Most of the pipes used before 1960 were made of galvanized steel. Galvanized steel was prone to causing many plumbing problems, and most homes from that era that you find today have probably undergone an intensive plumbing overhaul. But many homes still have galvanized pipes in certain areas, possibly concealed behind a wall or somewhere in a crawl space, or, possibly the whole house is still plumbed entirely with galvanized pipe. One way to check for galvanized pipes is to run the hot water. If the hot water comes out more slowly, then the pipes are probably clogged and corroded. The hot water pipes are always the first to be changed, so it is possible that the hot water is running just fine, because at some point those galvanized pipes used for hot water were changed out to pipes of copper or plastic.
When a plumbing emergency takes place, many people just want an immediate fix, a band-aid to temporarily fix the problem. But with galvanized piping, there will always be a problem. Galvanized pipes will continue to cause plumbing problems, so it is altogether best to replace all of the pipes in the home, although this is an expensive option. There are areas in the home where you can check for galvanized pipes, and the easiest area is under a sink. Plumbers often run the pipes under sinks up from the floor rather then through the wall. This will give a homeowner a good glimpse at the type of pipes that he has throughout the home. Also, if you have a crawlspace, and you feel comfortable about crawling down into it, you can check the plumbing pipes that run throughout your home.