New Year, Old Home: How to Install New Plumbing

Do you want to celebrate the new year listening to water rush through rusted out pipes? Would it be a fun January activity to deal with a leaking water heater? The answer to both questions (we hope) is no. The new year is time to refresh old things, whether it’s your physical fitness routine or your home plumbing. Older homes tend to let their plumbing system bear the brunt of age, and one of the best ways to reward your home for keeping you safe and sound is to celebrate it with new plumbing in the new year. There are many ways to revamp your old home plumbing, and we’re here to share them with you. 

    You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘nothing lasts forever.’ Your plumbing falls prey to this adage. As pipes and appliances age, they begin to cause problems that cost significantly more to fix once broken than to replace once they begin to wear. Installing new plumbing comes in three basic steps, and we, of course, would recommend bringing an expert in to assess each one of them. First, you want to assess areas of need. Second, you’ll plan out the project. The third is actually to do the work. The work itself is important, but steps one and two should not be cut out of the equation. 

    To assess any areas that are showing wear and tear, you want to look at what’s visible first. Exposed pipes are easy to see any areas of concern, as they show corrosion and rust to the naked eye. You want to thoroughly inspect any areas where water damage might be visible, such as the floor underneath your bathroom and any discolored portions of the wall. Lastly, try looking for things that you use on the daily. Is the water pressure leaving something to be desired? If you turn off your Brita, does the water come out a little funky tasting or discolored? These small steps help you determine what needs immediate repair. 

    Once you’ve assessed the problem areas, plan out the project. Plumbing work requires much planning, as the slightest overlook can cause significant problems down the line. You’ll want to map out the pieces that need replacing: their size, current installation, and location. Should any major demolition, such as removing existing cabinet fixtures, be required, make sure to include it in the overall plan. Switching out a faucet is easy, but switching out a sink becomes complicated. Ensure that you have a full budget in place and stick to it throughout your installation. 

    The last part of installing plumbing is what people tend to view as the fun part. Turn off the water supply before you begin anything, and start demoing the old pieces. If you’re not working with an experienced plumber, make sure you take extra care in swapping old parts with new. Fortunately, plumbing is sort of like a puzzle. If a galvanized steel pipe fit before, you know a duplicate (and original!) version of the same pipe will fit. Don’t skimp on sealing all of your hard work. Putting new plumbing in only works if you take the care to seal everything off properly. If you’re tentative about any steps in the process, don’t hesitate to call in a plumber with experience

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