Many older homes offer a unique sense of charm and history. Unfortunately, the outdated plumbing systems in many such houses can present a real hazard to you and your family. If you have recently purchased an older home and would like to learn more about eliminating unwanted safety hazards, read on. This article will teach you about two plumbing items to remove or replace at your soonest convenience.
With very few exceptions, all sinks and plumbing fixtures contain a section of pipe known as a trap. As its name would imply, the trap's function is to provide a seal against sewer gases, and thus to prevent them from rising up into your home. Not only can such gases be quite stinky, but they can also present a distinct risk to your health, should they act as a vehicle for unwanted bacteria and viruses.
Today, almost all sink traps are so-called P-traps. The design of these traps is such that they will maintain their water seal at all times. Not all homes contain P-traps, however. In older homes, it is still quite common to encounter S-traps. These can be recognized by the fact that their shape is that of the letter S turned sideways.
S-traps are simply not as capable as P-traps when it comes to keeping dangerous gases out of your home. That is because the water seal in an S-trap is often broken when the tap is opened. Give the sinks in your home a thorough inspection, and hire a professional plumber to replace any S-traps as soon as possible.
By now, the dangers of lead pipes are well understood by a majority of home owners. Yet you may also be at risk of lead poisoning if your home contains galvanized pipes. Such pipes are composed principally of steel; however, to protect against corrosion, the interior of the pipe is covered in a 90% zinc coating.
The problem with galvanized pipes is that, over the years, that zinc coating begins to erode. This allows corrosion to build along the inside of the pipe. As this corrosion grows--severely constricting the width of the pipe--it tends to accumulate deposits of lead. This lead can then leach out into your drinking water.
If your home was built prior to the 1960's, there is a distinct possibility that it contains galvanized pipes. You can test a pipe by scratching it with a screwdriver or other metal implement. Below any exterior corrosion, you should see that the scratched area has a silvery-grey color. Likewise, the pipe sections will be threaded at both ends.
If you believe that your home contains galvanized pipes, consult with a plumber like one from Watson Plumbing as soon as possible. They will help you assess the particular threat level of your pipes, and determine the best option for replacement.Share