Millions of existing homes are sold across the United States each year. While many older homes are charming and unique, many were built in an era that was less informed and had far fewer regulations. When buying an existing home, you can reasonably expect some issues. However, certain plumbing problems can be expensive. It is wise for new homeowners to be vigilant of potential plumbing issues before they sign a contract. If you are not particularly knowledgeable of plumbing systems, it is likely in your best interest to contract professional plumbing services to conduct a thorough inspection. Learn more about the five most common plumbing issues older homes face below.
Homes that were built more than 30 years ago (pre-1990s) may have pipes and fixtures that are made with materials that are outdated and no approved anymore. Even if a home has been recently renovated, it is likely that there are still some pipes that are out of date. Older pipes are more susceptible to corrosion, breaks, and can be harmful to your health. The most common types of outdated pipes include:
- Lead Pipes
- Galvanized Pipes
- Polybutylene Pipes
The pipes under your home are typically buried underground or encased in concrete. Unfortunately, every house slightly shifts as it settles and this can force the pipes to be pushed further under your home. If they are, it can create a sloping effect or “belly.” Pipe bellies can cause decreased water pressure, blocks, leaks, pipe breaks, and potential flooding.
Your sewer lines are used by your toilets, dishwashers, garbage disposals, etc. They are one of the most used aspects of your home. Many homeowners easily forget and/or are unaware of the potential issues that a broken sewer line can create until there is a foul smell, and raw sewage being spewed into their lawn. One of the most common problems that older sewer lines face is tree roots growing near them and causing cracks/breaks in the line. If you are unsure of the schematics of your sewer lines, it is in your best interest to work with a knowledgeable plumbing contractor to check it for you.
Just like plumbing lines get older and become more susceptible to issues, the same can occur with plumbing fixtures and connections. Fixtures and connections that are ineffective can limit the flow of water, cause leaks, and potentially create a disastrous situation if left unchecked. If your fixtures and connections have not been checked and/or replaced in many years, it is likely that you are due an inspection. Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up for thousands of dollars in repairs.
Many homeowners are guilty of hiring a handyman or conducting a DIY project for plumbing issues. While the repairs made may be effective for a short period of time, mistakes made often show up at the most inopportune times. It can be something simple like a loose line to something more serious like a dangerous water heater installation. Other than simple repairs, it is in the best interest of most homeowners to connect with a professional plumbing service before undertaking major projects on their own.