Forum Title: Need guidance on 47 year old home's plumbing.
I am in the process of renovating a home built in the late 60's. It is a slab foundation with all plumbing, for the most part, along an exterior wall. It is a well-water supply and septic drain. Would ya'll please chime in to check my thinking on the following issues: 1. Water supply: The pipe from the well to the house is galvanized iron that transitions to copper. The copper provides the hot and cold throughout the house. I'm not sure I need to update all the copper to PVC or leave it? Should it remain copper or should I plan on making it all PVC? 2. The soil drain for the toilets, tub, and shower is cast iron. Should I burrow under the slab and replace all the old cast iron with PVC or should I leave it? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. 3. The vent pipes throughout the house are galvanized pipe. Should I update that to PVC, too? Thank you... CJ
Category: Plumber Post By: LONNIE ZIMMERMAN (Kansas City, MO), 06/08/2016

Just to clarify, PVC is not allowed for indoor water supply-- especially not for hot water (it can't withstand the hot temperatures). The equivalent is CPVC. It tends to have a yellowish / off-white tint. PVC and ABS are allowed for sewage and vent pipes. Honestly, I think the old adage applies in this situation: If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Tearing that all out would be expensive, and unless you could get a decent enough amount selling the old pipe for scrap, it might not be worth the expense. If the plumbing is in good condition and working fine, then I say leave it as is. Now, if there are problems, then you might need to replace sections of it. Maybe you can show some pictures of what the pipes look like (if you can get pictures) so we can see the condition. So long as the drains are not S-trapped, the slope is correct, nothing is rusted, nothing is leaking, and everything is vented properly, it's probably ok to just leave it be.

- JOSHUA BAKER (Westland, MI), 09/01/2017

Replace the galvanized main but leave the copper water piping if the drains are functioning I would leave them but if your updating the whole house maybe would be a good time to replace. Cast iron could be very good if it is not all tore up I would get a sweet camera and inspect the drains before I replaced either way though

- KELLY PAGE (DeKalb, IL), 09/03/2017

My 2 cents, if you plan on staying there for quite awhile, I would replace the drainage, and probably the water pipe. You have gotten the best part of the expectable life span out of the cast iron. Same thing for the copper water pipe, unless you have really good well water. My experience with galvanized for venting is somewhat limited, but what I have seen has seemed to hold up rather well.

- CAROL JACKSON (Norwalk, CA), 09/22/2017

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