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Things You Should Know About Old-House Plumbing by Gary Feuerstein, P.E. Wood develops a patina as it gets old; plumbing develops leaks. In other words, plumbing is one thing that doesn't get better as it gets older. From the moment they are put into use, pipes, seals, and fixtures begin to deteriorate. Throw in a remodeling or two, and it's easy to imagine that the integrity of a 60-year-old-plus system may be less than perfect. Serious hazards lurk in plumbing that was installed or adapted improperly. Leaks and noise are minor irritations compared to the contamination of supply water or the escape of dangerous gases into a building. Old plumbing isn't all bad news. Fortunately, the piping networks—the key part of