Plumbing in the Home/Plumbing Question

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Question
Good day
If one is purchasing an old home, how does one check underground to determine the condition of the lines (water pipes etc.) to determine if they need changing?
I know that changing pipes and lines can cost alot, are there any economical alternatives.
How long are typical pipes / lines underground supposed to last and are there any alternatives that can last for over 100 years for setting lines, pipes etc. - to avoid major excavation cost in the future when it comes to repairs required.

Answer
Sam, The age at which piping fails is no predictable. There are several factors that come into play such as soil PH, the type of piping used, what part of the world you live in, how well it was installed. on and on
One thing you can do is look at the condition of the piping where it enters the house. Is is rusty or corroded? The sewer line can be internally inspected by using a pipeline camera. Most plumbers who clean  drains have them. It's a bit pricey to have done but it will tell you what kind of shape the pipe is in.
As for alternatives, here in the States we use PVC(plastic) piping for water and drain and the stuff is virtually indestructible. If installed properly and baring any major shifts in the ground, it is supposed to last hundreds of years.
Unfortunately, it's the excavation that costs so much when replacing the pipes. The plumbing part of it is only about 15-20% of the cost.

Plumbing in the Home

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Jay Nicholas

Expertise

Plumbing & Heating (warm air, hot water & steam heat)

Experience

40 years in the business, 35 years as a lic. master plumber in NY State. Retired

Education/Credentials
Graduated Magna cum laude at the School of Hard Knocks

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Commercial, residential and light industrial. You name it ...I have probably worked on it

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