Common Plumbing Problems in Old Houses

As beautiful as old houses can be, they don’t come without some risks. No structure can withstand the test of time without showing their age at least a little bit, and one of the more vulnerable parts of any home is the plumbing. Even if the exterior appears perfect, without constant maintenance and upkeep, pipes will only last so long before they become a problem.

  • Galvanized Pipe: A popular type of pipe from a few decades ago, galvanized pipes are made of steel and covered with a layer of zinc to protect the material. Zinc erodes over time, which causes the pipes to deteriorate from the inside, causing a variety of issues. Experts recommend a full replacement of your piping system when galvanized piping begins to fall apart, but many homeowners attempt to avoid that expensive option by replacing the worst sections as they begin to fail. 

    A good way to quickly test your pipes for this problem is to simply turn on the hot water and check the water pressure. Hot water pipes are the first to go, so if the water pressure is low, there’s a good chance your house has corroded galvanized piping that needs to be replaced.

    If copper piping was attached to the galvanized pipes during the course of repairs or additions, there’s a chance they could add to any issues you already have. Dielectric coupling is required to prevent corrosion caused by dissimilar metals coming in contact with each other. Because these connections are often hidden inside walls, it may be difficult to check whether the job was done properly.

  • Sewer Lines: Even if all of the piping inside of your house is in perfect working order, you still need to worry about the plumbing connecting your house to the sewer line. Homeowners own the pipeline from the house to the street, and that bit of pipe can be problematic in old houses. 

    The most common materials for sewer lines — cast iron, plastic, and clay — all have potential issues. Clay pipes are susceptible to root intrusion; cast iron can corrode; plastic is durable, but is at risk of being crushed. All three can become plugged due to any number of causes, from debris to grease to paper towels.

    Even if the material is in perfect working order and there are no clogs, sewer lines can fail due to the movement of the earth. The earth’s surface is constantly, slowly shifting, and over time the house can shift along with it. This may cause bellies, or dips, to form in the pipes, and over time, debris and sediment can settle inside of them causing blockages.

If you live in an older house and are concerned about your plumbing, contact bluefrog Plumbing + Drain today. Our teams are available to provide the best plumbing services in the industry 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. With zero trip or overtime charges, why wait? Call us at 888-794-0341 today to set up your free in-home evaluation and price quote free of charge.

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