What You Need to Know When Buying an Older Home
A well-kept older home is visually appealing. With historical features, these homes can be charming and alluring. However, there could be a whole range of repairs behind the facade of older homes that need your attention.
One of the most common complaints in older homes are plumbing problems. It’s essential to understand and know about these potential problems before you make a purchasing decision.
Plumbing Problems in Older Homes
Dealing with plumbing issues is challenging. Sometimes, the old equipment is not able to keep up with the changing needs of the home. The general wear and tear that occurs in all homes also play a role in causing a plumbing problem.
Here are some common plumbing problems that you must know about if you’re considering buying an old home.
Lead and galvanized steel was the most commonly used piping materials in homes built around the 1960s or earlier. Though galvanized pipes are not used anymore, they are still found in older homes.
In galvanized piping, the iron pipes were coated with a thick layer of zinc. Galvanized pipes tend to rust over time and were found to be highly corrosive. Some common issues with galvanized piping are discolored water due to the rusting or corrosion of pipes, low water pressure, etc. (Taylor, 2021)
In the 1970s, polybutylene pipes were considered a replacement for galvanized pipes. However, it was observed that due to a chemical reaction of the plastic with water, these pipes became brittle, cracked, and broke down much earlier than expected.
Sewer lines may be out of sight, but these can cause some major plumbing problems in older homes. Today sewer lines see heavy use, primarily as we use several modern appliances often. The sewer system may not withstand this usage in older homes, making them more susceptible to failure. Older homes may also face challenges like shifting the sewer lines, clogs or leaks due to root intrusion, etc.
Due to a home’s gradual movement over the years, the pipes beneath the older homes may tend to slope. If these pipes shift downwards, they could create a negative slope or “belly’, leading to restricted water flow. If left unattended, this could develop pools that accumulate sediment or waste, eventually leading to leaks or blockages.
Outdated Plumbing Fixtures
Over time older fixtures like faucets, washers, valves, etc., wear out. As they corrode, they pose a risk of falling apart. Also, the general wear and tear of these outdated fixtures could cause problems like leaks, restricted water flow, and in some cases, even lead to extensive property damage. (The Pinnacle List)
Improper Installation and Maintenance
While plumbing problems in older homes are inevitable, it’s most important to know how these problems were fixed. Were these problems handled by an owner who took it up as a DIY project, or did an experienced plumber fix the problem? The wrong choice of products or solutions or an improper installation can have far-reaching effects. It’s always a good idea to have a professional plumber assess the plumbing issue and take care of it.
When to Call a Professional Plumber
While purchasing an old home has many benefits, it also has its share of complications. It’s advisable to have a professional plumbing contractor conduct a thorough inspection and identify concerns that could cause worry in the future.
What TDT Plumbing Offers You
Each home is different and so are its plumbing needs. At TDT Plumbing, we offer plumbing solutions best suited to the requirements of your home and family. Whether it’s aging, corroded, or clogged plumbing pipes in your home, we’re here to help. TDT Plumbing’s highly trained, licensed, and experienced team will give you new, long-lasting plumbing and peace of mind.
We have the know-how and resources necessary to complete all types of plumbing repairs. For minor or major repair jobs in your home, we begin each service with a comprehensive inspection. This enables us to provide an accurate, written estimate for our services before we start working.
With our up-front pricing, we’re proud to be the trusted company that Houston residents turn to for all of their plumbing repair needs. Call us at (713) 697-2088 or contact us to know more about our services. We’re happy to help.
Taylor, Glenda. “5 Types of Plumbing Pipes You’ll Find in Homes.” Bob Vila, 10 Feb. 2021,
The Pinnacle List. “7 Plumbing Problems That Are Common in Old Homes.” The Pinnacle List,