Have you just moved into an older home and love its personality and charm? If so, you may not love the potential hazards an old home can have. Some of those problems are due to old plumbing that needs to be replaced. Here are 3 of those old plumbing features you should take care of.
Lead Solder and Pipes
Lead pipes were often used in homes because the material was malleable and leak resistant. It wasn't until the early 1900s that people realized that lead pipes can be potentially toxic with what they left behind in the water that was consumed by people. Unfortunately, older homes may still have lead pipes used in them, which can be dangerous for children or women who are pregnant.
Consider having your water tested to determine how much lead is in the pipe. It is a good idea to test at least two samples. One sample should be tested after the water has been stagnant in the pipes overnight and another after the plumbing has been flushed. This will give you a good idea of the potential range of lead in the water. If it is not safe, you will need to replace the plumbing in your home or use a water filtration system.
Those without lead plumbing can still have lead in their water if the home has galvanized plumbing. These steel pipes have a zinc layer that was designed to protect the pipe, but eventually discovered that the zinc will erode on the inside and allow lead to accumulate along the pipe's interior.
Galvanized plumbing is easy to identify since you can scratch the pipe and see if it is a gray-silver color underneath. If the pipe has the color similar to a penny, your pipes are safe.
Traps are used underneath sinks to prevent sewer gases from rising up into your home. These traps under your sinks can be one of two shapes, which resemble the letters P or S. The S trap is an outdated way to handle this, since pressure can siphon the water out of the trap and allow sewer gasses to get inside. The P trap prevents this from happening, and is the proper kind of trap to have installed. If you have S traps in your home, you should have them swapped out with P traps that will do a much better job.
For help making any of these changes, reach out to a local plumber from a company like Towers Murray Plumbing that can assist you.