Over the years, the plumbing systems in your house may have been slowly deteriorating. That’s why you should inspect the condition of these plumbing fixtures on a regular basis. This is especially true with older homes, where the plumbing systems could be faulty. Whether it’s a rusty pipe or a leaking faucet, you are likely to come across several plumbing problems that necessitate further repairs.
In most old homes, the plumbing problems are often the result of old fixtures that no longer function at their maximum capacity. Some of these plumbing problems may be repairable, while others could require the entire fixture to be replaced. Doing a professional plumbing inspection will offer you a detailed assessment of what repairs should be performed.
To help you with this inspection, here is a list of the most common plumbing problems in old homes:
1. Sewer Line Problems
This is one of the primary sources of plumbing problems in old homes. Since sewer lines are always wet, they attract tree roots that penetrate iron pipes. This makes them vulnerable to cracking, thus causing clogs. Instead of just waiting for the sewage to back up, you should schedule regular plumbing inspections to get ahead of the problem.
In addition, there could be problems with the sewer line belly. This occurs when the sewer line sags downwards, which impedes the natural flow of the pipe. Typically, these bellies are the result of soil erosion, foundation settlement, or other natural factors. It could be difficult to monitor the development of these bellies since the pipes are buried underground. As such, these problems usually don’t get fixed for a long time and can be found in many old homes.
2. Drain Problems
After many years of flushing water, sewage, and soap down your pipes, the drainage system in old homes will most likely be compromised. The amount of debris will gradually accumulate until your draining systems are left in a clogged and unusable condition.
Typically, these problems occur in the kitchen and bathroom sink drains, where clogs often develop. Kitchen sinks are notorious for attracting fats and bits of food that end up clogging the drain over time. Similarly, bathroom sink drains get clogged from pieces of soap, or the bits of food from brushing your teeth over the sink.
3. Aged Plumbing
Nothing lasts forever. In old homes, most the plumbing fixtures were installed from decades ago. If a house is very old, even the toughest fixtures are susceptible to wear and tear. Your plumbing systems had been exposed to the natural elements and could start to erode. At this point, you might begin noticing troublesome symptoms in your plumbing, such as water discolouration or low pressure.
When washers and valves in a home disintegrate, they start leaking and give way to foul smells. This also translates into higher utility bills. You can have such issues flagged off by a skilled plumber, who can find and fix these plumbing problems in old homes.
4. Inherited Plumbing Problems
If a house has been around for more than many decades, it probably went through a couple of different homeowners. Some of these owners may have occasionally made tiny plumbing repairs, such as using duct tape to fix a leaking pipe. When you buy an old house, you will unfortunately inherit these amateur repairs along with all their imperfections.
You might not necessarily notice the plumbing problems as soon as you move in, but they will become apparent after some time. A plumber can diagnose these hidden plumbing problems in old homes and raise any flags before you make a purchase.
5. Polybutylene Pipes
By definition, a polybutylene is a form of plastic resin used in the manufacturing of water pipes. These types of pipes were quite common in older homes from decades ago. Back in the day, these pipes were frequently used due to their cost-friendliness and easy installation. Over the years, many problems arose with the polybutylene pipes, making them untenable.
If your house is old, it probably still has these types of pipes installed, causing inefficiencies in the plumbing systems around your home. You will need the services of an experienced plumber to replace these older pipes throughout the house.