Own or Buying an Old Home? Look Out For These 5 Common Plumbing Problems
There are many features of old homes that are attractive to homeowners: history, charm, and unique architecture, just to name a few.
But a downside of an older home is they often require more maintenance and repairs than you’d have with a newly constructed residence. Here are the most common plumbing problems we see in older homes.
Worn-out fixtures and parts
Plumbing fixtures don’t just go out style – they eventually suffer enough wear and tear that they’ll stop functioning the way they should. Minerals in the water supply can corrode the inside of fixtures or form deposits that can create blockages. Rubber parts such as washers and gaskets are often the first parts to break down. In many cases, an old fixture can be repaired but often it makes more financial sense to replace it with a new, updated model.
If your home is a few decades old, you may still have pipes made out materials that have since been phased out. In fact, it’s very possible you have a few different types of pipe in areas that were repaired or replaced at different times. If you have lead or polybutylene pipes, you should get those replaced ASAP for safety reasons. Another old material, galvanized steel, doesn’t pose a health danger but is prone to corroding and leaking. Today’s accepted pipes include copper, PEX plastic, and PVC plastic (for drain lines).
Improper installations and repairs
Some of the biggest plumbing issues aren’t the fault of the house – they’re from the people who live or worked in them. If a DIY homeowner or inexperienced plumber incorrectly installed or repaired any plumbing before you moved in, you could be the one playing the price now. A home inspection should be able to identify some glaring errors but others will go undetected until there’s clear signs of something wrong such as a leak.
Old homes often settle or shift over time, which can cause the plumbing to move slightly as well. This can result in an issue called a pipe belly, meaning the pipe is sloped downward and can collect sediment or waste (if it’s a sewer pipe). Pipe bellies can eventually cause blockages or leaks, which can be destructive and expensive to fix.
Blocked or deteriorated sewer line
The sewer line is an underground pipe that carries all the wastewater in your home out to the municipal sewer main line. Over time, this pipe can get clogged, break down, or even blocked by an in-grown tree root. Unfortunately, it can be expensive to repair or replace the sewer line – but it’s important to do so right away otherwise you could risk sewage backing up into your home.
Trusted plumbers in Lynn, MA
You deserve to enjoy your older home for everything it offers – minus plumbing issues. If you are worried about any of the issues we covered in this article, call Waldman Plumbing and Heating, Inc. at (781) 780-3184.