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Top 5 Reasons Plumbing in Older Homes Needs To Be Replaced

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Plumbing in older homes is problematic. We know today that certain materials wear out or corrode, and plumbers would never use them in new home builds or retrofits. If you have an older home, you should be concerned about its plumbing system. If you’ve never had a professional inspect the plumbing, call a pro and ask for help evaluating its condition and how to proceed next.

Here’s when it usually makes sense to replace plumbing in older homes.

1. Galvanized pipes. A long-used pipe material in homes, we now know that galvanized pipe is a danger. Galvanized piping is known to corrode from the inside out. So even if the pipes look good on the outside, they could be eating away at the pipe wall on the inside. Eventually, however, the corrosion will cause a clog and you’ll notice water pressure or flow slowing down, or stopping altogether.

2. Half-way repairs. Previous homeowners may have noticed a problem with the galvanized pipe and performed a low-cost repair by replacing a single pipe or just some of the plumbing system. This solution can also be a hazard if the old pipe was replaced with copper. When galvanized pipes and copper pipes mix, it can spell trouble. If the plumber didn’t connect the two materials with the right solution (dieletric coupling), electrolysis happens, and corrosion actually accelerates. Because most of the pipes are hidden behind walls and ceilings, it’s difficult to know if 1) some of the piping was replaced with copper, and 2) if the plumber used the coupling.

3. Age. Most experts recommend replacing the plumbing in older homes if it’s reached 60 years of age. After that, you should be on the lookout for signs of trouble, because that’s the general life span of older piping.

4. Signs of problems. While lots of problems with older plumbing can go on behind the scenes without your knowledge, you can look for signs of trouble and take proactive steps. If you see discolored pipes or dimpling, these are surefire signs of corrosion. Be aware of leaks, too. If you see moisture on the ground around pipes or pools of water, get help.

5. The sewer line. If your older home is located on a sewer line, it can cause problems. Some of the materials used many decades ago, like plastic, clay or iron, cause problems. Iron pipes are known to corrode, clay is easily penetrated by tree roots and plastic isn’t strong enough to withstand pressure.

Do you have an older home and would like an evaluation? Contact an expert in your area. For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.

Image Source: Flickr

5 Home Plumbing Inspection Tips Homebuyers Should Heed

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Are you in the market for a new home? It’s common to check the home’s foundation, roof, and windows before making an offer. However, the home’s plumbing is another critical system that’s worth inspecting before buying. An old, out-of-date plumbing system can cause a lot of headaches once you’re moved in—and these problems can drain your checkbook, too.

Don’t make a move on a house before having a plumber inspect these parts of the home plumbing system:

  • The sewer: Unbeknownst to some, homeowners are generally responsible for the plumbing lines that run to the city’s main sewer. If this system is deteriorating, or if it fails later on, it’s a costly problem to fix. Homes with a Septic system should be thoroughly inspected as well. This too can be very pricy to repair or replace down the road.
  • The water heater: The size and efficiency of the existing water heater will greatly affect your comfort—or how much hot water you can get during a shower—and your water-heating bills. If you’re not willing to invest in a new one, make sure the existing water heater is relatively new (under seven years old) and properly sized for the home.
  • The toilets: Leaks commonly occur around the base of toilets, which causes wood rot in the subflooring and possibly leading to hazardous mold growth. If you don’t discover the problem until years after you’ve moved into the new home, you’ll be facing more than just a toilet repair. You may have to replace all of the flooring and some of the home’s structure.
  • The pipes: Ask your plumber to check on the home plumbing pipes and to inspect their condition and size. Old, weak pipes are costly to replace, and if they’re too small or filled with buildup, you’ll experience low water pressure in the home. Corroded pipes can weaken, leading to broken pipes and flooding down the line. The plumber should make note of all potential problems and signs of wear and tear. He should then discuss the options and costs for repair before you consider making an offer on the home.
  • Other components: Inspect other parts of the home’s plumbing system for performance. Turn on sink and shower faucets, looking for leaks or wobbly spouts and handles. Open cabinets under sinks and look for evidence of leaking. Turn the shower head on and feel the water pressure while also checking for leaks.

You’ll get peace of mind knowing that a plumber has signed off on the new home of your dreams. With a proper inspection, you’ll know what you’re facing with the home plumbing system and whether you’re willing to pay the price for repairs.

For answers to your questions or to schedule a home plumbing inspection, contact the Pink Plumber today.

Image source: Flickr