Plumbing techniques have changed over the past 150 years, yet many older houses still have some or all of the original plumbing system installed. That's why it's important to hire a plumber who's familiar with those older techniques and materials if your home is more than a couple of decades old. A. Stevens Plumbing & Heating in Washingtonville, NY, explains how to choose the best plumber for your older home.
How to Find the Right Plumber if You Have an Older Home
If your home is in a neighborhood of other homes of a similar age, ask your neighbors who they trust to work on their plumbing. If a few people give you the same name, it's a good sign that the plumber has the experience and expertise you seek. If your house is the only older home in the neighborhood, ask the same question of friends or colleagues who own older houses in other neighborhoods. Many plumbers have a broad service area, so even if the recommendation comes from someone on the other side of town, they might travel to your location.
Search online for "older home plumbers" in your region. This should return several names, but before selecting one, check out their reviews on Yelp, Google, or another online review site. Look for a company that has a large percentage of positive reviews and read through the comments to see if previous customers have homes of a similar age or issues that resemble yours. Investigate the plumber's website, as well. Some plumbers maintain entire libraries of articles about the different types of pipes, fixtures, and plumbing techniques used in older houses.
If you're still uncertain, call one of the plumbers you've found online and ask probing questions. For instance, an experienced plumber should know that 19th and early 20th Century houses contained (and often still contain) lead pipes, which leach dangerous contaminants into the water and should be replaced whenever they're located. Alternatively, if your house is not that old, ask about galvanized steel pipes, which became popular in the 1960s. The coating tends to flake off after about 40 years and leave the steel exposed to rust. Any plumber experienced with older homes should be aware of these issues.
If you own an older home, choose a plumber who has experience and expertise in the subject. In Orange County, you cannot do better than A. Stevens Plumbing & Heating. They've been in business for more than 30 years and have dealt with plumbing issues in houses of every age, from newly built bungalows to 19th Century Victorians. They also service and install water softeners, well pumps, and hot water heaters. Visit their website to see if you're in their service area or call (845) 496-5903 to schedule service.