Tips for Upgrading the Plumbing System in an Old House

When you buy an old house, you may feel you have gotten a great bargain until you begin working on the plumbing. Then it may become clear to you that what you have isn’t up to code, and it will take a lot of work to get it there. In this article, we will discuss some of the considerations you must keep in mind when upgrading the plumbing system in an old house.

In short, here’s what you may need to consider:

  • What are your existing pipes made of?
  • Is your pipe system configured optimally?
  • Does your house have vents installed near drains?
  • Are your plumbing fixtures water-conscious?

Upgrade Your Pipes to a More Modern Material & Configuration

Sometimes, the only problem with the plumbing in an old house is the type of pipe and fittings used. In this case, you can simply follow the old plan but replace everything with modern pipe and fittings. This is pretty easy to do and something you should hope for! Generally, when this is the case, you will simply need to use larger pipes of more modern material.

Many old houses still have lead pipes to carry waste away from the house. Additionally, in older houses the waste pipes of the tub and sink connected to the waste pipe of the toilet. Today, lead pipes are unacceptable for any application, and the waste pipes of the tub and sink must be connected to the main drain line of the house. While it is possible to make working repairs by simply following the old layout of the pipes, it would not be legal in most areas. When this is the case, you must reconfigure the layout of the pipes.

Have Vents Installed Near Drains to Meet Building Codes

Many old houses don’t have vents installed near drains. This is a situation that has to be corrected to meet building codes. Vents help used water drain away quickly. They also stop sewer gases from rising into the dwelling. You must check local building codes to find out exactly how close to the drain your new vents must be.

Choose Water Saving Toilets & Fixtures

When you are planning how to replace an old plumbing system , be sure to keep water conservation in mind. Replace old fixtures such as toilets, shower heads and faucets with models that are designed to save water. As long as you are working on the plumbing, be sure to do it right and invest in the highest quality of fixtures and materials you can. This will save you time, money and the aggravation of frequent repairs in the long run.

Replace Old Lead Pipes with Copper

You should also strive to make smart, high-quality choices in piping. The very best water pipe for longevity and purity of water flavor is copper; although, it may tend to freeze easily and should be covered with insulation. The best waste water pipe is ABS. It is sturdiest and will last the longest period of time. Some people like to use PVC for everything, but this really isn’t a good idea. PVC isn’t strong enough to withstand the test of time, and it tends to leach plastic into water, so it is a very poor choice for bringing water into the home.

Call KC’s 23 1/2 Hour Plumbing, Inc. for Efficient Plumbing System Services

Be sure to take the time to plan your plumbing system well. Remember that a good plumbing system doesn’t just bring water into the house and carry waste away. It does these things quietly, efficiently and dependable. A poorly planned system can cause problems like temperature fluctuations in the shower when water is used elsewhere, frequent clogs and backups due to insufficient drain pipe size and even noise in the system. Take the time to study up on plumbing techniques and follow the tips presented here along with local codes and ordinances to install your plumbing system properly.

Questions about this post? Contact KC’s 23 1/2 Hour Plumbing, Inc. to schedule a service appointment! Our plumbers serve Palm Desert, Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, Indio, and Rancho Mirage.