New isn’t always better. Age should not necessarily be a reason to avoid moving into your dream house. And if you have been living in the same home for several decades and continue to be comfortable there, then why upgrade or downgrade to something else?
However, older houses do come with complications for the home services industry, and nowhere is this more apparent than when dealing with plumbing. Given all the advances that have occurred in the plumbing industry in the last few decades alone, it’s no wonder that sometimes it’s difficult for older equipment to keep up—especially taking into account the changing needs of your household and the general wear and tear that occurs in any home over the years. Fortunately, All City Plumbing is here to help. Keep reading for our list of the top five plumbing problems to watch out for in older homes, and remember that our plumbers have the training, tools, and experience to get the job done in old and new houses alike.
The 5 Most Common Plumbing Problems in Old Houses
If your home is over 30 years old, there’s a good chance it was constructed with piping materials that are widely considered defective today. The most extreme of these was lead, which was first restricted in the 1920s though not banned outright until 1986. However, as dangerous as lead is, it is far less common than galvanized steel—the type of pipe that replaced lead as the most popular option until the 1960s. Coated in a thick layer of zinc to protect your pipes, galvanized steel was later found to be extremely corrosive, leading to elevated levels of rust in drinking water. Later, after galvanized steel fell out of fashion, polybutylene became the chosen pipe material of the moment. Though it first appeared in the 1970s, polybutylene was the standard in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. Unfortunately, it eventually came to light that the plastic these pipes were made of did not react well with the chemicals in most municipal water systems, leading them to break down and crack years before they should have. Fortunately, All City Plumbing provides expert repiping service, in order to upgrade your home to durable PEX piping that will last for decades and decades.
As your home shifts and settles over time, the pipes underneath your house may start to slope, or “belly,” restricting water flow and causing blockages and leaks. In the case of your drain and sewer lines, this can result in toxic wastewater seeping into your home or yard, causing a huge mess and posing a major hazard. Bellies can also result in slab leaks, in which water seeps through your home’s foundation, leading to extreme property damage. Make sure to watch out for signs of pope bellies, such as slow drains, frequent back-ups, nasty smells, and lush, green patches around your yards. If you suspect you’re dealing with a bellied line under your home, call All City Plumbing right away for leak detection. Our drain and sewer pros can identify the exact section of piping where the issue is occurring, and even offer slab leak rerouting to prevent the problem from occurring again in the future.
Root Intrusion/Faulty Sewer Lines
Your sewer lines may be out of sight, but they should never be out of mind. In addition to bellying, your sewer system will likely face many more challenges the older your home gets. This may include sediment build-up and clogs in your lines, as well as tree root intrusion. Root intrusion occurs when the trees (or shrubs) in your yard use the moisture from your sewer lines as a kind of natural fertilizer, growing around and even into the lines. This can result in severe clogs and sewer water leaks, making root intrusion a serious problem. Watch out for the same signs listed above to detect root intrusion and other sewer line problems, and do not hesitate to call All City Plumbing for a sewer camera inspection. If we see an issue in one of your lines, our professionals can offer cutting-edge trenchless sewer line repair and replacement, allowing us to get your sewer system up and running again with minimal disruption to your property.
In addition to lacking in style, outdated plumbing fixtures and connections also pose a more serious risk of falling apart, causing leaking and even flooding. This is especially common when significant amounts of limescale have built up on your fixtures over time. Luckily, All City Plumbing offers comprehensive faucet, fixture, and sink service to suit all your needs. We also provide toilet repair and replacement, if you are constantly dealing with clogs. And to cut down on the amount of limescale residue on your fixtures, we highly recommend installing a top-of-the-line water softener, capable of reducing the effects of hard, minerally water and improving its taste at the same time.
Few things can screw up your plumbing system as badly in the long run as improper repairs and installations. An amateur that does not know how to make the proper connections or uses the wrong equipment to fix problems can pretty much screw up your system for years to come. The good news is that All City Plumbing is here to correct all of those repair and replacement mistakes. Our skilled and licensed plumbers are fully capable of handling all major plumbing parts and components, and with a reputation for getting the job done right, you always know you’re getting the very best when you hire All City Plumbing.