I think most of us have been through old neighborhoods to check out the charming old homes. They are a thing of beauty, the craftsmanship, style, and most are a third of the size of houses built today. I think life was just much simpler back then. But unfortunately, those older houses have old plumbing in them, and as much as we may think our plumbing doesn’t last forever, it does not. Some homes are fortunate enough not to have experienced some of the breakdowns in their plumbing, while others have felt the effects. An aging plumbing system can hit our pipes, sewer line, fixtures, faucets, and even gas lines. Some homeowners choose to be proactive and replace worn pipes, appliances, and fixtures, while others would rather wait until they break. Either way, they will need replacing.
Galvanized And Copper Pipes Last 40 to 70 years
How old does a house need to be, before being defined as an old home? That’s a good question. Most plumbing companies consider a home older when pipes start to wear out, which is 40 years and older. Copper and steel galvanized pipes will last 40 to 70 years. If you have a home built before 1980, you should know the sign of failing pipes. For instance, if your pipes that disperse fresh water to your home start to leak more than once, then it’s time to have your pipes inspected. Leaking pipes are just one sign that your pipes are failing. Another sign is low water pressure. Low water pressure that creeps up on you over many years is a sign that your pipes are restricting from the calcium and minerals built up in your pipelines. Low water pressure could also mean a pipe leak. Any low water pressure issues should be diagnosed by a plumbing professional.
More Old House Plumbing Issues
Another common plumbing problem in an older home is the sewer line. Your sewer line is the mainline that removes all solid and liquid waste from your home. If you had a house built before 1970, chances are you have a cast iron or clay sewer pipe. Clay sewer pipes will typically last 50 to 60 years. Cast iron sewer mains are known to last 70 to 100. However, there is an exception. 50 years ago, low quality imported steel made its way into the U.S. market. There were no quality control standards during that time, so cast iron pipes made from that low-grade steel tend to rust, cutting its life expectancy to 50 years. Additionally, old sewer mains could experience tree root damage, shifting earth, and misuse from a homeowner.
Many Toilet Makers Have Exceeded the Mandate Of 1.6 GPF
Old fixtures are common in many old homes. Porcelain plumbing fixtures such as toilets and sinks could last for 25, 30, even 40 years with homeowners replacing the parts when needed. What they don’t know is that they are missing out on some third and fourth generation toilets. The latest in plumbing technology is moving forward faster than anyone thought possible. If you’re still using a toilet that uses 3.5 gallons of water per flush (GPF), then you’re missing out. Since 1994 the legal mandate for toilets made in the U.S. is 1.6 GPF. Many toilet makers have exceeded that number by reducing water consumption even further by only using 1.28 and 1.1 GPF without ever giving up performance. A homeowner could be flushing 2,774 gallons of water down the toilet each year for them alone or 11,096 gallons for a family of four.
Old House Plumbing Issues? Big B’s Plumbing Has You Covered.
We strongly advise if you’re buying an old house, make sure you have the plumbing thoroughly inspected, and have your sewer mains camera inspected by a licensed plumbing contractor. At Big B’s Plumbing, we’ll inspect your home using the latest plumbing technologies. We have hundreds of top-notch reviews across all major social networks that include Yelp!, Facebook, BBB, and Google Business. We’re also an accredited member of the better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. Old house plumbing issues? Big B’s Plumbing has you covered License #986152.