930s Craftsman, or a 1980s bi-level.
The lifespan of your plumbing system depends on the type of pipes in your home. Here’s what to expect:
- Galvanized steel lasts 20 to 50 years
- Brass lasts 40 to 45 years
- Copper can last 50 years or more
- Cast iron lasts 75 to 100 years
It’s also important to note that pipes in many older homes are much narrower than they are today. Narrow pipes are prone to more clogs and drainage issues. (Check out how we take care of it all in this blog post: 9 Machines We Use for Drain Cleaning Every Day).
Knowing the size and types of pipes your home has will help you prepare for any needed repairs and upgrades. Not sure what kind of pipes make up your plumbing system? The experienced plumbing technicians at High 5 Plumbing can inspect your system and let you know so you can avoid any unwelcome plumbing surprises.
Your Landscaping Matters
You may think your landscaping is all about curb appeal. But when it comes to your plumbing, what’s underground in your yard is also incredibly important!
Homes in older neighborhoods with large trees or bushes may encounter problems with root intrusion. Root growth in fall and spring can cause issues with your sewer mainline, your sprinkler system, and more.
And over time, ground in your yard can settle, leading to drainage problems and deterioration with your sewer mainline.
A video inspection of your plumbing system can identify and locate any problem areas.
Not All Pipes are Safe
If you live in one of Denver’s older neighborhoods, you may be aware that many of the city’s plumbing main lines (from the street to home) are made of lead. (Denver Water is in the middle of a massive program to replace all lead pipes.)
If you’re concerned about whether you or your family may be at risk for repeated exposure to lead, it’s a good start to learn whether your mainline or plumbing system is made up of any lead pipes. And if replacements are needed, the professionals at High 5 Plumbing can guide you through the process.
The Codes Vary by Jurisdiction
Every jurisdiction in Colorado follows the International Plumbing Code (IPC) as its guidelines. According to the International Code Council, the IPC “sets minimum regulations for plumbing systems and components to protect life, health, and safety of building occupants and the public. The IPC is available for adoption by jurisdictions ranging from states to towns, and is currently adopted on the state or local level in 35 states in the U.S, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.”
Sounds straightforward, right? If all jurisdictions in Colorado follow the same guidelines, you might assume that plumbing protocol is relatively uniform statewide. It’s a fair assumption.
But that’s not actually the case. Colorado gives individual jurisdictions the ability to change any code in the IPC that they want. So what you’ll find in the Denver metro area is that codes can vary for the same plumbing work done in different cities.
Some water heater codes required in Denver are not required in Aurora. Some plumbing codes required in Thornton may not be required in Arvada. There are similar variances between Lakewood and Northglenn, Westminster and Englewood.
That’s why it’s so important that you hire a trained professional for any and all plumbing work. As experienced certified plumbing technicians, it’s our job to know which rules apply to the jurisdiction where you live so that the work we do for you is up to code.
The team at High 5 Plumbing has the experience and the knowledge of Colorado’s complex set of codes to ensure that you get exactly the sort of service you deserve—and that our work is done according to the law.
To Sum It Up
Your home’s plumbing system is unique. And learning more about how to protect and preserve it now can save you a lot of headaches (and expenses) later on down the road.
Remember Colorado’s climate, the age of your home, your landscaping, the safety of your pipes, and the rules around maintaining your plumbing all factor into the care of your home.
Don’t leave anything to chance. When in doubt, give us a call. The trusted experts at High 5 Plumbing are here to help!
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At High 5 Plumbing, our trustworthy, reliable experts can help you understand your home’s unique plumbing needs. In need of some plumbing repairs? Call us today or contact us online to get your expert estimate—fair and honest every time!