If Your Residential Plumbing is Old, You May be at Risk of a Plumbing Catastrophe
If you’ve purchased an older home, or you’ve lived in the same house for more than 30 years and never replaced any of the plumbing, there’s a good chance your residential plumbing has experienced its fair share of wear and tear and it may be time for replacement. Failing to update old plumbing or to at least perform routine maintenance so that you can ensure everything is in good working condition puts your home at risk of potentially serious plumbing issues.
Because most residential plumbing is hidden from plain view, it can be difficult to know if you’re dealing with old plumbing or not. The only way to know for sure is to call a trusted team of plumbers. Saskatoon residents who want to do a little investigating themselves, however, can look at or for any of the following to see if aging plumbing is something they should address.
Depending on the type of material that was used, aging pipes can present a major challenge for home owners, in part because most piping is hidden behind walls and a problem might not be all that obvious until it’s too late. Unless the plumbing has been updated, many homes built before the 1960s have galvanized steel piping, which can become corroded and clogged and result in low water pressure.
Sometimes, sections of the galvanized pipe is replaced with copper or another metal, but unless the plumber used dielectric coupling to join the two different metals, corrosion will occur and could lead to a leak. If a previous homeowner replaced the pipe themselves, you can almost guarantee that dielectric coupling wasn’t used, and so it’s not a bad idea to have this confirmed by a professional and replaced.
As experienced plumbers, Saskatoon residents often call us because their water heaters are leaking. Sometimes the homeowner catches the leak early on, but in other instances, they don’t discover there’s a problem until their basement has flooded.
In most of these cases, an old water heater tank and/or piping are to blame. The tanks and pipes rust over time, and because of this, it’s a very good idea to have your water heater serviced by a plumber once a year, and any rusted parts replaced. Ultimately, the water heater tank should be replaced every 8 to 10 years.
Homeowners often don’t realize that the section of piping that connects their home to the municipal supply line is their responsibility. While today many sewer lines are made from plastic, older homes can have sewer lines that are made out of clay, cast iron and even tar paper. Over time, tree roots can work their way into sewer lines that are made from the more permeable materials, while cast iron lines will corrode and even the more durable plastic lines can be crushed or damaged. Because of these risks, it’s important for homeowners to keep their sewer line in their residential plumbing checklist and to at least have issues addressed quickly.
Keep these areas of your household’s plumbing in mind, particularly if your plumbing is more than 30 years old. Awareness can and will prevent those plumbing catastrophes that require costly repairs.