Buying new isn’t always the best way to go, and age should not be the reason you don’t buy a home that could become your dream home. If you are already living in your dream home, and you and your family are comfortable, there’s no reason to move to something newer just because your home is having common plumbing issues.

Older can be great, but it might also come with a few complications. One of the main areas of an older house is its plumbing. The plumbing industry has experienced a lot of improvements in the last few decades, so an older house may not have kept up with these advancements. Plumbing is one of the most used areas in a house, and all equipment will begin to show its wear and tear over the years.

If you live in an older house or are considering the purchase of an older house, these are some of the top plumbing issues you could experience.

Common Plumbing Issues in Old Houses;

1. Pipe Bellies

When pipes are buried underneath a house, they are either encased in concrete slabs or buried in the ground. These types of installation cause the pipes to be affected when the house shifts over time or its gradual movement. If these pipes shift downwards a negative slope is created, or what is known as a “belly.”

A belly in the pipes will restrict the flow of water and create a pool that collects sediment or waste. If these bellies are left unattended, they will stop the flow of water completely.

2. Outdated Connections and Fixtures

Plumbing fixtures, faucets, and supply line connections will not last forever. These fixtures and lines will begin to show wear and tear over time by corroding which leads to restricted water flow. Over time these fixtures will begin to leak, and knobs will break that make using water in the house an inconvenience or possibly a disaster.

For some people, “getting by” is tried, but the problem with this concept is failing plumbing often breaks down at the worst possible times. The worst times could result in a flooded home when you return home from work, vacation, or any time you leave home for any length of time. If you have outdated connections and fixtures, contact B&L Plumbing Service to replace them before you experience a disaster.

3. Old Pipes

If a home was built before 1990 there is the possibility it has pipes made from materials that are no longer approved in building codes. Some homes have replaced these pipes during renovations, but if your house was built before this time, you should have B&L Plumbing Service inspect to make sure you have no surprises from your pipes.

Three of the outdated plumbing pipes that could potentially be in your home include:

  • Galvanized galvanized pipes were often used in a home built before the 1960s and are made of iron with a coat of zinc. The zinc will erode over time and leave the pipe susceptible to breakage and corrosion. 
  • Polybutylene – When polybutylene appeared in the 1970s it was considered “the pipe of the future.” It was to replace copper lines and was used throughout the 1980s, however, the pipes were declared defective.
  • Lead Lead was commonly used for main water lines and sewer lines. Lead is one of the oldest metals used in piping. This material was thought to be great for plumbing pipes because of its durability and malleability, however, lead is highly toxic which has serious health effects for those using water from lead pipes. 

4. Failed Sewer Lines

Sewer lines are buried and out of sight, so they are often not thought about until the lines fail. Sewage will begin to seep into the ground, or you could experience foul-smelling wastewater backing up into your house. Sewer lines in a house see heavy use, and in older houses, they were built before garbage disposals, dishwashers, and when toilets forced much more water down them. An older house can also have problems with sewer lines that have shifted or have been damaged by tree roots.

Where to Learn More About Common Plumbing Issues in Old Houses

B&L Plumbing Service has served the Kansas City area since 1998. We can solve all your plumbing challenges with our professional, dedicated plumbers available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. We offer both residential and commercial plumbing services and will arrive when you need us. If you are experiencing common plumbing issues in your house, we can inspect your plumbing system to ensure everything is working effectively.