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Triple-O Heating, Cooling, Electrical & Plumbing Blog

Old Pipes: Why We Recommend You Replace Them

Homes can age gracefully and become true vintage beauties. The same can’t be said for their plumbing. In fact, making updates to the plumbing (along with electrical systems and water sealing) is one of the crucial ways older homes can continue to function. 

If you live in a house built before the early 1990s, there’s a strong chance you have some outdated plumbing pipe materials. You can have limited repiping done, or for a house built before 1970, whole-house repiping in Bergen County, NY. We’ll take a look at the types of old pipes you may need to have replaced.

Lead Pipes

Lead was a common metal for plumbing systems going back to the ancient world. They were often used for water supply lines. However, lead has been phased out because of health concerns. Lead can leach into the water from the pipes, posing serious health risks, especially for children. Long-term exposure to lead can lead to developmental issues and other health problems. You don’t want lead pipes anywhere in your house.

Cast Iron Pipes

A common replacement for lead when it comes to both water and sewer lines, and also an extremely durable metal. The problem with cast iron is its susceptibility to corrosion and rust. Over time, cast iron pipes can develop internal and external corrosion, leading to a decrease in water flow and an increased likelihood of leaks. Like several other types of metal pipes, cast iron is also heavy and difficult to work with.

Galvanized Steel Pipes

This is the older type of pipe that you’re most likely to have in your home if your house was constructed before 1970. Galvanized steel is steel that’s been dipped in a zinc coating to help it resist corrosion, and this made it the common substitute for cast iron. However, the zinc coating on the pipe will gradually break down, often after 50 years, leaving the pipe vulnerable to corrosion and rust. 

Polybutylene Pipes

Plastic piping was a major innovation in plumbing systems that helped to eliminate many older metal pipes. PEX and CPVC pipes are among the most commonly used plastic pipes. But not all plastic ended up standing the test of time. Polybutylene pipes were used for water supply in residential plumbing during the 1970s to 1990s. However, they fell out of favor because they were found to be susceptible to degradation when exposed to water treatment chemicals and high temperatures, causing them to break easily. We recommend replacing any polybutylene pipes in your home.

Modern Pipes

Today, the most common materials used for pipes are copper, PEX, and CPVC. These materials are corrosion resistant, lightweight, and easy to work with. Our plumbers can look over your home’s plumbing system and give you an idea of what needs to be replaced. They’ll then do the job of removing the outdated pipes and putting in the ideal materials to replace them. 

If you aren’t sure about whether your house is in need of repiping, limited or whole-house, reach out to our plumbers today.

Call Triple-O Mechanical: Your One-stop Shop for HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical. 

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