We rely on pipes more than we realize. When you get up in the morning to brush your teeth and wash your face, the water running through the pipes helps get you clean and wake you up. The sewage pipes in your city help make sure all the gross stuff gets flushed to the proper places rather than, for instance, going to your drinking water. In that sense, pipes helped us become a modern society by making it way less likely we could get sick from drinking water. People around the world still die because they don’t have access to a clean, safe supply of water. With some notable exceptions (like the awful situation in Flint, Michigan), that’s not generally a problem in the United States.

For most people in first-world countries, pipes and modern plumbing are easy to take for granted. So when something goes wrong, it’s pretty upsetting. We just assume the toilets will flush and the shower will drain efficiently, because that’s how it works out ninety percent of the time. So when you find yourself standing in water in the shower, it feels like a personal attack.

It’s not a personal attack. Well, not unless your mortal enemy is going around town sabotaging the plumbing of people they hate. But that’s highly unlikely, luckily. When something goes wrong with your system, you may be able to fix it on your own by, for instance, snaking the drain yourself (but only if you’re comfortable doing that). If you aren’t comfortable, call a local plumber and ask them to come out and evaluate your situation. They’ve seen just about everything, and they’ll be able to tell you what the problem is.

The Pipes in your Car

Pipes also play a powerful role in your automobile. Think of your exhaust pipe. It helps your engine, the environment, and you. You don’t want carbon dioxide floating around you in the front seat. Nothing good can come of that. Carbon dioxide can make you sick or even kill you. If your exhaust pipes are clogged or otherwise not working, you could be in great danger.

If you don’t know a lot about exhaust pipes, there’s no time like the present to educate yourself. For instance, exhaust pipes on cars are usually made out of stainless steel, although motorcycles sometimes use other materials as well.

If there’s banging or rattling that wasn’t there before, you want to make sure it’s not related to the exhaust pipe and muffler. It’s true that older cars tend to run a bit more noisily than the newer models, but you should still know if a sound is different. You know what sounds normal for your car. If something is off, you need to investigate.

Also be on the lookout for funny smells in your car, and we’re not talking about the french fries you spilt in the backseat. If it smells like exhaust, that’s bad. A car that runs hotter than normal can also be an indicator of issues with your exhaust pipe.

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