Providing Plumbing Solutions Since 1986

How to know if you need to replace the water pipes in your home.

How old is your plumbing? Did you know older plumbing can be hazardous to your health? It can also develop issues that could place the safety of your home’s water system at risk.

Even homes built or remodeled 30 years ago can be filled with problematic water lines and fittings. Flexible and easy to install, Poly-B piping became popular in home plumbing in the late 1970s.

It was used up until 1995 in Barrie and elsewhere but fell out of favour because the tubing would become brittle over time, sometimes cracking and leaking particularly in plumbing systems with high chlorine levels. The ‘push-and-turn’ fittings and joints were also prone to leaking.

Once the fitting starts to leak, the entire line will need to be replaced. If leaking is evident in the cold water line, the hot water line is sure to follow so it might be more economical to replace all the lines at once. Poly-B plumbing lines are light grey in colour.

On the health risk side of plumbing, some older homes may still contain galvanized pipes and joints. It could be a small amount at the main shut-off where the water comes into the house or there could be a lot. Look for silver grey coloured metal pipes and fittings.

Made from steel and dipped in zinc to prevent rust and corrosion, galvanized plumbing can break down over time, clog the inside of the pipe and potentially place your drinking water at risk for lead toxins.

As for lead plumbing, yes, it still does exist in some older homes built before 1950. Lead contamination can cause major health conditions such as kidney damage, headaches, high blood pressure, and more.

Lead plumbing is dull grey in colour and, as it is a soft metal, can be easily scratched with a metal object such as a screwdriver or key.

Plumbtech Plumbing Inc. in Barrie is very familiar with all of these issues and can replace galvanized pipes, lead pipes, and Poly-B pipes with new, secure water lines and fittings.

Replacement options include copper, PEX or CPVC piping, or Wirsbo plumbing lines and fittings.

Copper is traditional and some pipes may remain in homes that have been renovated for new washrooms, kitchens, or laundry rooms. Poly-B piping could have been spliced into the original copper.

Barrie homeowners looking to replace it can move to new, more secure water lines such as PEX, CPVC, or Wirsbo or reinstall copper piping which can be more expensive.

Flexible plumbing pipe may be the answer for many, particularly for tight spots or going around corners. There are a lot of similarities between PEX, CPVC, and Wirsbo. All are flexible but there are differences, particularly in how the piping joins together.

PEX is flexible plastic tubing that uses compression fittings. It can be easily spliced into existing plumbing as it does not require any soldering.

Wirsbo is considered to be a type of PEX pipe and its fittings are compression assembly with o-ring.

CPVC piping seems to be a popular choice for do-it-yourselfers. Related to PVC piping, it requires different fittings which are attached to piping with solvent cement.

The experts at Plumbtech Plumbing Inc. can provide advice and the best solution for your particular situation and estimates are free.

Call 705-722-7209.

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