Older Home? Watch Out for These Potential Plumbing Problems

If you own an older home, or are thinking about buying one, there are often a lot of advantages to be found, such as craftsmanship, interesting architectural details and spacious backyards. However, there are often downsides too, such as limited closet space, high ceilings (making the home tougher to heat) and outdated plumbing systems.

Some of the disadvantages of an older home may not be as apparent, since you can’t necessarily see them. For instance, older homes are more likely to have outdated plumbing systems which can eventually lead to issues with the septic system or a leaky pipe. In some cases, homeowners may need a complete pipe replacement.

If your home is older than 50 years, here are some common plumbing issues you need to watch out for:

• Original plumbing fixtures. If the home has many of the original fixtures in the kitchen or bathroom it can add character to your living space, but could also cause problems over time. That’s because washers, valves, spigots and handles will all degrade over time, which can lead to leaks as well as unpleasant odors.

• Galvanized pipes. Homes that were built in the 1960s or earlier often contain galvanized pipes, which are iron pipes coated with molten zinc to prevent the iron from corroding. As the zinc eventually starts to erode, it exposes the iron – causing it to rust. If the pipes become too rusted they can start to corrode, become blocked with rust. Some tell-tale signs there is a rust issue are a decrease in water pressure and discolored water. If your home has galvanized pipes, you may need to consider a complete pipe replacement at some point.

• Pipe bellies. The soil beneath our homes is constantly shifting over time, rising and falling, which can also cause our homes to subtly shift as well. This movement can also impact the piping beneath the soil, causing sewer lines to rise and fall, buckle and develop what’s known as a pipe belly – which is a low spot in the pipe that makes it difficult for water and other matter to pass through. Pipe belly can lead to slow-flushing toilets, poor drainage, a clogged sewer line and other issues with the septic system.

• Root intrusion. Another potential issue with sewer lines is roots. The roots of nearby trees are attracted by the water and nutrients contained within the pipes and may start to work their way inside – damaging the pipes. This can lead to leaky pipes, slow draining, or even a sewer backup in your home. If you suspect root intrusion in your sewer pipes, the experts at EcoClean can use a camera to inspect the pipes. If roots are present, our technicians can then remove them with a mechanical cut, cable or snake, or by using RootX® – an aquatic herbicide and root foaming technology that can safely and effectively kill the roots without damaging the tree or other surrounding plants.

If your home is experiencing root intrusion, rusty water, clogged pipes or any other plumbing issues, give the experts at EcoClean a call today!