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Blogs from April, 2022

Vintage Plumbing Repair: Why You Need an Experienced PlumberĀ 

Taking Care of Vintage Plumbing

Living in a vintage home is attractive to many people. Here in the LA area, we have many homes dating back to the 1940s, 50s, and even earlier. From mid-century modern masterpieces to turn of the century craftsmen, residential Los Angeles is full of beautiful homes that have been painstakingly restored. Some of these homes still feature vintage plumbing.

These homes are still around because they were made to last. And that includes their plumbing systems. However, this doesn't mean they are impervious to wear or damage. But what should you do when your vintage plumbing is on the fritz?

If you live in a meticulously cared-for vintage home, you know how important it is that you work with skilled professionals when completing home repairs or renovations. However, if you've just moved into an older home, you may not know how important it is to work with a licensed plumber experienced in working on vintage homes.

Below we review the top three reasons you should always work with a licensed plumber when dealing with vintage plumbing. Keep reading to learn more.

Plumbers Are Not Generally Trained in Vintage Plumbing

Today, plumbers receive some of the best, most comprehensive training. They have to. As the plumbing industry grows and new products are introduced, plumbers have to know more than ever before. However, a consequence of this is that plumbers are typically not trained in what is now considered outdated, antique plumbing. Instead, the focus is on staying up to date with the latest innovations and new methods (as it should be). Plumbers specializing in vintage plumbing are becoming more difficult to find, but we are out there!

Though we have many vintage homes in the Glendale area, many have had their plumbing updated, and therefore antique plumbing is not something the average plumber will have to deal with. With this in mind, you should search for a plumber that has experience working on vintage homes and repairing antique plumbing. Before you let someone begin work on your system, asking a few questions can save you time and money. It can also ensure that your vintage plumbing system is restored correctly.

Things to ask your plumber before they start working on your vintage home:

  • How long have they been working as a plumber?
  • What is their experience working on homes from the same era as yours?
  • What will they do if they find that a part you need is no longer being manufactured?

You should also ask your plumber not to start work or change course without your approval. Get a second opinion if you feel that they will not be able to resolve your problem or are going in a direction you don't like. You want to avoid your vintage plumbing being damaged.

Vintage Plumbing Is Delicate

We often associate things from previous eras with being sturdier than things manufactured today. While this is true of some things, that doesn't mean that your antique plumbing is indestructible. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. Though they were not designed to be disposable like fixtures are today, many old plumbing fixtures were made of softer materials or have delicate, easily damaged finishes. Consequently, you need to be careful when taking them apart to repair them or replace parts. The last thing you want is an inexperienced plumber wrenching on your antique bathtub, damaging the finish, or breaking an irreplaceable part in the process.

When dealing with vintage plumbing, it is important that your plumber:

  • Identifies what type of materials the fixture, pipe, or appliance is made from
  • Sources the appropriate replacement parts
  • Does not force anything
  • Doesn't rush the job

To ensure that your plumbing is well taken care of, you should look for a licensed, insured repair plumber with experience working with vintage plumbing, like we are at H.L. Moe Co., Inc. A knowledgeable plumber will be more familiar with how antique plumbing fixtures are constructed and better understand the materials they are made from.

Parts Can Be Hard to Find

Another problem with older homes that still have vintage plumbing systems is that replacement parts and fixtures can be very difficult to find. Inexperienced plumbers often force the wrong parts onto vintage plumbing systems because they don't know how else to get the job done. While this may work temporarily, it typically causes problems down the road.

Plumbers specializing in vintage plumbing know how to source the right replacement parts. We also take the time to research and find the parts we need, even if it takes a little extra time. Doing so ensures that your repair job is effective and your plumbing system isn't compromised.

It may be impossible to find an exact replacement for what you currently have in some cases. This shouldn't be an issue if you work with an experienced plumber like ours. Our skilled plumbers specialize in vintage plumbing and know how to make repairs even when exact replacements are unavailable. We will always try to find a repair option before suggesting a replacement, especially when maintaining the integrity of your vintage home is your priority.

Review our blog, "Antique Plumbing Issues to Watch for in Your Vintage Home," to learn more about vintage plumbing.