Is Your Bathroom Plumbing Up To Snuff?

When you are remodeling, it might be tempting to just change out the shower head and vanity and call it a day. However, with the walls opened up, this is the perfect time to upgrade your bathroom plumbing. Look for any of these issues to ensure that you are making the most of this opportunity.

What Material Are Your Pipes Made Out Of?

The magic of modern materials are just that, modern. If your home is more than a decade old, it is likely that your home's plumbing simply isn't up to modern standards. You should have a plumber take a look at the condition of your plumbing if it is made of galvanized steel or copper, and replace it if it is starting to degrade. Of course, now is a good time to change it out even if it is still in mediocre condition, rather than after your have put in that brand new tile.

Are Your Drains and Supply Lines Ready For More Water?

While you can and should invest in good low-flow shower heads to reduce your overall energy usage, this is only half the story. Many homeowners are opting for more luxurious showers, which feature more than one showerhead. Even just two low-flow showerheads use more water than a single standard model. If you are using more than two, you are going to use significantly more water than you were before. This means that you may need to widen the diameter of your supply and drain lines in order to accommodate the additional water. Otherwise, you will get reduced flow to the showerheads, and your shower won't drain properly. A larger bathtub also warrants additional plumbing, as you don't want to wait too long for the tub to fill and drain.

Is Your Water Heater Good Enough?

You might need a bigger water heater for the same reason that a multiple shower head system needs bigger pipes. In order to take showers of a reasonable length, your water heater needs to be able to produce hot water at the same rate you are using it. Your owner's manual should let you know how many gallons per minute your water heater can produce, and you can simply compare that number to the number of gallons of water your shower will use. Of course, keep in mind that if you want to use other appliances while you are in the shower, the demand will be even higher.

However, this is not the only reason to replace your water heater. As water heaters age, they become less efficient and can even start to damage the quality of your water. There are rods in your water heater designed to prevent rust and bacteria from going from your water heater to your shower. If these have broken down, then you will notice that your hot water smells funny, or is coming out rusty. You can also talk to your plumber to see if a tankless water heater, or just a new standard model heater will make a big difference in your energy usage. If either situation is true, then it is time for a new unit.

Is Water Getting Into the Walls?

If your pipes are leaking or sweating excessively, now is the time to do something about it. If you have a water leak in the walls, it is going to break down the walls and encourage mold growth. Both of these problems can only be resolved by breaking into the wall and fixing the problem, so you should deal with it now. New plumbing and proper insulation will resolve the issue so that your new bathroom tile will remain pristine.

A bathroom remodel is the perfect opportunity to work on your bathroom plumbing. If there is an issue, or if your remodel will simply demand too much of your old plumbing, than redoing your pipes simply needs to be on your to do checklist.