Old Home Plumbing: 4 Things to Consider

Many of Toronto’s sought-after neighborhoods boast beautiful old homes. Unfortunately, the rustic charm of these homes comes with many plumbing headaches. Thirty or more years ago, plumbing systems were designed very differently from the way we do things today, and with that comes the fact that many of them still have many of the same old pipes that weren’t replaced over the years.

When a pipe or joint breaks, people tend to replace only that one part, often with a part made of a different material. Not only does that cause material conflicts, but it messes up the integrity and strength of your system.

Did you buy an older home recently? Here are some of the main plumbing problems to look out for while you do your renovations. Bear in mind though, that you must hire a professional plumber for old home plumbing. Do not attempt DIY fixes on older homes.

1. Old Plumbing Fixtures

While old faucets and fixtures may add to the rustic charm of your house, remember that those old fixtures may no longer be as efficient. Wear and tear will take their toll, causing inefficient water flow and wear and tear. During your renovations, be sure to replace old fixtures. You can find them in all different styles, including classic designs with modern, efficient functionality.

2. Invisible Leaks

If you suspect a leak, call a professional plumber to do leak detection and determine whether it is on your side of the property line, or that of the city. Your professional Toronto plumber will also repair the leak before it can cause major damage to your property.

3. Sewer Lines

When we buy older homes, we tend to look at the things we can see, the visible defects, and things we want to improve. We don’t see the hidden problems, such as the sewer line until it is too late. Roots in the sewer line could cause the line to be blocked or cracked, and it may eventually crack or become completely crushed. In older homes, sewer lines are often made from cast iron, clay, transite or even Orangeburg, a product made out of tarpaper, stemming from World War II. Cast iron is susceptible to corrosion, while transite contains asbestos. Clay pipes can easily become brittle, leading to small cracks and root intrusion, while tarpaper pipes break very easily, forming cracks or becoming cracked. In short – don’t overlook a sewer video inspection before you buy your new home!

4. Galvanized Pipes

Homes built up until the 1960s generally used galvanized pipes. Over time, it is likely that previous homeowners replaced pipes as necessary. However, they probably only focused on corroded or clogged pipes. That means that your home probably still has some galvanized pipes left that you will need to replace. If you have low hot water pressure in your home, check for galvanized pipes during your home renovation.

When you’re renovating an old home, be sure not to overlook the plumbing aspects. Ideally, you should consider hiring a plumber to do a thorough plumbing inspection to locate any vulnerabilities in your plumbing system.

Written by Tanya Klien

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