With housing prices on the rise, sometimes the more cost-effective option is to purchase an older home that needs some modernising. What some may not realise is that old houses don’t just look worn out, they are. Under the surface, the property could be teeming with invisible issues. You won’t realise what’s laying beneath until you jump into the shower for the first time or a pipe bursts that something is seriously wrong.
If you’re in the market for an older home or have just purchased one, it’s hard to know when to replace your plumbing. Thankfully, there are some tell-tale signs to look out for that will indicate if there is an issue with the home’s plumbing. Next time you’re at an open inspection, try some of these tests, they could save you thousands!
If you’ve bought an older home and are experiencing some of these issues, talk to our experienced team at Chiswick Plumbing. We can offer some affordable new plumbing solutions.
Low water pressure
The easiest way to tell if your home needs a plumbing upgrade is by testing the water pressure. Typically, brand new houses will experience hard and fast water pressure, which is ideal. This is because the pipes are newly laid and therefore not worn or dirty on the inside.
As older homes have been lived in for longer, the pipes have had plenty of time to become worn. Grease, hair, food, bacteria, dirt and more will start to line the insides of your pipes over time, making it more difficult for the water to pass. These build-ups can not only cause clogging but will also wear the pipes out, causing cracks or pinholes. Of course, if water is escaping, it can’t make its way to your tap very quickly.
The last thing anyone wants is to move into a new house and not be able to drink the tap water safely. If you’re living in an average suburban area, discoloured water is not normal and most definitely not safe. You may not notice the discolouring until you pour running tap water into a glass, but even a slight discolouration can cause bodily harm if ingested. This could be a result of outside sources like stormwater or organic matter making its way into your plumbing.
Most commonly, discoloured water is caused by corrosion and rust in your pipes. The mineral deposits from this corrosion can clog pipes which inevitably creates mounting pressure. This pressure will eventually become too much for the pipes to handle and cause them to burst, which can be catastrophic for your home. There aren’t many options in this case, besides replacing the plumbing pipes that corrode. That’s why it’s important to check your tap water & if you notice anything amiss to contact us to come and have a look.
Depending on when the home was built, you may have iron, lead or galvanised steel pipes. Even if you have newer pipes made from copper, brass or PVC, all pipe materials have a life span. Granted, most of these pipes last for decades, you can never be sure how long they have been there for or if they were installed correctly. An indication of a pipes life cycle based on its material is;
- Brass, iron & galvanised steel pipes – 80 to 100 years
- Copper pipe – 70 to 80 years
- PVC pipe – 24 to 45 years
PVC is most commonly used in modern homes as it is the most affordable option but is susceptible to weakening. Metal pipes can stay intact for many years, but that doesn’t stop them from corroding on the inside and leaving rust and minerals in your water supply.
As mentioned, lead pipes are usually present in older homes, and if the home’s previous owners never checked, you could be poisoning yourself. Lead is highly toxic and has been linked to serious illness. You can never be sure that these dangers aren’t lurking around your home, so it is best to have a professional inspect your pipes if you’re living in an older house. If they find lead pipes on the premises, you will have to cease your water use immediately and have all of them replaced, leaving you with empty pockets.
Visual signs around the home
Wet baseboards, water-stained ceilings or walls, warped flooring, bubbling wallpaper or carpeting are all clear signs of leakage. There is only so much that your home can take, and you shouldn’t pass these visual signs off as minor problems. There is likely a much larger underlying issue here that is just waiting to make your life difficult.
More obvious signs that can be harder to find are cracks, corrosion or leaks from the pipes themselves. This isn’t as easy to spot unless you can get underneath your home or you have a basement where the piping is on display.
If you’re experiencing some other strange plumbing related issues and are unsure if they’re a cause for concern, read our blog about common household plumbing problems. Most of these issues are rectifiable without the need to replace pipes, but there are instances where this is required.
How we can help
If any of these issues sound familiar to you, contact the team here at Chiswick Plumbing immediately! Your safety is of paramount importance to us, and we are glad to help replace your household plumbing if necessary. We know it can be costly to replace plumbing, which is why we work with you to find a solution.
Our competitive prices and friendly staff make the process stress-free so you can enjoy flawless new water plumbing. Of course, we also offer other plumbing services so if you need help maintaining your fixtures and fittings; we’re happy to help. We’re the best emergency plumbers in Sydney & Wollongong, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.