11 Oct What Are The Dangers Involved With Keeping Your Older Plumbing?
Antique wood floors, classic architecture and old world charm – these are all aspects we value and appreciate about older homes. But there are certain aspects of older homes that are unhelpful or even dangerous for us when compared to the advantages and benefits that newer innovations offer.
When it comes to plumbing, newer and more modern repiping, hot water tanks and sewer lines can contribute to greater safety, convenience and comfort in your older home. Here we look at some of the dangers and issues that are commonly found with the plumbing systems in older homes.
Worn Out Or Dangerous Materials
Many of us know the dangers of lead pipes in older homes, and of course lead pipes need to be removed wherever they are found. But in the era after lead pipes, galvanized steel pipes were the next trend, and with a lifespan of about 40 years, many of these galvanized steel pipes are now corroding and wearing out in 2016. Signs of corroding steel pipes include frequent blockages, rusty water, or rust flakes suspended in your water supply.
Older polybutylene plastic pipes have also been used from the 1990’s, but these are brittle and prone to breakage. Wherever possible, repiping your home with newer plastic or copper pipes ensures your water is safe and your home avoids leakages.
Older house traps, also known as P-traps, were designed to trap sewer odors to prevent them spreading in your home. But with advances in modern technology, these older house traps are now obsolete, and more often than not they contribute to blocked toilets and obstructed pipes. Replacing this old plumbing in your home can save you from the inconvenience of a blocked toilet, or worse, serious pipe damage or blockages.
More Frequent Blockages
Because older plumbing systems are more worn out, corroded and perhaps narrowed in certain areas, older plumbing is prone to more frequent blockages, clogs and backups than newer systems. Older pipes may be cracked or broken, or may have been invaded by tree roots. Serious issues with blockages and clogs can lead to the need for sewer line repair, so it’s worthwhile updating your plumbing if there’s signs it’s worn out.
Old Sewer Lines
Old sewer lines will be more prone to cracks, blockages and tree root invasion, which can create the need for expensive excavation and sewer line replacement. While trenchless sewer repair offers a better alternative to excavation, it’s still better avoided, so always have your local plumber come and inspect your foundations and sewer line if you’re buying or moving into an older house.
Older faucets, fittings and pipes tend to leak and waste water, unlike their modern counterparts which are more efficient, more durable and designed to conserve water. With drought ongoing and utility costs rising, it makes sense to get rid of old fittings and plumbing that could waste gallons of water a day, and replace with more water efficient, stylish and modern fittings.
While older plumbing might not seem like a pressing issue, the costs of repairing burst pipes, removing blockages of undertaking sewer repair can make updating old plumbing a worthwhile option. Contact your local plumber to get an inspection and assessment of your plumbing, and evaluate whether your older plumbing needs an update.