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BrianCharlie 10-16-2012 11:12 PM

Advice for plumbing in an older house
I have a house that was built in 1955, I currently am having issues with my plumbing leaking from an upstairs bathroom. I had to rip out a lot of ceiling and don't want to have to do it again, so I would like to do it right the first time.

I've really got three questions, my first is as follows:
My current problem is my hot water supply (galvanized) had a bunch of rust holes in it so I have to replace it, I plan to replace it with copper. Is it okay to use these quick\compression fittings on it, that require no soldering but for you to just simply push them into place? Do they do just as good as job as soldering? I've also seen fittings where they have the solder already in it and you just have to use flux and heat them up are these better?

My next question is:
The cold water line is galvanized also but doesn't have any leaks in it yet, should I replace this line with copper as well? I would assume these lines were put in at the same time.

My final question is:
Should I consider replacing my waste line? I believe it is Cast iron because that is what they used in the 50's if what I have read is correct. I doubt any one has touched it, I do see in my basement were someone put in a pvc piping for the drain on my sink and if you look towards the ceiling you can see where the connected it to a cast iron pipe. I know when I replaced my sink in the bathroom a year ago I had black water come back at me, which I read is from the pipe. I haven't seen any notable leaks in it yet. If I were to replace it would using a PVC type waste line be good enough? Is there ways I could tell if I should replace it or not?

My current plan is to move with in 6 years or less, does that play a factor in it? I really don't want to do more than I have to, but I also want to do it right so I don't have to do this again anytime soon..

Thanks for your help in advance, this will really help me out a lot!

TheEplumber 10-16-2012 11:39 PM

199 Attachment(s)
Galvanized water lines should be replaced, both hot and cold.
You sound like you are lacking in plumbing experience so I'd recommend using pex pipe instead of copper and "quick connect" couplings. Pex is very user friendly and proven to work- especially in repipe situations like yours.
As for the drainage system, cast iron lasts a long time but you may be pushing it. It is labor intensive to replace but very do-able. If your system is centrally located and accessible such as in a basement- it helps a lot. But weather you do only water or both, you'll be patching walls too. Hope this helps

oh'mike 10-17-2012 04:05 AM

Out dated plumbing can affect the selling price of a home---so the effort will not be wasted--no matter how long you stay.

I suggest you read some of the old threads in the plumbing section----there is a lot of good info there---

Pex is a good suggestion for your water lines---it's not allowed here --so check your local codes before you decide---Mike---

ddawg16 10-17-2012 06:55 AM

Brian....your house sounds like mine.....minus the steel pipes.....mine was built in 52.

This is where having your location in your profile area is the same as Mike's....PEX not allowed in some cities....yet.

My drain is still cast iron....chances are, it will be fine for another 100 years. Your bigger issue is going to be the clay pipe you most likely have between your house and the street....but that is another thread...(and bill)

But those galv pipes have to will be a very big point on fact, it will most likely push away a lot of buyers.

Don't put it off....I'm amazed at what people will do to their house just before they sell it...but won't do it while living in, do it now and enjoy it.

It's not really hard....messy...but not hard. Your existing pipes are either in the crawl space or in the attic....or both.

If you learn how to sweat copper pipe....the rest is easy...and it's actually kind of fun. As noted above, plenty of info on this site and the net on how to do it. My it in stages....get your home run (main inlet) done to the first bathroom so that your house is somewhat functioning...after that, one section at a time.

A few key points....

MAP Gas - Comes in a yellow bottle....hotter than the blue bottle....
Debur the inside of your pipes....cuts down considerable on the noise of running watter.
Do not bring pipes up trough the floor....bite the bullet...cut out a section of wall...pull out the old pipes...put in your new...patch...coming up through the floor says "hack job".
White Bread is your friend - A little wad shoved up inside a pipe that keeps dripping makes the all the difference

Welcome to DIY and keep us posted....progress pics are always appreciated....

BrianCharlie 10-17-2012 07:58 AM

Thank you for all the replies, I will look into all the suggestions

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