If you are buying an older home, you need to ensure it is in good condition before you move in. One thing you need to check is the plumbing pipes. The last thing you want to have happen is to have plumbing problems as soon as you move in. To prevent this from happening, below are types of pipes the plumber may find, as well as replacement pipes they may use.
Because your home is older your may have galvanized steel pipes. This is because galvanized steel pipes are heavy and thick, which means they are more difficult for you or a plumber to work with. This may result in extra labor costs if you have plumbing problems and hire a plumber to repair them.
Galvanized pipes also have a zinc coating that wears down, which will cause internal rust in the pipes. This rust can cause clogs, as well as reduce the water pressure in your home.
Copper plumbing pipes are also found in older homes, as well as some homes today. Copper pipes are generally thinner and smaller in diameter when compared to steel. If the pipes are old, oxidation causes the shiny reddish color to turn to a dark green or brown. Copper is durable and resistant to heat, which results in the pipes lasting a long time. With older homes, however, the joints may be soldered together with lead based solder. Copper is also more expensive so you will pay more money for plumbing repairs or replacement. If your copper pipes are in great condition the plumber may not suggest replacing them, however.
Pipes that are commonly used in plumbing today are PVC plumbing pipes. PVC is generally white and is a hard, durable plastic. PVC is used because it is resistant to rust, corrosion, which means the pipes will last much longer when compared to galvanized steel pipes. PVC is not used for hot water supply lines, however, and is mainly used for the sinks, bathtub, and toilet drain lines.
PEX pipe is another option commonly used. This type of pipe is more common than PVC as it can be used for both cold and hot water lines. You can find these pipes in a variety of color, and in most cases, red indicates the hot water line and blue designates the blue line to make it easier for plumbers to work on the plumbing. As with PVC pipes, PEX pipes are resistant to corrosion and rust.
Talk to a plumber about your plumbing pipe options and they can give you much more information.