How to Extend the Life of Old Plumbing Systems

How to Extend the Life of Old Plumbing Systems

Slow or clogged drains happen when there is a blockage in the pipe that either partially or completely limits water flow. Although the signs of clogged drains may not be noticeable right away, problems with toilets are often more immediate. If left unattended, clogs can lead to additional issues down the line, causing plumbing systems to deteriorate at a faster rate.

Leaky Faucets and Pipes

When the washer that forms the seal on the tap gets damaged, it can cause a dripping faucet. This damage may include tearing, lodging, and/or stiffening. In cases where the washer no longer seals tightly, small amounts of water will escape through, even if the source is turned off. Over time, the valve seat may wear or corrode, causing long-term deterioration if left unattended.

Water Heater Issues

Leaks or mineral deposits can sometimes cause problems with the water heater. This can lead to not having enough hot water, as well as reduce the efficiency of the water heater itself. These issues can lead to more significant damage later on. However, monitoring for potential leaks and drips helps reveal bigger problems before they get worse.

Pipe Lining Materials and Durability

Restoring a deteriorated plumbing system is possible with the right materials. Understanding the different materials involved and necessary applications will help ensure the plumbing system remains effective. 

The specific methods and materials used are based on the requirements of the drainage system itself and the overall pipe condition. When conducting restoration, there are three common types of pipelining that a plumber is most likely to install.

Cured-in-place lining

Recognized as one of the most widely used methods for pipe rehabilitation, cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) lining involves using a flexible fabric tool. This lining is typically made from polyester, fibreglass, or a combination of both. To restore strength throughout the plumbing system, these fabric tubes are filled with a liquid rescind that hardens and cures when exposed to heat, steam, or UV light.  

The benefits of cure-in-place lining are as follows:  

They are versatile.

Compatible with various pipe sizes and materials.

Effective for rehabilitating pipes with cracks, leaks, or corrosion.

Pull-in-place lining 

Pull-in-place lining is the preferred method for repairing extensive damage that cannot be addressed with a cured-in-place solution. This particular method involves pulling the lining materials into place and securing them using heat or the same steaming method employed by CIPP. Although similar in process, pull-in-place lining materials are typically made from fibreglass or are resin-based. 

The benefits of pull-in-place lining are as follows:

Effective for adding strength.

Can reinforce durability in existing pipes.

Spray lining 

Also known as spray-on pipe lining or epoxy lining, spray lining is commonly used for smaller-diameter pipes or pipes with irregular shapes. This method involves the application of a liquid epoxy coating to the inner surface of the existing pipe.  

The benefits of spray lining are as follows:  

It’s a quick installation process.

Capable of navigating bends and curves.

Provides excellent corrosion resistance.

Can help improve the hydraulic performance of the drainage system.

Choosing Pipe Bursting vs. Replacement

Pipe Bursting 

This is a trenchless pipe repair method that allows sections of the plumbing system to be replaced without needing to physically tear up the surrounding ground. The process works by using a hydraulic machine to break apart the old pipe underground. As they are broken apart, new pipes are simultaneously pulled through into place.  

The benefits of pipe bursting are as follows:  

Minimally invasive


More efficient

Minimal property damage  

Pipe bursting should be used when:  

Replacing damaged sewer lines or other types of underground pipes.

Upgrading to a larger pipe size.

Repairing pipes that have collapsed. 

Installing a new sewer line.

Improving water flow.

Traditional Replacement 

This method involves digging up the ground around the plumbing system to remove the old pipes and replace them with new ones. Depending on the scope of the project, a traditional replacement can be less expensive than other more advanced solutions. Traditional replacement is more commonly practiced, making it easier to find a qualified professional to complete the project. 

The benefits of traditional replacement are as follows:  

Cost-effective depending on size and scope

Traditionally practiced repair method

Offered by most available plumbing services 

Traditional replacement methods can be used to repair the same issues as pipe bursting. The decision on which best suits your project depends on several different factors. Consulting a plumber in Toronto ensures the best solution is found to help restore your plumbing system.

Trenchless Rehabilitation Methods Overview

Trenchless Sliplining 

The oldest method of trenchless rehabilitation, slip lining is a fairly straightforward process. The method involves slipping a smaller diameter pipe within the larger damaged pipe, sealing the annular space. The preferred materials for this are high-density polyethylene, fibreglass reinforced pipe, cast iron, and PVC piping.

Thermoformed Pipe 

There are two types of thermoformed pipe liners; namely, deformed and reshaped pipelines, and fold and form pipe liners. This method involves inserting folded PVC or PE pipes, which then thermoforms to the desired dimension of the host pipe. Steam is applied to the pipe, the heat from which helps to thermoform it into the required shape of the old pipe.


This method involves inserting grouting between the old pipe and new HDPE or PE lining fabrics into the damaged section. A cable is used to pull a predetermined length of hose into the damaged pipe. 

The hose is equipped with studs on the outer side that create an annular space between itself and the host pipe. The space is then filled with injection grouting and allowed to set.

Preventing Corrosion: Water Quality Maintenance 

Corrosion is the gradual destruction of a material by chemical or electrochemical reactions with its environment. When this occurs in plumbing systems, it can affect pipes, valves, and other components. If left unaddressed, corrosion can lead to leaks, blockages, and other problems that may disrupt water service and result in costly repairs.  

Some preventative measures to protect against corrosion are:  

Choosing the right materials for your plumbing system.

Maintaining the proper pH level in your water.

Adding corrosion inhibitors to your plumbing system.

Flushing your pipes regularly.

Inspecting your pipes frequently.

Extend the Plumbing System Lifespan 

The plumbing system within your home is a crucial component that often goes overlooked. To maintain proper sanitation, clean water, and efficient drainage, the plumbing system must be running effectively.

Some deterioration should be expected over time. However, when not dealt with properly, these issues will begin to compromise the functionality and lifespan of your plumbing system.