A recent study in Australia uncovered lead presence in household water pipes. More than 50 percent of the tap water samples procured from NSW households showed lead content, with one in every 12 samples exceeding the permissible levels of lead. This lead dominance means even clean water can be contaminated.

Unfortunately, the most vulnerable people are babies and young children who consume their food or formula with tap water. Remember, constant lead exposure could cause early brain development issues in kids.

The study highlights the importance of regular plumbing maintenance for your Perth home. This is particularly the case if you have an older home which may use older types of pipes to transport water. The deterioration with age can lead to contaminants in the water.

Importance of Replacing Water Pipes in Houses

Old pipe replacement is vital for the following reasons:

• Galvanised Steel

Houses constructed prior to the 1960s have plumbing made from galvanised steel. Though most of these houses would have had the pipes repaired or replaced, quite a few are still using steel pipes. What’s wrong with galvanised steel, anyway? These pipes get easily plugged up and corroded, causing the water pressure to go down. Good water pressure doesn’t mean the pipes do not have issue(s). There could still be some hidden problems. A galvanised pipe has a coating that flakes off easily, leaking and accumulating rust in the process.

When replacement, most houses do not replace the galvanised pipes completely, but only substitute the portions that have gone bad. This is because replacing the entire pipeline can be quite expensive. And the problem gets worse when people replace the impaired pipe sections with galvanised pipe and not plastic or copper pipes. Copper pipes happened during the 1960s. Though expensive, they are quite reliable and durable since they aren’t leakage-prone.

• Polybutylene Pipes

As aforementioned, exposure to lead can cause major health issues. Pipes that are made from lead, therefore, need to be replaced even if they’re in good working condition. Lead pipes entered the house plumbing scene during the 1990s, and with a life expectancy of 100 years, it’s likely most lead pipes are still in use in most houses.

Similar to lead, polybutylene pipes too have their share of pitfalls. Polybutylene pipes have been in use since the 1970s and till the 1990s. However, unlike other pipe materials, they’re much likelier to break. They are brittle, wasting water and posing health hazards, as a result. If your house has polybutylene pipes, you must get them replaced at the earliest as you never know when they may fail.

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• Strangling Tree Roots

Besides deteriorating with age, it is quite possible the water pipes may have deteriorated due to the trees around the house. The tree roots could have strangled old sewer lines in foundations and under basements. In case the pipes in your house have been subject to this, replace them at the earliest. Moreover, before buying a house, get on-board certified professionals to inspect the house’s conduits and foundation from and to septic systems or sewer lines to mitigate costly future repairs.


If your house water pipes are old, you suspect they aren’t in the best of condition, or you’ve got lead pipes installed, get pipe replacement done at the earliest. Get in touch with Westend Plumbing WA today for more information on replacing or repairing your house’s plumbing infrastructure.