If you have an old house or are thinking of making some home improvements to your property.
The plumbing can often become one of the biggest obstacles to renovating your home, especially if you are planning to extend the house or knock down walls.
In an older house, renovating could even reveal the presence of plumbing issues that you were not aware of.
But renovating could also provide you with an ideal chance to replace some older plumbing, especially as many previous plumbing practices are now very outdated and no longer used due to safety or reliability concerns.
Some of the main plumbing problems that are worth looking out for when renovating your home include:
Polybutylene was a new material that was commonly found in household plumbing systems between 1978 and 1995.
It was extremely cheap to make and install, and was widely considered to be the pipe of the future.
But the hype didn’t last for long, since thousands of these pipes began to suddenly burst.
The chlorine in public water reacted with the pipes causing them to become brittle and weak.
Today the material is no longer used, but some homes may still contain it.
Old Plumbing Fixtures:
According to Ak Gas and Plumbing all plumbing fixtures have an average lifespan, after which they will start to wear down.
How long a fixture is likely to last will depend on the fixture itself and the material from which it is made.
Copper pipes, for example, will last for up to eighty years while on the other hand, PEX pipes only tend to last for half this time before they will begin to corrode.
Sinks and toilets may be able to last for up to one hundred years, while water heaters tend to start deteriorating after a decade.
If you find old plumbing fixtures in your home while renovating, it’s a good time to think about having them replaced before they start to inevitably cause issues. Old Metal Pipes:
Many of the older metal materials that were once commonly used in plumbing systems are now very outdated, with lead being one of the most notorious.
Lead pipes can be found in buildings that were constructed before 1970 and it’s worth getting this piping removed immediately since it can be extremely poisonous.
Lead pipes could be dangerous to your health if tiny flakes of lead come off and contaminate your water supply.
Similarly, galvanized steel is a material that hasn’t been used since the 1970s – thankfully, this isn’t due to health hazards but rather because it corrodes easily.
Water Heater Problems:
Problems with the water heater in your home can be a serious concern since it could burst and overflow the property, which could lead to fire risks and electric shock if the electrical cables become soaked.
A faulty water heater could also be the source of a carbon dioxide leak that is unknowingly putting your health and life at risk.
There are several installation errors that are worth looking out for when renovating your home including no catch pan, unprotected electrical cables, valve drain pipe issues, and circuit breakers that are inaccessible.
If you’re in the process of renovating an old home, it’s worth having an expert come out to check your water heater and ensure that it’s safe and working correctly.
Ideally, water heaters should be replaced every 1-2 decades, but some might be in operation when they are much older.
If you’re renovating an older home that you’ve just purchased, it’s worth looking out for any dodgy DIY on the plumbing system that might have been carried out by previous owners.
Today, fewer people do DIY compared to previous years, since it’s easier to hire a professional for most people.
But just because the older generations did more DIY doesn’t mean that they were good at it.
In fact, older homes are often host to some DIY plumbing disasters.
Keep an eye out for any amateur attempts to secure pipes, traps installed backwards, mismatched piping materials, and other signs that a previous owner might have attempted a dodgy DIY job that will need looking at by a professional.
Renovating a home can often bring up some plumbing issues that you weren’t aware of beforehand, especially if you are renovating an older property.
No matter what work you’re planning to do, keep your eye out for the signs of these common plumbing problems so that you can have them repaired and avoid bigger future issues.