Is Your Plumbing System Up To Date?

Is Your Plumbing System Up To Date?

Owners of older homes certainly have something special on their hands. The gorgeous wood floors, the high ceilings with ornate mouldings, and the beautiful red brick – these are only a few of the unique characteristics of early 20th century homes. But, like anything else of a certain vintage quality, older homes require a lot of maintenance.

When it comes to the plumbing system in an old home, there are a lot of things to think about.  The nice thing about plumbing work is that it’s always possible to update an old home with the newest plumbing materials and techniques. A home built in 1921 can have a plumbing infrastructure as good as a new home built in 2016, andall it takes is attention to detail, setting aside a sufficient budget, and letting the professional plumbers do what they do best.

Here are a few problems that usually emerge in older homes with equally aged plumbing systems:

Leaks

Canadian winters are pretty bad, even in Toronto. The immense amount of snow and ice that a home must defend against is only compounded by the amount of liquid that is produced during the long thaw period in the spring. Older homes were built solidly, but after a while they begin to sag or weaken in one area or another.  When this happens the whole plumbing system is affected. When a weight transfer occurs, even to a very subtle degree, it is likely for leaks to emerge. 

Leaks are bound to happen even without the effect of shifting weight distribution in the home.  Why is that? The most common reason is that the pipe material has simply eroded over time.  Polybutylene pipe was the standard for most of the 20th century, but it is no longer rated by buildings codes for use. Another popular piping material was galvanized steel, but since the 1990s it too has fallen out of fashion because of problems with corrosion. 

Fixtures Are Getting Old

There is a definitive lifespan for all the types of drain material usedin residential homes. 

Water supply piping lifespans break down like this:

Copper – around 70 years

Galvanized Steel – no more than 50 years

PVC – no more than 50 years

Drain piping lifespan averages look like this:

Cast Iron – under 70 years

Copper – around 70 years

PVC – around 60 years

Then, most importantly, there are plumbing fixture lifespans to consider:

Water Heater – 15 years

Faucets – it depends, but usually between 20-25 years

Toilets – 50 years

Shut-off Valves – no more than 20 years. 

If any of these are present in a home over 80 years old (which a lot of Toronto homes are!) then it’s important to get a plumber in Toronto to fix things up and ensure that you protect your home’s value. 

Handyman Helper? Not So Much – another reason why old plumbing systems prove ineffectual has to do with homeowner tinkering. It is likely that a previous homeowner thought they had a solution to a leak issued and just went for it themselves without the advice of a plumber. These kind of stop-gap solutions only make it more expense to replace – but that’s part of the charm of an old home, right?

Nhu Anh

Nhu Anh is a professional editor in the field of architecture and interior design. Having a strong desire for architecture and design in her writing career, Nhu Anh attempts to provide readers the most wonderful architectural news and projects.

 

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