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.