When you are searching for your next home , it can be easy to fall in love with the classic charm of an older house. But before you decide to make an offer on a place with wide plank wood floors and leaded glass windows, you should know that inside those antique walls could lie some very costly plumbing issues. Always invest in an inspection by a licensed plumber before purchasing an older home. And it is helpful to have some background knowledge of the most common plumbing issues often found in older homes.
Any house built before the early 90s could contain piping that is no longer approved by the U.S. building code. However, if the home was recently renovated, the repiping project could have been completed. Old pipe material no longer approved for use in new construction includes lead pipe, galvanized, and polybutylene.
We now know that lead is highly toxic. Any lead pipe or pipes that are soldered with lead should be replaced immediately. Galvanized pipe was used before 1960. It is an iron pipe coated with zinc, but the problem is that the zinc coating erodes, leaving the iron pipe to corrode and leak. Polybutylene was developed in the 70s to be a cheap replacement for copper piping. However, it was found to become very brittle over time. These pipes should be replaced before they result in significant water damage.
When pipes are installed underground, they can move and settle over time. When a section of a pipe settles lower than other areas, it is said to create a belly or low spot. It becomes an issue in drain and sewer lines that function using gravity. Waste and dirty water gather in the low section and create a blockage that impedes the flow. Replacing the bellied section of the pipe is the only way to eliminate this issue permanently.
Worn Out Sewer Lines
No one thinks about their home’s sewer line until there is a problem. But then, it is often too late. You are dealing with a flood of raw sewage. There are several ways to replace a sewer line that is damaged or has many blockages. Your plumber can deploy a tiny camera into the sewer line for an in-depth inspection to ensure the sewer line is in functional condition before you make your offer on the house.
Even if the fixtures look to be in good condition, there is always the potential for old fixtures to leak or not function correctly. In addition, there can be hidden leaks at older fixtures that allow water to destroy the home’s structure. Your plumber will be able to evaluate any older fixtures in the house and make recommendations for the ones that should be replaced.
Bad Repairs And DIY Nightmares
When you buy an older home, you never know who has been dabbling in plumbing repairs. Any previous homeowners could have tried to make a cost-cutter repair that is not up to code. This is another reason you need to have a licensed plumber perform a detailed inspection of the entire plumbing system. Learning about any issues before you make an offer can save you thousands of dollars and much frustration in the future.
If you have an older house on your shortlist for your new home, call (334) 206-8878. A licensed plumber from Alabama Home Pros can meet you at the property and complete a detailed evaluation of the home’s plumbing system. We can also provide you with a complete cost estimate for any necessary repairs.