Older houses are frequently coveted for their character and uniqueness. Many of the buildings that are still standing today were built to precise standards and with costly materials. Young people looking to buy their first house usually find older homes that need a little more maintenance to be a great alternative.
However, behind their beautiful crown molding and plaster walls, these houses can conceal various issues. While some of these flaws are merely little inconveniences, others are ticking time bombs that might do serious harm.
Prospective buyers should be aware of a few plumbing issues that are incredibly typical in buildings older than a few decades.
Here are the common plumbing problems you should be aware of in old homes:
1. Cracked Cast Iron Pipes
Cast iron pipes were the standard for plumbing from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s. They were a great alternative to lead pipes and were incredibly durable. However, over the last few decades, it has become apparent that cast iron pipes are not as resistant to corrosion as once thought.
Today, you can call a plumber to come and fix broken cast iron pipes, but this is not always a guarantee. The plumber can cut out the damaged part and replace it with a new section of pipe.
However, this is only a temporary solution, and the problem will likely come back over time. This is because cast iron pipes do not maintain shape when exposed to acidic substances. Therefore, the new piece of pipe they put in will not last long, and the problem will soon return.
2. Cracks In the Drain Pipes
Over time, drain pipes can begin to crack. As they break, the water flowing through them will start to leak out, causing the line to weaken further. This can cause a flood in the home if a crack is severe and the pipe collapses.
The only permanent solution to this problem is to replace the entire pipe.
3. Squeaky Faucets
Squeaky faucets are a common plumbing problem in old houses. It is an indication of a loose seal in the faucet. The seal will be able to be tightened in one of two ways.
One option is to use a wrench to screw the faucet down further. This will fix the problem temporarily, but it will likely begin to squeak again.
The other option is to replace the faucet. This is a relatively simple job that a homeowner can take on, but the process can be complicated.
4. Low Water Pressure
A low water pressure problem, commonly caused by mineral deposits, is also common in older houses.
A cost-effective option is to invest in a water pressure regulator. It will restrict the flow of water but eliminate the issues caused by mineral deposits. However, these regulators can be complicated to install, so hiring a plumber is usually the better option.
5. Slow Draining Pipes
Various issues can cause slow drainage, and clogging is the most common. Clogs can occur when homeowners flush large amounts of garbage down their drains or pour grease into them.
Problems with slow drainage can contribute to other plumbing problems, such as leaks.
Plumbing problems are pervasive in older homes due to the deterioration of cast-iron pipes. These problems can be a slight annoyance or cause severe damage and repair costs.
As a potential homebuyer, it is essential to be aware of the possibility of plumbing issues in older homes. They can be avoided through regular maintenance and the use of drain cleaners. However, if one occurs in your home, it would be best to contact a professional plumber immediately. Having it repaired early would cost much less than overlooking it, which results in further damage.
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