6 Common Plumbing Problems in Old Homes

Old homes have a personality. They have a history. Their attractive details, such as hardwood floors and crown moldings, give them a revering charm and character. In fact, many that remain standing to date were built to unique specifications using materials that are absurdly expensive in today’s modern construction.

However, despite their unique charm, old homes have a lot of plumbing problems. If you live in an older home or looking to purchase one, you need to know these issues; otherwise, they could cost you a fortune in damages and repairs.

This post looks at the six most common plumbing problems in older homes and how to address them.

1.    Old Fixtures and Connections

Although older fixtures tend to be sturdier than modern ones, they are not resistant to corrosion and deteriorate with time. Due to the degradation, the washers and valves cause leakages, and the handles and stem can break, causing an expensive disaster.

The solution here to have a professional plumber inspect your plumbing regularly and perform necessary replacements before anything happens. Typically, they will have to replace the old fixtures, handles, and faucets in your home.

2.    Old Pipe Materials

Homes built several decades back usually feature old types of pipe materials which are inefficient. The common ones include:

  • Galvanized

Galvanized pipes are made of iron with a zinc coating which erodes over time. As a result, the pipe corrodes, becomes brittle, and either leaks or breaks. Again, you’ll need a professional plumber to replace the galvanized pipes with modern alternatives such as PEX (Cross-Linked Polyethylene) and copper.

  • Polybutylene

Polybutylene material breaks down when exposed to water and ultimately leads to leakages.  Every connection that has this material, such as elbows and tees, should be replaced to prevent leakages.

3.    Sewer Line Problems

The purpose of the sewer lines is to take the gray and black water from your drains to the main sewer that flows onto the municipal treatment plant. However, since they are always moist, tree roots tend to grow towards them and crack them. The debris causes the sewer lines to clog.

Regular inspection by a plumber is recommended to get ahead of the problem. A professional plumber diagnoses the sewer pipe’s channeling to find and remove the tree roots causing the clogging. This proactive approach is more cost-effective at the end of the day as it helps you avoid expensive repairs a sewer backing would bring.

4.    Previous Plumbing Repairs

Chance are you are not the first occupant of a home that has been around for several decades. And even if you are, multiple plumbing repairs have been done on the house either by you or different plumbers over time.

Some of these repairs will have been good and others bad. The bad ones can lead to unanticipated problems such as leakages. These flaws are also hard to notice for the untrained eye. You, therefore, need to engage a plumber to diagnose any poor plumbing problems that might have occurred and rectify them.

5.    Clogged Drainage System

Many years of draining soap scum, shampoos, water, and sewage cause clogging to the drainage system. The toilet, the bathroom, and kitchen drains are all susceptible to clogging. For example, kitchen sinks usually attract fats and food debris that block the drain, while bathroom sinks are notorious for channeling pieces of soap.

Have a plumber check the drains, especially if you suddenly detect some strange smells around your home.

6.    Pipe Bellies

There is a lot of movement in the ground surrounding a home, and the rise and fall of the soil can cause the pipes leading into a home to shift. They may bow or buckle to formation a pipe belly and cause clogging to the pipework. If this happens, call a professional plumber to check the severity of the situation and determine the best course of action.

It is always recommended to have a professional plumber inspect your old home to diagnose and fix any plumbing issues. At Coastal Mechanical

Contractors, we have more than 50 years of experience providing plumbing, HVAC, and electrical services. Contact us today for your plumbing and HVAC needs.

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