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Respect Your Elders & Let Them Rest, Replace Your Old Pipes


August 21st marks World Senior Citizens Day! Some things get better with age, like wine and cheese, and some things do not... like your home’s half-a-century-old pipes. Thinking about the integrity of your home’s water pipes is no one’s idea of a good time, but if you live in an older home, it’s time to consider what is actually occurring inside those rickety old things. Today we’ll cover the importance of ongoing plumbing care, so you never find yourself celebrating said pipes next August.

Has Your Water Pressure Changed?

There are a few factors that can affect the water pressure in your home. So if you’ve noticed that your water is flowing less smoothly or inconsistently, your pipes are probably experiencing one of the following:

  • Pipe Belly Formation: Due to a house settling and slow shifts in the soil, pipes can ‘belly’ which means they bend or sag in certain parts and restrict water flow.
  • Clogs: Flushing down bulky waste is a bad idea in general, but over time, even small amounts of waste accumulate in the piping and prevent water from going through efficiently.
  • Tree Root Intrusion: Common in Florida, sometimes tree roots grow around or through your piping over time. Consider having large and heavy-rooted trees away from the base of your home if possible.
  • Accumulation of sediment: Older homes used galvanized pipes because they were believed to be great in durability. Studies show that zinc-lined pipes would erode over decades of usage, releasing lead, iron, and rust into the drinking water.

How Does That Affect Your Health?

Everyone knows that impurities in the water can cause health issues and concerns which has led to an increase in water filters and filtration systems all around the world.

Unfortunately, due to a lack of knowledge about the lasting effects of certain structures, we now have to take measures to ensure we are not consuming poisonous or harmful water riddled with rust or lead.

If your home was built before the banning of lead in 1986, it is possible that your piping is lined with lead-based solders. High doses of lead are known to be extremely harmful, particularly to children.

Lead poisoning has the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue and headaches
  • Nausea and constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Reduced cognitive abilities and hindrance of brain development (in children)
  • Reproductive issues

If your pipes are full of rust, you’ll notice a change in water pressure and red or brown stains in your sinks and shower. Clothes washed will have an odor and feel stiff, and your dishwasher will leave residue on your clean plates.

Do You Feel Like You Have Constant Clogs?

Newer pipes clog way less often than old ones because of all the aforementioned reasons. Older pipes have many more years of buildup and erosion that they simply can’t compete with a new set of pipes.

If you’re not sure how old your home’s pipework is (perhaps it has been updated), consider hiring a technician to come out the integrity of the structure. This can help you abstain from constant clogs.

If your system is very outdated, it might be time to reconsider replacing the majority of the faulty pipes, rather than just placing a bandaid on the issue. Just like people, those old bones aren’t what they used to be.

Better Safe Than Sorry!

So yes, that old home has all the charm of a postcard on the outside… but it’s never the same case on the inside. If you’re questioning the health of your home’s piping system, call our pros at C & D Plumbing Inc. today to have one of our experts come and take a look.