Everything You Need to Know About Plumbing in Older Homes
Did you know the majority of homes in America were built between 1955 and 1990?
That means you very likely live in a home that’s older than you! Just like people, homes will begin to suffer problems related to their age, and one of the most vulnerable parts of any home is the plumbing. Even if everything appears fine, without constant maintenance and upkeep your plumbing will experience all kinds of issues that can become very costly for you.
Millions of homes were produced with galvanized pipe in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and even 80’s. Galvanized pipes are made of steel and covered with a layer of zinc to protect the material. That zinc erodes over time from friction with the water and waste running through the pipes, which causes the pipes to deteriorate from the inside causing a variety of issues such as pitting which increases the chances of a clog or even full on leaks. Experts recommend a full replacement of your piping system when galvanized piping begins to fall apart, often referred to as a “Re-Pipe”, but many homeowners try to avoid that costly expense by replacing the worst sections as they fail.
A good way to quickly test your pipes for this problem is to simply turn on the hot water and check the water pressure compared to the cold water. Hot water pipes are almost always the first to experience issues, so if the water pressure is low there’s a good chance your house has corroded galvanized piping that needs to be replaced.
If copper piping was attached to the galvanized pipes any previous repairs or additions there’s a chance it could be making the problem worse. Dielectric coupling is required to prevent corrosion caused by dissimilar metals coming in contact with each other. These connection points are almost always hidden inside walls so it’s very difficult to tell if they were done correctly, but it’s important to hire a plumber who knows the importance of doing this properly.
Even if the internal plumbing of your home is working just fine you may still experience issues with draining because of the plumbing just outside your house. Homeowners also own and are responsible for the sewage line from the house to the street, and that bit of pipe can be a big source of headaches in older homes.
The most common materials for sewer lines are cast iron, plastic, and clay, and each of those can experience major issues. Clay pipes are susceptible to root intrusion and breaks; cast iron can corrode and rust and break; plastic is durable and unlikely to corrode but is at risk of being crushed and bent out of alignment. All three can become plugged due to any number of causes, from debris to grease to paper towels. There is no perfect solution for sewage lines which is why annual upkeep and maintenance are extremely important.
Even if the material is in perfect working order, brand new, and there are no clogs, sewer lines can still fail due to the movement of the earth beneath the home. The earth’s surface is constantly and slowly shifting due to the movement of tectonic plates and over time the house can shift along with it. This may cause bellies, curves, or dips, to form in the pipes. Over time, debris and sediment can settle inside of these areas causing blockages.
Contact Do It Right Plumbers Today
If you live in an older house and would like to feel secure about your plumbing, contact Do It Right Plumbers today. Our teams are available to provide the best plumbing services in the industry. Call us at (714) 862-2393 today!