Just like any other plumbing fixture that can be found in any given building, plumbing risers are not permanent and they too are bound to age with time. This problem is more common in the older buildings in New York City that have been around for decades. You would think that the decision to replace and upgrade plumbing risers in a building should be automatic and pretty straight forward once they have outlived their lifespan but things are actually not quite that simple. For starters, the fact that plumbing risers are usually embedded within the walls of buildings makes upgrading them a complicated affair as well as an expensive one since it will involve tearing down sections of the walls. In addition, since they are inside the walls it is not easy to immediately identify when the plumbing risers have outlived their usefulness and are on their way to becoming serious problems. These are just some of the reasons why many property owners often prefer to postpone the upgrading of plumbing risers in buildings for as long as possible. Of course there is also the issue of who should cover the costs of the upgrade and this can be quite a bone to chew if it is not clearly outlined in the tenancy agreement.
When is it time to upgrade plumbing risers?
Since you cannot actually see the plumbing risers or tear down a wall section just to take a look, it can be very difficult to detect aging issues in the plumbing risers if you do not know what to look for. Fortunately there are several telltale signs that usually indicate aging in plumbing risers and you might just be able to detect the problem in time if you understand these signs and you consciously look out for them. The most common of these signs include the following;
- Reduced water pressure- if the water pressure seems to remain abnormally low in the building consistently even when there is strong reason to believe that it should be much higher than this could be a sign that the plumbing risers are aging and need to be upgraded. Water flowing from taps and faucets can sometimes be reduced to a trickle and the problem is because of the clogging in pipes due to rusting.
- Colored water- if the water flowing in the building begins to take on a brownish coloring then this could also be a sign of aging in the pipes. The coloring is an indication that there is extensive accumulation of rust and scale inside the pipes. This sign should never be ignored since consuming this kind of water can pose some serious health risks.
- Abnormally hot showerhead water- older boilers found in buildings that have aging plumbing risers usually come with a fixed heat output that is expected to stay the same. However, if the pipes are aged then the flow rate is going to be reduced and the result will be that the water will be delivered at higher temperatures than normal.