Older Plumbing Obstacles & Solutions

If you are reading this article, then you most likely have an older house that might be unlucky enough to spring a leak in the near future. There is nothing more disheartening to either wake up or come home to an indoor swimming pool you have not paid for or wanted.

Even without a major problem, water leaks cost money; According to the EPA, correcting a leaky faucet or other appliances in the home it can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills.

Research, Research, and Understand

In order to have a good idea of if and when your pipes might decide to falter, the house owner needs to know what type of pipes he has and how long they have been in the house. This information can usually be obtained from the house inspection or by consulting with a plumber. Most houses usually use supply pipes and drain/waste/vent lines ( DWV ).

What Are Supply Pipes?

Supply pipes are the pipes that are used within the home to provide water to all the fixtures,such as the sink, toilet, showers, bathtubs, and outside water hoses.

What Are Drain and Waste Lines?

Drain lines are not typically going to be under pressure like the supply lines. The drain lines are used to simply “drain” water and waste from the house to exit the premises.

What is a Vent Line?

The vent piping is not talked about most often but is a crucial component of the plumbing system. It is used to maintain pressure, drain water, and rid the lines of sewage gases that can get built up and maybe leak elsewhere.

Types of Pipes Used

Supply pipes are under more pressure than drain lines and need to be monitored closely.

Types of pipes commonly used to supply water within house are:

Galvanized Steel: These pipes were used more in older homes and used to be the standard. They are known to last around 80-100 years and are used to transport somewhat clean waste and non potable water within the house.

Copper: Copper is one of the more standard types of material used for plumbing due to the ability to withhold the stand of time rather easily. They do not rust or corrode very easily and are used in varied temperatures of water.

Brass: Brass is one of the better types of piping when used with the appropriate amount of copper. It is highly effective in corrosive resistance and usually lasts longer than other pipe.

Cast Iron: Iron pipes are heavy and usually used as main lines for sewer or drainage systems
PVC (Polyvinyl chloride): PVC pipes are quite diverse and can be used for potable water and drain lines. For DIY fixes, PVC is one of the easiest materials to work with.

What to Do When Pipes Leak

Depending on where the leak is at there are many things you need to do when attempting to minimize water damage.

Typically there are 3 important actions to take in order to assess and prevent other problems:

1. Water damage can destroy a house within 24-48hours, so this is not a time to try and “Do it yourself.” PlumbingFix states, “it is best to find prescreened, professional plumbers in your location that provide 24 hour emergency services to get professional advice and intervention.”

2. The second step would be to find and get advice from a restoration company to understand the next steps in case of water damage. RestorationElite states that they can provide 24 Hour Emergency Restoration Services and can also give free estimates on drying water-soaked areas, removing and replacing materials,, and remediating mold.

3. The third step would be to call your insurance company once you have estimated the costs of the restoration and water damage. Non-weather-related water damage accounts for 19% of common causes of home claims.

When you have an older home, it is important to understand both the plumbing obstacles you might face and the readily available solutions.

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