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Preventing Plumbing Problems In Older Homes

If you’re considering buying or renovating an older home it’s important to understand the problems that older plumbing systems can present. Many times pipes, sewer and drain lines and fixtures will require upgrades to operate reliably. Before buying an older home, it’s a good idea to have a professional plumber inspect the home to ensure it is up to code.

Pipe Inspections

Prior to the early 20th century, lead pipes were common in American homes. Because lead can leach into the water supply, they should be replaced. In the 1960s, galvanized steel was a popular pipe material. because they have a lifespan of around 40 years, they should be replaced to prevent leaks. Polybutylene plastic pipes were popular in the 1970s, 1980s and into the 1990s. Because they can become brittle and are prone to breaking, they should be replaced.

Sewer and Drain Lines

One of the most common problems with older sewer lines is tree root intrusion. Once a sewer line has been damaged, it’s only a matter of time before it completely fails. For this reason, older homes should have regular sewer and drain line inspections.

Other areas that should be inspected in older homes include:

  • Roof vents
  • Floor drains
  • Toilets
  • Water heaters
  • Disposals
  • Washing machine hoses


Have questions about the plumbing in your older home? Call ABC, we can help with plumbing inspections, repairs and upgrades.

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