Every house develops a few issues as time goes on, and the older the property, the more problems accumulate. This is especially true of a house’s plumbing system, not only because it sees a lot of use but also because older plumbing methods are largely outdated. Unfortunately, many homes dating back to the 1960s and earlier still include certain features of old plumbing that can cause problems. Here are a few signs to watch out for if you own such a property.
1. Wear and Tear
All plumbing systems wear out with time, so it is not unlikely that an old house may have several areas that could do with repair. Small leaks spring up as joints begin to loosen, while pipes may begin to sag or separate with age. It is worth looking out for any signs of disrepair and remedying them as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of flooding and more costly repairs.
2. Broken Pipes
Some plumbing features may be broken altogether! If they are, attempting to use your water supply could lead to water escaping somewhere in your home. It is vital to identify breaks in pipes as quickly as possible, so they can be repaired. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to turn off your water supply until repairs are complete.
3. Rust and Low Pressure
One of the reasons old pipes have so many problems is that many of them are galvanized. These are very prone to corrosion and can quickly become blocked with rust. If you notice your water pressure is lower than it should be, this could be a sign that you have some galvanized pipes in your system. Fortunately, a plumber should be able to replace them with a more suitable alternative.
4. Sewer Lines
Another issue facing old properties is that a large number of them are on sewer lines. Unfortunately, problems with the line running from a house can cause severe damage in the form of flooding. The contents of the sewer also pose a health risk if exposed. These lines are often made of cast iron or clay, neither of which is ideal. Iron rapidly rusts, while clay is easily broken by roots. In some cases, tarpaper has also been used for pipes. It is advisable to have these replaced at your earliest convenience.
5. DIY Plumbing
Finally, one big problem that can plague older homes is any remnant of a shoddy do-it-yourself plumbing job. This could include poorly fitted pipes or even a lack of correct attachments. For example, where copper and galvanized pipes are connected, they require dielectric couplings to prevent corrosion. However, repairs carried out by unqualified individuals often miss such details. If you own an old home, considering all that could go wrong can be overwhelming. Fortunately, a professional plumber can look over the property for you and advise you about work that might need to be done. They may also be able to advise you how best to maintain your property’s plumbing once it has been repaired.
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