"Any plumbing from the '60s or older is on its last legs," says Howard Maxfield, a long-time home inspector in the greater Seattle area.That's because most of the piping used pre-1960s was galvanized steel, the bane of old-house plumbing.This is why an insurer will ask a policyholder about the age of the original building, the age of renovations or additions and the age and condition of critical building systems.The information helps the insurer price the coverage fairly, and brings to light any serious defects to be corrected.However, you don’t have to live in fear of a leak or raw sewage flowing under your house or in your basement.
If the property is more than 30 years old, expect the insurance underwriter to ask the agent: Plumbing systems typically require updating only on as “as-needed” basis, such as when components fail due to age or inadequate maintenance, or when the discovery of material weaknesses or failures during inspections warrants repairs and replacements.
Unless you’re under a boil order, have well water, or live in a rural area, discolored water is usually a cause for concern.
This brown or dark water is the result of corrosion in your pipes, leaving rust as the water runs through them.
It is possible that only the bad pipes were replaced, leaving lots of old galvanized pipes still in the house and either in need or soon-to-be-in need of replacement.
Experts will tell you to replace the entire piping system when galvanized piping starts to go bad, but that is pricey, and often homeowners opt for the more economical, halfway fix by repairing only the pipe that is the immediate problem.