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12/16/2016 11:52 AM Posted by: Vic Caso

 

There is a special charm to older homes. The architecture, the story the house holds within its walls, beautiful original features, such as hardwood floors or a hand-carved staircase.

Old houses may be full of personality, but they’re also full of old plumbing. And it’s something to be mindful about.

If your house was built before the 1970s and still has the original plumbing – it’s just a matter of when your old plumbing will fail. (Also, since old plumbing is often made of galvanized pipes, usually the pipes won’t last this long, so there’s a good chance that at least part of the plumbing has already been replaced or rerouted.) Whether you have lived in your older home for decades or are considering purchasing an old house, it’s extremely important for you to be informed about old house plumbing problems so that you know what to symptoms to look for and how to handle them.

 

 


Old House Plumbing Problems:

Clogged galvanized pipes - If you’re experiencing rusty-looking water or low water pressure, these are common signs that your galvanized pipes have a lot of internal corrosion. Galvanized pipes are steel pipes covered with a layer of zinc, but the zinc slowly erodes. When corrosion and rust form inside the pipes, which naturally occurs with time, they block the flow of water to the tap, cause discoloration to the water and, even worse, leach toxic lead into the water.

Solution: We would most likely recommend a whole house ePIPE. ePIPE is a patented process that thoroughly cleans the pipe system and then applies a strong epoxy barrier coating inside the pipes to prevent the water from touching the pipes. This prevents corrosion, rust, lead leaching, leaks and other problems.

 

Clogged drains – It’s very common for older houses to have problems in the sewer line that runs from the house to the city main beneath the street. Over the years, this underground sewer line could have developed breaches or holes, which attracted nearby tree roots, causing root intrusion and blocking the line. More possibilities include the sewer line moving from the ground shifting or the line being crushed from roots growing on top of it, as well as the drain system getting plugged up from built-up grease, food or items that were not supposed to be discarded down the drain, such as a diaper. (There’s no telling what the previous owners flushed down those drains.)

Solution: Plumbing problems in old houses often include slow drains, but a camera inspection should be able to find the cause. If there is a small blockage that can be removed, it could be a quick and easy fix. But depending on the type of drain pipes, their layout and what lays above them, each individual case will have a unique solution. However, we highly recommend you get your drains hydro jetted around every two years to prevent blockages and slow drains.

 

Defective repairs made by previous homeowners or handymen – Over the years, your home probably had multiple owners. And maybe one of these homeowners decided to do a DIY fix-it project on the plumbing or maybe a homeowner had a handy cousin who made his own repairs. Some common problems could be pipes not connected properly, sink drains getting stopped up easily or a mistake could be more serious, such as a hot water heater being installed incorrectly.

Solution: Get the entire plumbing system looked at by a professional, like our team at TDT Plumbing. We understand the difference between efficient plumbing and troublesome plumbing, and can assess the system to predict if there will be future problems.

 

Leaks – Leaks are practically inevitable. All types of pipes can leak after so many years of use. Signs of domestic water, air conditioning or fire sprinkler pipes leaking include wet walls, wet floors, mold and increased water bills. Signs of a sewer pipe leaking are foul odors, wet spots on the floor or landscape and slow drains. As you can imagine, leaks are stressful, disruptive, destructive and expensive to deal with. The ideal situation is to invest in a long-term solution that will prevent the pipes from corroding on the inside and forming leaks.

Solution: Depending on the problem, fixes could range from a very small pipe replacement to a reroute or to a whole house pipe lining project to prevent the other pipes from failing (as an alternative to having all of the pipes ripped out of the house). A competent plumber will be able to analyze the situation and give you options depending on your budget and timeframe.

 

Old fixtures – Old fixtures in old plumbing can corrode with time and lose functionality, so they need to be replaced. Examples of fixtures include faucets, shower heads, angle stops, shut-off valves, supply lines to fixtures, and drain traps.

Solution: Hire an honest and trusted professional plumber, like TDT Plumbing, to examine your plumbing system’s fixtures and suggest which fixtures need to be replaced.

 

Lead service line – Houses and buildings constructed before the 1960s often have a lead service line running from the city’s water main beneath the road to your house. These lead service lines are notorious for leaching dangerous levels of lead into your tap water. You should err on the side of caution and have your water tested for lead (and other contaminants).

Solution: Lead service lines are dangerous to your family’s health. Instead of spending a small fortune to have your yard dug up, the service line pulled out and replaced, we highly recommend a whole house ePIPE. This is a patented process that thoroughly cleans the pipe system and then applies a strong epoxy barrier coating inside the pipes to prevent the water from touching the pipes, ultimately protecting your water from toxic levels of lead.

 

Weird or unsightly reroutes – You may notice signs of previous reroutes in your kitchen, laundry room or outside. Reroutes are often performed in place of a repipe, so that means that the pipe system was experiencing problems. 

Solution: If you don’t like the way a reroute looks or if you want to make sure the rest of the plumbing is working efficiently, and if you live in southeast Texas, please contact us. We can assess the reroute for a low fee and provide our professional advice about your options.

 

 

If you currently live or plan to live in an old house, make sure you’re educated about the home’s old plumbing. The types of pipes, where they’re located, how old they are, their diameters and the plumbing’s repair history are all important details to know.

We suggest you have the old plumbing inspected by a trusted plumbing team, such as TDT Plumbing, and have annual or biannual maintenance (such as cleaning the interior of the pipes) on all of the pipe systems within the house to ensure maximum efficiency and minimal probability of problems. We hope you utilize this advice or give us a call to prevent old house plumbing problems.

 

 

Please contact me, Vic Caso, to learn more about how we can help!

Vic Caso

Vcaso@tdtplumbing.com

713-697-2088


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