How To Evaluate The Age Of Plumbing Components And When To Change Them
Plumbing issues arise at every home; however, older houses have many more of these problems than new ones. The right way to proceed is to identify the age of plumbing components and then analyze when to change them. The plumbing problems can be divided into three categories:
Outdated Pipe Material
Many older homes have pipe materials that are made of polybutylene. The material is no longer manufactured, and it is excluded from the building code. It was used from late 1970s until mid-1990s due to easy installation and low cost. However, in 1980s many lawsuits were claimed because of water damage caused due to ruptured pipes. The reason for ruptures is believed to be the oxidants such as chlorine which is present in water systems. Another material that is no longer used for water supply piping is galvanized steel. The lifespan of galvanized piping is from 40 to 50 years. The diameter of galvanized steel pipes is reduced due to corrosion, and it restricts the water flow. Piping made of polybutylene and galvanized steel should be changed if they are more than 40 years old.
Fixtures and Pipes That are at the End of Their Lifespan
Just like all other things, plumbing components also have a lifespan. Sometimes, the components last longer than their average lifespan; however, most of them fail sooner. Plumbing fixtures have lesser lifespan than drain piping and water supply piping. Water heaters and shut-off valves can fail any time after ten to fifteen years. Drain piping made of cast iron, galvanized steel, copper and PVC usually fails after 50 years. Water supply piping usually develops problems after 40 years.
A licensed plumber is less likely to make defective plumbing installation. Sometimes the handyman or homeowner tries to do the repairing task himself, and it usually fails. Some people try to do sink drain configurations themselves, and the result is full of plumbing defects such as unvented drains, poorly secured pipes, unsafe water heaters, and doubled-up or backwards installed traps. A sign of poor plumbing work is the accordion type piping for sink drain. It is wise that a home inspector thoroughly inspects the plumbing repairs and recommend the work that should be redone. Sometimes immediate action is necessary, but many times it can be delayed for a few days.
Get in touch with a plumbing company like Clearwater Plumbing to learn more about these issues.