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4 Common Older-Home Plumbing Problems

Old homes can be charming, with their traditional styles and beautiful, unique features. They tend to have beautiful big rooms, homely kitchens, and fabulous architecture. You can’t be blamed for dreaming of buying an old home, provided you call for a professional plumbing inspection, because that’s one of the main issues you face in an older home.

Here are some of the things you should be aware of before you buy an older home:

1. Old pipes

These steel pipes are covered in a layer of zinc, which eroded over time, causing it to deteriorate. The flakes and particles can lead to slow water pressure and blocked pipes. You may notice discolored water and recurring plumbing repairs. Cast iron can also deteriorate and collapse, while concrete might shift under the foundations of the home. Polybutylene pipe was used in the eighties due to the fact that it was cheap and easy to install. However, exposure to water causes it to break down.

2. Drains

The earth constantly moves, and the ground on which your home is built may be shifting until your home is properly settled. The sewer pipes were the first thing installed while your home was being built, which means that they are underneath the foundation. As your home shifts, it can lead to bellies or dips forming in the pipeworks. The bellies will worsen over time, causing debris and sediment to settle and blockages to form in your drains.

3. Shut-off valves

The toilet’s shut off valve is not used frequently. Located below the tank, near the spot where the rigid pipe exits the wall, minerals from the water can cause it to become stuck in its open position. Of course, trying to close the valve in an emergency, and forcing it shut can cause it to snap right off. Prevent flooding in your home by calling a professional plumber to replace the stuck shut-off valve so that you can turn off the water in the event that your toilet bowl becomes backed up.

4. Mix-and-match plumbing

Over many years, many different plumbers and homeowners work on a home’s plumbing. If your home was built in the 80s or before, your plumbing system probably contains at least one pipe or fixture each in galvanized or copper piping, chrome, polybutylene, lead and so forth along with more modern piping. Some of these materials may interact with one another, causing rust. Joints between unlike materials create trouble spots, as these areas can catch soap scum and hair that end up in clogs. Likewise, homeowners who don’t necessarily have any plumbing training may use duct tape, hose clamps, adhesives and chemical patches to repair their own plumbing.

It is important to always hire a professional plumbing company who uses approved materials and has the required training to make wise repairs. In most cases, it saves money to hire professionals, rather than to apply unsafe and foolhardy temporary repairs. Speak to Anta Plumbing today about your old home plumbing.

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