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3 Common Plumbing Issues Found In Older Homes
Older homes are a highly sought after commodity in many places around the country, and for good reason. They can be a perfect find for the prospective homeowner who is looking for a place that they can fix up over time, or if you happen to enjoy the unique aesthetics that an older home brings with it. However, older homes do tend to have a number of issues from time to time that you need to be aware of if you have either purchased one or you are looking to purchase one sometime in the near future.
Older homes, no matter what they look like on the outside, will often come with their fair share of problems that you can’t readily see, and this includes the plumbing system. There are a number of different plumbing issues that could be lurking below the surface in your older home, but there are three of these in particular that we tend to find again and again in these homes. To help you make the most informed decision if you are looking at purchasing an older home sometime in the near future, or if you already own an older home and are unsure where to start with your fixer upper project, we have put together a list of the most common three issues we run into with the plumbing systems in older homes.
Many older homes were built using galvanized piping. A galvanized pipe is a steel pipe that has been covered with a layer of zinc to better protect it. Over time, however, the zinc can erode causing these pipes to deteriorate from the inside. This can lead to slow water pressure, stopped up faucets and toilets, discolored water, and even plumbing leaks. If you live in an older home and you find yourself having to constantly repair faucets and toilets over and over again, your home might have galvanized pipes that are causing the problem. In addition to this particular piping type, some older homes also have pipes made from concrete or cast iron, both of which are problematic. Concrete won’t deteriorate, but it can shift and move under your home’s foundation, while cast iron will actually deteriorate and completely disappear over time.
The earth is constantly moving, which means that your home is always shifting and settling on the ground. This movement directly affects the pipes that are underneath all homes, and especially in older ones. When a house is being built, the sewer pipes are installed first underneath the concrete foundation, and over time, the house can shift along the ground, causing bellies to form in your piping. These bellies are dips that form in the pipe over time as the earth shifts, and as they get worse, sediment and other debris start to settle in these areas, causing blockages in your drains.
If you aren’t the original owner of the house, there is almost no way to ensure that any plumbing repairs that have been performed on the home over the years have actually been done by someone who knows what they were doing. There are many times that we have shown up to enact repairs to find that the cause of the problems is due to an improper installation from a previous homeowner or an unlicensed plumbing handyman.
From plumbing traps installed backwards, to poorly secured pipes, unvented drains, and unsafe water heater configurations, we have seen it all. Although home improvement stores sell products that are designed to make this kind of work easier, this kind of work is usually better left to professionals. You need Lowell plumbers who know what it takes to make sure the work is done up to code and in a way that won’t cause more problems down the road.