Plumbing problems are common in most old homes. Luckily, these problems can be managed by identifying them and fixing the root cause. Here are the 10 most common plumbing problems in old homes and how to fix them.
1. Bad repairs over the years
Poorly done repairs, those that never resolve the underlying issue, are a leading cause of plumbing problems in most old homes. The best fix to years of low-quality repairs is having a team of professional plumbers survey your entire pipework and make the necessary restorations. One of the most efficient techniques used to restore damaged or corroded piping systems that have been neglected for years is repairing pipes with epoxy.
2. Broken sewer lines
According to plumber Kamloops, blocked sewer lines are likely to be at the heart of your plumbing problems if you own an old home. After years of heavy use and upgrading to modern appliances such as garbage disposal systems, dishwashing machines, and washing machines, old sewer lines are bound to fail. The failure of these systems is often due to the complexity required for today’s piping network, and it will lead to problems such as unpleasant smells, slow drains, and blockages. Broken sewer lines are best fixed by replacing your entire sewer line.
3. Old fixtures and connections
Plumbing systems have evolved over the years, and the systems that were used decades ago are not very effective compared to modern solutions. Consistent plumbing problems may be as a result of outdated fixtures and connections that cannot keep up with today’s demands. The most effective solution to fix issues resulting from old fixtures and connections is to install modern fixtures to improve the state and reliability of your plumbing system.
4. Galvanized pipes
Before the 60s, most homes relied on galvanized steel pipes for their plumbing. These pipes were a good alternative to lead and copper pipes, but they could not remain efficient for long as they got corroded easily. If you own a fairly old home, and these pipes were never replaced, you need to upgrade to modern piping to avoid consistent plumbing issues like clogging and breakages.
5. Lead piping
Lead pipes used to be the main plumbing material in the 90’s until they were discovered to be highly toxic, and their use in water lines was banned under the safe drinking water act. Still, most old homes already had lead piping installed, and there is a chance they are still in place. These pipes could have also been vandalized over the years as they have a good resale value, calling for replacement with modern piping materials.
6. Polybutylene Piping
Around the late 70s and early 90s, polybutylene piping became the choice material for plumbing. This did not last as this material was fragile and highly reactant with oxidants present in water. These pipes tend to wear out completely or crack, leading to severe plumbing problems. If your old home has these pipes, it is best to remove and replace them with modern solutions that are stronger and more efficient.
7. Low water pressure
If your old home has low water pressure problems, it is advisable to have your entire plumbing system evaluated by professional plumbers. The most common root cause of this problem is damaged or clogged pipes that might call for an overhaul of your current piping system, depending on how severe it is. If you are not ready to replace your entire plumbing system and the damages can be contained, you can resolve these issues using epoxy pipe repair.
8. Pipe bellies
House settling affects the pipes installed underneath a home through the gradual movement and pressure it exerts. As the pipe adjusts to this pressure, a belly or protrusion can be created, restricting water flow. This disrupts the efficiency of your plumbing system and, if left to worsen, it can lead to wastewater backing up into your home. Plumbers today can easily pinpoint areas with pipe bellies using video inspection technology, avoiding the need to dig out your entire plumbing line. You should then have these sections repaired to restore the balance required for a properly working plumbing system.
9. Tree root intrusion
Trees might give your old home that appealing appearance, but they do not do the same for your plumbing systems. As your trees grow, their roots extend in search of water and nutrients to sustain their life. Your plumbing line presents a perfect source of moisture, and over time, tree roots will penetrate these lines. Undetected tree roots intrusion will cause lots of damage to your piping as it can result in complete blockages. You need seasoned plumbers to check for tree root intrusions in your old home as they are harder to detect than most problems.
10. Consistent clogging and drain issues
How many times have you had to deal with clogging or drain issues in the past weeks? Consistent clogging and drain issues point to a bigger problem that requires more than a plug. Avoid DIY repairs and call professional plumbers to examine the condition of your plumbing system and identify the source of your problems. The leading cause of these issues is the build-up of debris, scum, and foreign objects in your piping system, which is expected after many years of use. You will need to have these pipes unclogged and cleaned to clear the pathway for wastewater and avoid escalation of the problem.
Owning an old home comes with a unique set of challenges, and one of them is persistent plumbing problems. There is never an easy way out of these frustrating issues, and the more you ignore them, the worse they become. This significantly increases the risk of experiencing severe water damages as your piping system is most likely to be old and fragile. Before you shop copper pipe fittings, make sure you know the diameter of the pipe you are working with, as well as the type of connection you need, such as a soldered joint or compression fitting. The best way to avoid these problems is by hiring a professional plumbing company to assess your piping system and perform the right repairs before things get out of hand. However, if you can afford it, it would be best if you replaced your entire plumbing system.
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