Remodeling older homes is a major industry today. There are entire magazines and hundreds of websites dedicated to how people can bring a tired, out-of-date house to sparkling modern new life. But this flashy remodeling may not be the remodeling your house needs the most. Behind the walls and under the floorboards are plumbing pipes that might be well past their prime and made from long-outdated metals. Replacing old pipes with new ones can rescue a home from numerous problems, including massive water waste, extensive water damage, and even toxic chemicals getting into drinking water.
(And, like other types of remodeling, extensive repiping will raise the value of a house!)
Pipes of the Bad Old Days
How old is “too old” when it comes to a home’s piping? If your house was built before 1970 and has never had plumbing retrofits of any kind, it almost certainly has pipe materials that are no longer used for new construction—and for good reason. These outdated materials include:
- Cast Iron: Iron was the most common type of metal used in plumbing from roughly the Roman Empire until around World War II. That’s a good long run—but iron is not something you want in a modern plumbing system, especially in freshwater pipes where corrosion can allow toxins into the water.
- Galvanized Steel: This was the metal that took over from cast iron during the 1950s and ‘60s. Although more durable than iron, it still corrodes after about fifty years. If your home was built before the 1970s, any steel pipes present are probably ready to be replaced.
- Lead: No, you don’t want lead pipes in your home! Even with upgraded plumbing, there may be lead still lurking around.
- Polybutylene: This gray plastic was common during the 1980s—until it was discovered how easily it can break! If you have polybutylene pipes in your house and they haven’t caused trouble for you yet, don’t wait for them to start!
The Pipes of Today
When professional plumbers repipe a house, they have a number of more durable, flexible, and safe pipe options. Copper has taken over as the metal of choice—it’s corrosion-resistant, inexpensive, and easy to work with. There are many types of plastics used for plumbing, most commonly PEX and CPVC piping. You can trust your experienced plumber to know what pipe materials are best to use in different places in your house.
Professional Repiping Plumbers (And Remodelers!)
If you aren’t sure if you need repiping for your house, don’t worry—all that it takes is calling a plumber in Plattsburgh, NY for an inspection. Our skilled plumbers can find out the age of the plumbing and locate where you have outdated pipes. We can handle any scale of repiping your house may need, from small replacements to whole-house repiping.
And, by the way … if you are planning on having remodeling done on your house, we offer remodeling plumbing services to handle the piping during the job.
Red Rock Mechanical, LLC serves Northwest Vermont and Northeast New York. Schedule a free estimate with us today!