If you have an older home, you should be aware of some of the issues that older homes may possess. One problem that you might not be aware of in your older home is issues with plumbing due to the type of pipes used. We’ll cover some of these issues here, but if still in doubt, contact a plumber.
What Types Of Pipes Cause Problem?
Older homes often are outfitted with galvanized pipes or pipes made from plastic polybutylene. Both of these pipes can cause potential problems with the plumbing in your home.
Galvanized pipes are made out of steel that has been coated in a layer of zinc. The zinc layer on galvanized pipes is applied to protect pipes from exterior elements and deterioration from exposure. Galvanized pipes were almost always used for plumbing in homes built before 1960.
Polybutylene plastic pipes started to be used in the 60s and were commonly used into the 90s. These types of pipes were popular due to their low price and ease of installation for the plumber.
What Problems Could Arise?
There are a myriad of issues that arise from both older galvanized steel pipes as well as plastic polybutylene pipes, some of which are listed below.
Lead Poisoning – The most dangerous problem with older galvanized pipes is the possibility of lead leaking into your water supply. In years past, lead lines were used to supply the water from cities into homes. This lead accumulated in galvanized pipes in homes and can be released into the water passing through the pipes.
Clogging – The zinc coating used on galvanized pipes easily breaks down and causes rust and corrosion. This rust and corrosion can become so thick that water can no longer travel through the pipes. It also can cause expansion of the pipes, leading to leaks.
Polybutylene pipes are not without their own issues. Chlorine and other oxidants that are abundant in the water supply react negatively in these pipes and can cause a few problems:
Brittleness – The reaction of chlorine with the polybutylene causes these pipes to flake and become brittle. This leads to debris in your water. It also can lead to breakage in the pipes.
Microfractures – Microfractures are tiny cracks in the piping. These fractures aren’t problematic when one or two are present. However, an abundance of microfractures leads to total failure of the pipes.
Seek the Help of a Plumber
If you suspect that your house has older pipes that are causing you problems, you need to contact a plumber. The plumber can inspect your pipes and determine whether or not you need to put in replacement plumbing.
If your home is older and you are concerned about your pipes, contact us at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing and visit our website to learn more about what we have to offer. We are plumbers with over 10 years of experience, and we possess the skill and expertise to evaluate the current state of your plumbing system.