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If Your Home Is Older Than 50, Watch Out For These Plumbing Problems

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Older homes have plenty of charm. However, many of them also come with their own share of issues. Plumbing issues, in particular, are concerning because if you do not detect them in time, they can cause flooding, exposure to sewage, and more. So what plumbing issues should you look for in a home that's 50 years old or older? The following are the key ones.

1. Original Plumbing Fixtures

Take a look at the sink fixtures and showerheads. Do they look a little plain, mineral-covered, and, well, old?  Old fixtures are more than just ugly; they make you more likely to have to deal with leaks and other plumbing issues. If the seals wear out, your fixtures may leak, and even a slow leak can waste thousands of gallons of water per year. Many of these older fixtures are so clogged with minerals on the inside that they only let water flow out at low pressure. A plumber can easily replace your fixtures with new, clean, water-conserving ones to save you on your water bill and make your life more comfortable.

2. Galvanized Pipes

Plumbers have changed pipe materials a few times over the years. For a long time, they used lead pipes, before it was discovered that lead poisoning was so dangerous. Then, they switched to galvanized steel. This is what you'll see in a lot of homes around age 50. Galvanized steel was coated in zinc to keep it from rusting, but after years of use, that zinc wears away and the pipes start to rust. Then, leaks become likely. If your pipes are steel-colored, and not copper or PVC, have a plumber come take a look. They'll likely recommend re-piping the home, if not immediately, then in the next few years.

3. Crushed or Damaged Sewer Mains

The sewer main is the big pipe that stretches from your house to the public sewer line. Fifty years ago, many of these lines were made from clay. Now, many of those clay lines are either partially crushed, or they're beginning to be invaded by tree roots. Either issue can cause the sewage to back up in your home, making a huge mess. A plumber can send a camera down into your sewer line to check its condition. If they discover problems, they'll likely recommend having this pipe replaced.

The 1970s and decades before it all had their own beauty, but the plumbing left behind from this era doesn't work so well anymore. If you have an older home, keep an eye out for the troubles above.

For more information, contact a residential plumbing service in your area.


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