When it comes to the subject of plumbing, most homeowners probably have some basic knowledge when it comes to identifying problems that might arise from time to time. However, it is not uncommon for older houses to have a set of issues all their own, and being aware of these will allow you to take the steps necessary to ensure your plumbing runs smoothly. Here is our list of the top plumbing problems in old homes that spring up more often than others.
The Top Six Plumbing Problems in Old Homes
1. Galvanized Piping
Galvanized piping is most commonly found in homes built before the 1960s. They are made of iron and covered with a layer of zinc, which can erode over time and cause issues if left unresolved. Besides the pipes being old and outdated, they are prone to corrosion, which can impact your water pressure and quality negatively. Apart from these signs, your water may appear discolored due to the release of iron through the pipes.
2. Polybutylene Piping
Polybutylene piping was very commonly used in homes built from the late 70’s to early 90’s since it was relatively low cost. However, it is a type of system that is no longer accepted by U.S. building codes. This type of piping is actually prone to failure because of the way it reacts to oxidants found in water. These can cause the pipes to become very weak, leading, eventually, to a failure in the system that could cause a lot of damage to your property. The best route to go is to have this type of piping replaced completely with new, durable material that will save you money in the long run.
3. Lead Service Lines
Another problem that correlates with galvanized piping commonly found in older homes is lead service lines. These connect the water from the main to your home. When there are replacements or repairs on these lines, there could be an increase of lead found in the water present in your home. It is important to know the type of piping present both outside and inside your home to prevent lead contamination. If it is identified as lead, it is advised that you install and use a filtration system.
4. Pipe Bellies
The earth below our houses does not sit still for periods of time. There is constant movement and houses shift in response, which can affect the piping that lies underneath. The result is that pipes can move and shift downwards, resulting in what are called “bellies.” The bend in the pipes makes it difficult for water and other sediments to pass through the pipe, causing stoppages.
5. Sewer Lines
It needs to be considered that a house’s plumbing does not only include the confines of your home — it also extends down to the sewer line. Determining if your house is on a sewer line is the first step. If so, there are potential problems that one can face due to this. Roots from plants and trees can form around the pipes, and certain materials are at risk of being crushed. An older house is more likely to face issues with sewer lines due to the shifting of the ground, and tree roots are the main source of plugging when it comes to these lines. Gurgling sounds from your toilet and flowing drains can be the first sign that something isn’t right when it comes to your sewer lines.
6. Faulty Gas Lines
Perhaps the most overlooked problem has less to do with the plumbing and pipes involved with water in the house and more to do with the lines that supply gas to lights, water heaters, and stoves. A lot of older houses have gas lines installed, but most homeowners do not know whether they are turned on or not. The pipes can also be damaged from poor soil conditions or from shifts in the ground over time. Not knowing can cause severe problems, including the potential for leakage or even an explosion. It is of utmost importance for safety that these are tested and repaired if necessary.
Now that you know the most common plumbing problems facing old homes, determining the course of action to take regarding them will be a lot simpler. In any home, old or new, it is recommended to schedule regular maintenance checks for your pipes and gas lines. Getting your local plumbers involved in the process can save you time and money in the long run, as they can detect problems early on and proceed with repairs or replacements. Get ahold of Deer Valley Plumbing today to make sure your pipes are in the best shape so that you can be stress-free!