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aerial view of Thames
Thames from the look out

Renovating Older Homes and Their Plumbing in Thames

Renovating the bathrooms in older homes can be a rewarding experience. Still, it comes with its own set of challenges, especially with the plumbing infrastructure. 

Historic houses are abundant in Thames, New Zealand, a town known for its rich history and stunning landscapes. Therefore, renovators in Thames need to be aware of the rules and considerations that are unique to these properties. This town boasts a unique blend of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, with many homes dating back to the gold mining era of the late 1800s. 

In this article, our plumbing experts at Plumbnetix will assist you in exploring the rules around historic houses, what defines a landmark home in New Zealand, and the importance of upgrading old plumbing to preserve the town’s heritage while enhancing its livability. 

Rules Around Historic Houses

When renovating a historic home in Thames and the Coromandel, it’s essential to understand and adhere to the rules and regulations set by local authorities. These rules are put in place to preserve the property’s historic integrity, ensuring that any renovations or upgrades keep the original character of the home and the surrounding area.

In Thames and the surrounding region, where many homes are of historical significance, the local council has specific guidelines for renovations to ensure that the town’s heritage is preserved. 

These guidelines may include restrictions on the types of materials that can be used, the colours that can be used for exterior paint, and even the style of windows and doors that can be installed.

Consulting with Plumbnetix, as we have experience working with historic homes, is crucial in ensuring compliance with these regulations. 

As plumbers with this expertise, we understand the unique challenges posed by historic homes. Such as outdated plumbing systems and the need to preserve original features.

By working closely with us and following the guidelines set by local authorities, renovators can ensure that their renovations enhance the beauty and functionality of their historic homes. And contribute to the preservation of Thames’ unique heritage.

historic house in Thames New Zealand from the gate

What Defines a Historic Home in New Zealand?

In New Zealand, a home is considered historic if it is listed as a Category 1 or Category 2 property by Heritage New Zealand. Category 1 properties are of national significance, while Category 2 properties are of regional or local significance. These classifications can directly impact plumbing for kitchen or bathroom renovations, as they often dictate how much original features must be preserved.

Category One

For example, in Category 1 properties, which are of national significance, there may be strict guidelines regarding the preservation of original plumbing fixtures. Such as clawfoot baths or vintage sinks. Renovators may be required to retain these fixtures or find suitable replacements that match the style and era of the home.

Category Two

In Category 2 properties, which are of regional or local significance. The guidelines may be less strict but still require consideration of the home’s historical character. Renovators may need to work with local authorities and heritage professionals to determine the best approach to plumbing kitchen or bathroom renovations that preserve the home’s historic integrity.

When renovating a historic home in New Zealand, it’s essential to understand the property’s heritage classification and how it may impact plumbing for kitchen or bathroom renovations for your Thames home. Working closely with heritage professionals and local authorities can help ensure that any plumbing changes align with the home’s historical significance.

Is It Worth It to Repipe a House?

Repiping a house involves replacing all the old or damaged pipes in the plumbing system with new ones. This process is often necessary in older homes with outdated plumbing systems. As old pipes can deteriorate over time, leading to issues such as leaks, low water pressure, and water contamination.

While repiping a house can be a significant investment, it is often worth it in the long run. By replacing old pipes with new ones, you can improve the efficiency and safety of your plumbing system. Ensuring that your home has a reliable supply of clean water. Repiping can also help increase your home’s value, as buyers are often willing to pay more for a property with modern, reliable plumbing.

When considering whether to repipe your house, weighing the cost of the repiping against the potential benefits is essential. In many cases, the improved efficiency and safety of a repiped plumbing system can make the investment well worth it. Especially in older homes where the existing plumbing is likely to cause problems in the future. Consulting with professionals such as our team at Plumbnetix, who have experience with repiping, can help you determine the best course of action for your home.

Using Experts to Repipe Your House

Repiping a house involves replacing old, corroded pipes with new ones. This process can be complex and is best left to experienced plumbers. The plumber will assess your existing plumbing system, determine the best course of action, and install new pipes using modern materials such as copper or PEX.

When Should I Replace My Old Plumbing?

It’s essential to replace old plumbing before it becomes a significant problem. Signs that your plumbing may need replacing include frequent leaks, rusty water, low water pressure, and foul odours. If you notice any of these signs, consult with us. We are your local Thames plumbing experts and can assess the condition of your plumbing system.

Life Expectancy of Plumbing Pipes

The life expectancy of plumbing pipes is influenced by various factors. Including the material of the pipes, the water quality, and the installation conditions. Understanding the life expectancy of different types of pipes can help homeowners determine when replacement may be necessary.

Copper pipes

Its a well known fact that copper pipes are a popular choice for plumbing due to their durability and resistance to corrosion. Copper pipes can last up to 70 years or more when properly installed and maintained. However, factors such as water acidity and high flow rates can accelerate corrosion, leading to premature failure.

Galvanised Steel Pipes

On the other hand, galvanised steel pipes have a shorter lifespan, typically lasting between 20 and 50 years. Over time, they can rust from the inside, reducing water flow and leaks. In homes with galvanised steel plumbing, it’s important to monitor the condition of the pipes and consider replacement if signs of corrosion or deterioration are present.


Other types of pipes, such as PVC and PEX, have varying life expectancies depending on their quality and installation conditions. PVC pipes are known for their longevity, with a lifespan of up to 100 years or more. PEX pipes, which are flexible and easy to install, have a lifespan of around 40-50 years.

Knowing the material and age of your plumbing pipes is essential to determining their life expectancy. If you’re unsure about their condition, consulting with a plumber can help you assess whether replacement is necessary. Regular inspections and maintenance can also help prolong the life of your plumbing system. As well as preventing costly repairs in the future.

Is It Hard to Change Plumbing?

Changing plumbing in older homes, especially in a historic town like Thames, can be challenging. Limited access to pipes and the need to preserve the home’s historical integrity require careful planning and expertise. However, with the right tools and knowledge, a skilled plumber like Plumbnetix, who does kitchen and bathroom renovations in Thames and the surrounding regions, can efficiently replace old plumbing without causing extensive damage to your home.

Professional plumbers have the experience and equipment necessary to navigate the unique challenges posed by older homes. They can assess the existing plumbing system, determine the best course of action, and execute the replacement with precision and care. Additionally, hiring a professional plumber ensures that the work is done correctly and up to code, giving you peace of mind that your plumbing system is safe and reliable.

When considering a plumbing replacement in your historic home in Thames. It’s crucial to consult with us at Plumbnetix, your local Thames plumber who understands the town’s unique plumbing challenges. At Plumbnetix, we can provide expert advice and guidance to ensure that your plumbing replacement is done efficiently. Preserving the historical integrity of your home while improving its functionality and safety.

At The End Of The Day

Renovating older homes in Thames requires careful consideration of the plumbing system. By understanding the rules around historic houses, knowing when to repipe, and knowing the importance of upgrading old plumbing, homeowners can ensure their kitchen and bathroom renovations are successful and their Thames homes are safe and efficient for years to come.

We service the following areas –

  • Thames
  • Ngatea
  • Maramarua
  • Paeroa
  • Waihi
  • Whangamata

Why not talk to us now at Plumbnetix