Aging plumbing systems are notoriously fragile, especially when it comes to pipes in older homes. While new plumbing installations are designed to last for decades, most homes built before 1950 feature pipes that are made of materials and built with construction methods that are now long gone. In addition, the vast majority of homes have been retrofitted with additional plumbing and appliances over the years, meaning these systems were designed with old technologies in mind. As a result, older plumbing systems are more likely to develop leaks, clogs, and other problems that require costly repairs and cause stress for you and your tenants. Luckily, there are several things you can do to prevent these problems and reduce the amount of stress they cause you and your tenants.

Schedule regular inspections

Regularly scheduled inspections are the most effective way to catch problems with your plumbing system before they have a chance to cause a major issue. This also includes regular visual inspections of your pipes, drains, and plumbing fixtures to look for signs of wear and tear, damage, and leaks. The specific frequency of these inspections will depend on your home’s age, construction type, and other factors, but it’s important to keep an eye on your plumbing system at least once a year. If you own a rental property, it’s a good idea to schedule inspections more frequently to be sure your tenants don’t experience any issues with their pipes.

Plan for plumbing repairs

Plumbing repairs are inevitable with any old plumbing system, but the best way to make sure they happen when they’re least inconvenient is to plan for them in advance. The best way to do this is to keep a written plumbing repair plan with you at all times. This document should include the frequency and types of repairs you intend to make, the reasons why you need to make them, and an estimated cost for each repair. If you own a rental property, it’s best to keep this plan in a central location, like a file drawer in your landlord’s office or in a central location in your home.

Change out your plumbing fixtures

When your old plumbing fixtures become damaged, worn, or simply old, it’s time to replace them. While you can repair most common fixtures, such as faucets and shower heads, it’s important to change out the ones that are more common sources of leaks, clogs, and other problems. These include toilets, sinks, and urinals, as well as pipes and water traps that are a common source of leaks. While you can repair and replace these fixtures one at a time, the best way to do so is to replace them all at once, so you can start fresh with new fixtures that are designed to last longer.

Add carbon filters to your water supply

All water supplies contain some amount of organic material, including bacteria and other organisms that can cause health and aesthetic issues in your home. One of the best ways to address this issue is to add carbon filtration to your water supply. While it’s important to add carbon to your water supply, it’s also important to remove it from your house. This is because carbon can actually trap contaminants in your water supply, which can make your water undrinkable.


You can’t expect to live in a home for decades without encountering plumbing issues. However, these problems don’t have to be a source of stress for you or your tenants. By keeping an eye on your plumbing, you can reduce the amount of time you spend dealing with plumbing issues, which can save you time and money in the long run.

Frequently Asked Question

Plumbers usually charge for their work by the hour, and the national average cost is about $100 per hour plus a service fee or minimum charge. Overall, hourly rates for plumbing can range from $25 to $200, depending on the experience level of the plumber and on the repair needed.
When it comes to plumbing, it's usually best to hire a professional, certified plumber. Even a small mistake can lead to leaks that can cause wall, floor, and ceiling damage and require costly repairs. Many people don't think about hiring a plumber until they have a problem, but plumbing maintenance is important, too.
Professional plumbing requires a set of unique skills and knowledge that come more naturally to some people than others, and when you hire a plumber, you're paying for their expertise in their field.

For entry-level plumbers, the average annual base salary is $47,500, or $22.84 per hour. For intermediate plumbers with 2-4 years of experience, the average rises to $55,800, or $33.37 per hour. At the senior level, defined as 4-6 years of experience, the average is $62,200, or $29.90 per hour.
Furthermore, sometimes (but not always) plumbers have some negotiating room on their flat rate. If you don't like the price, try haggling. The worst that can happen is he says “no.” But if a plumber is having a slow day, he may be willing to drop his rate somewhat to get the job.
It's reasonable for a plumber to require a deposit in advance for large jobs, or in pre-arranged payments as the job progresses. But, always reserve a percentage of the total cost until the work is completed as promised.
The best and most reliable plumbers don't give free quotes on routine plumbing repairs and services since these smaller jobs only often take one to three hours to be completed. This means that you will only pay for what you see.
You can rely on an experienced, trained professional to fix your plumbing issues. Their extensive training means they can handle a multitude of plumbing problems. Their prior experience could save you valuable time, too. They won't spend hours trying to detect the issue.
Most plumbers work to 30 day payment terms. That's fine, but when setting that out it needs to be made clear that late payment is not acceptable.
Plumbers install, repair and service almost anything relating to plumbing equipment: that means water pipes, fixtures, central-heating system, drinking-water systems, and waste-disposal systems (or toilets, as you might know them better).