For many people, purchasing an existing older home is more financially feasible than building their own from scratch. While this can be great for your budget, having an older home will bring its own set of issues. When it comes to your plumbing system, there are many common issues that you may experience when living in an older home.
Old Piping Materials
Over the years, plumbers have relied on many different materials for both plumbing and drainage lines throughout homes. However, some of those old piping materials have since been recognized as providing potential danger to those living in the home. For example, lead pipes are now known to create health issues in people that drink the water flowing through them.
Another problem material in old piping is galvanized iron and sometimes iron coated with a layer of zinc. This piping material has been shown to erode significantly over time. This not only makes a home more susceptible to clogging, but unwanted rust and other corrosive materials can easily enter the drinking water.
Another material that should not be trusted in older homes is piping made of polybutylene. This was widely popular in the 1980s and has since been discovered to react negatively to oxidants that are added to public water systems. This type of piping will become brittle, crack, and even flake. This can create highly dangerous conditions for your home and your family as you drink the water coming out of this piping material.
Failing Sewer Lines
When you look through an older home that you're thinking about buying, you probably won't give much thought to the sewer line that's running beneath the house. The sewer line is often positioned underneath the slab and out of sight. Unfortunately, many older homes were built with sewer lines that were not installed correctly or installed with materials that did not withstand the test of time.
Many times, it's common for sewage to seep out of the house's sewer line and enter the ground. This can be damaging to your home and the ground and create a very foul-smelling odor of wastewater in your home. Keep in mind that older sewer lines weren't constructed to handle the waste coming from many of our modern appliances like dishwashers and garbage disposals. You may need to have your sewer line replaced or relined to prevent seepage from happening in the future.
Outdated Fixtures and Connections
Another problem you may run into living in an older home is outdated fixtures and connections. Things like faucets and supply line connections will see a lot of wear and tear over the years. It often results in restricted water flow, unwanted leaks, and excessive corrosion.
Unfortunately, you may find that many of the connections to these older fixtures will break off when you try to disconnect the fixture. You may end up having to replace the entire line and install a new connection so that you can put on newer fixtures. Don't expect fixture upgrades to be an easy process when it comes to dealing with an older home.
Since older homes were constructed with different plumbing materials, it's not uncommon for those materials to warp and move over time. One common issue that many homeowners of older homes have is unwanted pipe bellies. This happens when a section of your sewer pipe significantly sags downward and creates an excessive negative slope in your line.
Without a gradual slope to force the gray water down your system, it's likely that a lot of waste will get physically stuck in the pipe belly. There just isn't enough force to propel the waste material down a significant sag in the pipe and up out of it. Unfortunately, this can be a relatively expensive fix as you'll have to install a new section in your main sewer line. In most cases, it's typically recommended to replace the entire existing main sewer line as it will likely just develop more pipe bellies over time.r
Poor Repair Jobs
Just a century ago, many homeowners relied on their own skills to take care of plumbing issues that cropped up in their homes. Unfortunately, many of them didn't have the right knowledge and tools to fix things properly which typically resulted in badly executed repairs.
These can include a variety of issues, like an improper slope for a drain, an improper sink trap, and unsecured piping. Many of these problems will come to light when you have another issue. Just be prepared to have to go above and beyond when it comes to repairing a problem as you'll likely have to fix poorly executed repairs from the past.
Higher Clogging Risk
If you think about the entire life span of an older home, that's a really long time for people to be flushing scum, dirty water, and other waste down through all the piping. It's no surprise that unwanted buildup can occur inside the piping and make you more susceptible to experiencing clogging than with a new home. One of the best ways to help combat this is to have a professional come out and clean your drains on a regular basis.
Having large mature trees around your home may seem like a dream come true. However, underneath the soil, all of those mature trees can be forcing their roots into your sewer line. It's no surprise that many older homes that have mature trees on the property experience rooting in their main sewer lines. To fix this issue, you'll have to have a plumber come out and cut out the rooting and seal your main sewer line backup. This can be quite costly.
As with any system inside of a residential home, local code enforcement has developed specific code requirements that must be met. These codes are intended to help ensure the safety of both homeowners and the community. Unfortunately, if you're living in an older home, it's highly likely that different parts of your plumbing system may not be up to code. While this may not be a big concern for day-to-day living, it can be a real problem when you want to do any sort of upgrades or additions to your home.
Many codes require that any areas being upgraded must meet new code standards. This means that if you're going to be redoing your bathroom, you may have to deal with updating your existing plumbing fixtures to meet the new code standards in your area. This will add to the total cost of any sort of upgrade you plan on doing in the future to your home.
Reliable Plumbing Services
Beach Plumbing offers reliable plumbing service for Cypress, CA and surrounding communities. We'll be more than happy to assist you with all of your sewer, water heater, gas line, filtration, and leak detection needs. Call Beach Plumbing today to get the help that you need from our highly knowledgeable plumbers.