Think twice before buying 1950s home

Older plumbing, electrical systems not up to current standards

Dear Barry, I'm considering the purchase of a home that was built in 1951, and I have two questions: 1. Are plumbing systems from that era consistent with today's standards? (I think the pipes are steel.) 2. Are electrical systems of that age safe, and are they capable of providing enough power for today's electrical needs? --David Dear David, Construction standards have changed considerably in the past half century, especially with regard to plumbing and electrical systems. The use of galvanized steel water piping was abandoned in favor of copper in the late 1960s, and now the plumbing industry has moved from copper to PEX (cross-link polyethylene). The problem with old galvanized pipes is that they usually have internal rust build-up, which reduces water volume. The most obvious symptom of corroded water lines would be changes in shower flow when other plumbing fixtures are operated. Electrical systems in the early 1950s had much less capacity than today's systems becau...