Aside from the occassional faucet repair or replacement, or toilet repair, most plumbing systems are designed to last for decades. Many 80, 90, or even 100 year old homes, depending on the history of remodels, retain most of their original plumbing.
For those who have purchased or are rehabbing an older property this can present an array of problems, raise the anxiety level, lead to an arrray of questions, and possibly break the budget. Is it best to simply repipe the entire property? Is that necessary? If not, how do you know what to repair, replace, or upgrade? Can vintage components be renovated?
Some of these questions have obvious answers. Copper pipes installed with lead solder are common in older homes and should be replaced. Lead pipes are not as common, but since they were used extensively for centuries they can be found in older homes. As these pose a serious health hazzard they definitely need to be professionally removed and replaced by a professional company such as Retro Plumbing Inc. of Kingman, Arizona.
Musty or moldy smells around interior kitchen, bathroom or laundry rooms may indicate seepage in the walls. In extreme examples this will be made evident in discolored water stained walls or baseboard. And in a worst case scenario the floor will be damp.
But even if the plumbing in your older house is in good repair it might be wise to consider a few upgrades. A wide array of plumbing advancements have been made over the course of the past century. Lead pipes that were first employed the ancient Romans gave way to more modern, and safer, materials. Faucets, toilets, and shower heads are now more efficient, an important consideration in light of the ongoing drought. And that too is a reason to call the professionals at Retro Plumbing Inc.
If you are planning on a full remodel that includes moving walls, that would be an ideal time to inspect, reapir, or replace older pipes. Repiping during a kitchen or bathroom remodel can actually be a cost saving investment. And it is an ideal time to consider installation of water saving devices.
Sewage systems are, generally, even more durable. But repair or replacement can be an expensive proposition. Old Cast iron or clay pipes are most likely to be functional for quite some time. However, as an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure it would be a wise investment to have the system to avoid a potentially ticking time bomb by having the system inspected. Roots are usually the primary blockage. And they can also damage or break clay pipes, or dmaage cast iron joints. And while your at it, ask your plumbing contractor to give it a cleaning.
If a home remodel and rehabbing project is in your future, perhaps an inspection from Retro Plumbing would be an investment to consider. Can you put a price on peace of mind?
Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America