Sally Krause's 1910 Irvington home has been a single-family residence, apartments and a church.
Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.Home plumbing systems periodically need maintenance and appliance upgrades.These chores are moderately difficult -- more involved than "easy installs" but not as complicated as a bathroom or kitchen renovation.Polybutylene piping, which is relatively inexpensive and easy to install, was installed in millions of buildings from the 1970s to the 1990s (See Figure 1). Polybutylene pipes are no longer recognized by building codes in the United States and Canada."Any plumbing from the '60s or older is on its last legs," says Howard Maxfield, a long-time home inspector in the greater Seattle area.Making small repairs, such as replacing corroded sections of pipe, may temporarily solve the problem, but if it's a widespread issue, Jasper recommends replacing all supply lines with a new material such as flexible PEX or copper pipes."Putting Band-Aids on something that's 90 years old isn't always the best option," he says.Others don't want to conduct inspections unless an installation requires running new pipes. safe consult with your local building department before tackling any of the projects described in this section.An inspector may provide valuable advice for some of the more complicated connections, such as connecting water, gas, or electric lines to a water heater or solving water pressure problems.Some projects may call for running short lengths of new supply pipe or gas pipe but no elaborate drain-waste-vent installations.Some building inspectors will want you to obtain a permit for any installation, no matter how small.