Common Plumbing Issues in Older Homes

September 5, 2018


Buying and renovating older homes is all the rage today (thanks Chip and Joanna!). And, if you already live in an older home, you may feel inspired to begin some renovations of your own! But remember to look past the surface of the home. When making improvements or renovating your older home, don’t forget to check out the plumbing! Eastern Plumbing has put together a list of common plumbing problems in older homes to help you get started.

1. Galvanized Piping

Galvanized piping is most commonly found in houses built before the 1960s. It may be the case that previous owners have replaced pipes, but they may have just concentrated on pipes that were clogged or eroded. It is important that you check the entire plumbing system in your old home to make sure that there are no corroded or rusted pipes that need to be replaced. Old galvanized pipes can produce discolored water and are more prone to leaks, so if you notice any of these your older home – galvanized pipes could be the problem.

2. Polybutylene Piping

This type of piping in commonly found in house built from the late 70’s to the early 90’s. At the time it was relatively low cost, but today this type of plumbing system is no longer accepted by US building codes. Polybutylene piping is prone to failure because of the way it reacts to oxidants found in water, causing weak pipes. Replacing these pipes will ensure that you have a durable material and will save you money and stress in the long run.

3. Pipe Bellies

We all know that the earth below our homes doesn’t sit still. Over periods of time, the constant movement and ground shifts can affect the plumbing that lies beneath your home. The pipes move downwards, resulting in what are called pipe “bellies.” These bends in your plumbing pipes makes it difficult for water to pass through, causing stoppages.

4. Sewer Lines

Remember that your plumbing system does not just lie within the confines of your home – it extends down to the sewer line. First, you need to determine if your home is on a sewer line. If so, there are few problems that can arise. The sewer lines in older homes are more likely to face issues because of the shifting of the ground and the potential for roots to grow into the sewer line and cause a blockage or leak. So, focus on your sewer line during the renovation as well.

5. Faulty Gas Lines

When thinking about your plumbing and pipes, don’t overlook lines the that don’t involve water – the lines that supply gas to your water heater. It is important for your safety that you have these gas lines tested and repaired if necessary.

6. Inefficient Plumbing Fixtures

Of course, we understand that old plumbing fixtures are beautiful and compliment your “farmhouse-style” perfectly. But, keep in mind that everything has a lifespan – even plumbing fixtures. These fixtures in older homes have gone through wear and tear which can lead to leaks and inefficient water flow. Consider replacing these fixtures with more efficient ones that can save water.

Now that you know common plumbing problems facing older homes, it’s time to determine a course of action. In any home, new or old, Eastern Plumbing recommends that you schedule regular maintenance checks for your plumbing system and gas lines. The professional plumbers at Eastern Plumbing in Greenville and New Bern can evaluate your home and help you decide on the best plan of action to make your home safe and efficient, and give you peace of mind. And, if you need us – we can also assist with the renovation! Give us a call today!