Retrofitting Plumbing in an Older Home

plumbing retorfit

When you buy an older home, sometimes you get older systems with it that need a change-up. If you are trying to add a bathroom or upgrade the kitchen, you may need to retrofit new plumbing into the home. Here are some tips to help guide your research as you get started.

Consider the Materials

The age of a home may give you some information about the condition of the plumbing, but you might have to have it inspected to learn more about upgrades that happened along the way. Older homes may have plumbing made of copper, iron or other materials. If the home had a plumbing update in the 1980s or 1990s, the homeowners might have replaced the old system with polybutylene pipes. Attaching one material to a system of different materials may require a unique approach. Ask your Sacramento plumber about the best plumbing material to use in your home, with your existing plumbing arrangement.

Debate Repair vs Replacement

Before you start planning your retrofitting project, you should first determine if it is not better to replace the existing plumbing. Homes over a century old may have lead pipes. In this case, you definitely need to replace them to avoid the serious health effects caused by lead exposure. Polybutylene pipes were popular decades ago because they were inexpensive and easy to install. However, they swell and crack easily. Even if the plumbing is still working well, you may want to replace it to avoid future problems. Replacement may also be a good idea if your plumbing is made of copper or brass that is reaching the end of its long lifespan. Your plumber can help you decide if it is the right move to make.

Solve Problems of Scale

In some cases, it is not just the plumbing that you have to address when you plan to add onto an older home. Extending the kitchen or adding an extra bathroom may call for more hot water, for example. Does your current hot water tank meet your needs, and can it stretch to accommodate the addition? If not, you have a few options to think about. Consider installing a new water heater with a larger tank. If this is not a possibility due to restricted space, you might ask the Sacramento plumbing experts at Ace Plumbing about a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters deliver a higher amount of hot water on demand, and take up less space than a water heater with a tank. If you want to keep your existing setup, you could ponder adding a point-of-use water heater in the bathroom addition, so that there is plenty of hot water for the home without having to tweak an old system too much.
Adding on to an older home has a number of unique concerns you should research carefully, especially as it concerns your plumbing. With these tips, you can determine if retrofitting or replacement is better, and find ways to increase your home’s ability to handle the load. For expert attention to all your plumbing needs, contact us at Ace Plumbing.