Common Plumbing Problems That Come With Buying An Older Home
Older homes may seem like a blank canvas, but they can also be a plumbing nightmare. Old pipes can cause leaks, water damage, structural damage, and many other plumbing fixtures that are inefficient and costly to use. In addition, homeowners who aren’t aware of their plumbing problems often find themselves paying upwards of thousands of dollars in repairs – or extra in utilities over time. If you’re thinking about buying an older home, knowing the common plumbing problems that come with buying an older home can help you identify issues before the deal is final.
1. Galvanized Pipes
The galvanic process means coating an iron pipe with the molten zinc to prevent the iron from corroding. The zinc lasts a while, but not forever. As the zinc erodes, the exposed iron begins to rust, eventually causing the pipes to fail. Fortunately, the warning signs of this are easy to spot: discolored water from rust being in it.
Galvanized pipes can last between 20 and 50 years and will need to be replaced by modern alternatives, such as copper or cross-linked polyethylene (PEX). A professional can execute on this work in a relatively short period of time and can ensure constant water pressure, no odd color or taste to your water, and no leaks.
2. Pipe Bellies
The earth underneath your home is on a constantly shifting pattern, and the pipes leading into your home will rise and fall, too. If or when the pipe shifts downwards, they can create a negative slope, or “belly”, that restricts the flow of water and creates pools that accumulate waste or sediment. If left unattended, pipe bellies can cause stoppages or leaks over time. You will notice poor drainage, slow-flushing toilets, and eventually, a clogged sewer line.
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3. Old Sewer Lines
Among the common plumbing problems that come with buying an older home, old sewer lines are amid the most common. Your sewer lines take your home’s gray and black water from drains to the sewer main, and because sewer lines are always wet, they can attract tree roots. Tree roots can crack or entirely intrude your sewer lines and clog a line.
Sewer lines that are more than 25 years old can start to erode and leak at the joints. Hire a professional who has ample experience with the 100s of feet of piping underneath your home to inspect and diagnose the condition of your piping.
Decades of draining water, soap scum, sewage, and hair products can take a serious toll on your drains. Clogs are very common in all pipes and drains, but the toilet, kitchen, and bathroom sink are particularly prone to clogs. Toilets are infamous targets for young children, throwing small objects into them and being fascinated by the disappearing act. Kitchen sink drains also accept things that should not go down the drain, like fats, large bits of food, and even bone. You can do your part to prevent this of course, but you will not know what others have stuffed down there before you.
5. Bad Repairs
Older homes have plenty of opportunities to develop plumbing problems and often are repaired by a handyman or done DIY rather than a professional plumber. This also means multiple repairs by multiple plumbers so it’s impossible to know what kind of care your pipes got. While some repairs are more amusing than anything, others have the potential to be dangerous and should be repaired immediately.
In order to avoid the common plumbing problems that come with buying an older home, it’s a good idea to hire an experienced plumber to come in and inspect and diagnose any poor repairs that have occurred.
Common Plumbing Problems That Come Buying An Older Home
Having an older home poses unique problems. Anyone moving into a home over 30 years old should have a comprehensive inspection done by a professional. Knowing the nature of your pipes can provide peace of mind and allows you to be a step ahead of future repairs. To avoid these common plumbing problems that come with buying an older home, get an inspection of your pipes today!