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Repair and Replace: 4 Signs Your Old Home Needs an Updated Plumbing System

Living in an older home is a uniquely charming experience, but a barely functional plumbing system is much less appealing than the vintage cupolas and original staircase. Identifying the signs of problems is important to prevent unexpected leaks and failures. Use this guide to help you identify the symptoms of barely functioning plumbing in your older home.


Brittle Plastic Pipes

If you have pipes that were installed before 1990, an inspection is recommended. Pipes installed before 1970 can contain lead, a metal that can contaminate your water and cause lead poisoning. Lead poisoning is a serious condition that requires medical care.


Plumbing pipes installed after 1970 but before 1990 may be made from polybutylene. This material often breaks easily, causing leaks and other issues. Replacing polybutylene pipes is recommended to serious plumbing problems.


Low Water Pressure

Hard water can affect the lifespan of metal pipes. If you have low water pressure, mineral buildup or corrosion may be an issue. Replacing the pipes can solve the problem, but you may be able to preserve your plumbing system if the pipes aren’t damaged. Contact a professional service like Clearwater Plumbing to have the pipes inspected before deciding whether to repair or replace your existing plumbing system.


Damaged Drainage Lines

The drainage lines in older homes are often damaged over the course of time. Tree roots are a leading cause of damaged drainage lines. The roots grow into sewage pipes, breaking the material down and causing problems like collapsed drainage lines and sewage leaks. You can replace or repair your drainage lines without replacing your entire plumbing system, but tackling the projects together can save you time in the future.


Slow Drainage

Problems like slow drainage can be caused by a variety of issues with the plumbing system, depending on whether you have a septic tank or a city sewage connection. If the system was installed after 1990, you may simply need to have your plumbing system cleaned or repaired, rather than replaced. Options like hydro jetting and trenchless repairs are simple and effectively solve most common issues.


Identifying problems early is the best way to avoid major plumbing issues in your older home. The most common problems include outdated pipes, slow drainage, damaged sewage lines and low water pressure caused by damage, mineral buildup, or corrosion. Examining your system for signs of problems, such as the presence of lead pipes, is the first step to deciding whether it’s time to replace your plumbing.

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