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10 Old House Common Plumbing Problems


Older homes are more susceptible to plumbing issues because of the wear and tear that happens over time. Not to mention, outdated plumbing systems are often not up to code, which can create several problems.

If you live in an old house, you should be aware of the most common plumbing problems so you can address them quickly if they arise. This way, you can avoid extensive damage and costly repairs.

It is also essential to have a professional inspect your home’s plumbing system regularly to ensure everything is in working order.

We’ve listed some of the most common plumbing problems in old houses. Feel free to use this as a reference in case you encounter such issues.

common plumbing issues

Dripping Faucets

At first sight, dripping faucets may not seem like a big deal. But if left unaddressed, a single faucet can waste a lot of water (and money).

Let’s say your leaky faucet drips at a rate of one drip per second. It might not seem like much, but it adds up to 86,400 drips daily.

A dripping faucet like such equals 5.7 gallons of wasted water each day, which is over 2,000 gallons per year! It will cause your water bill to skyrocket and also damage our natural resources.

Also, leaky faucets can damage metal pipes because the water that drips out can cause corrosion.

Whether it is a bathroom faucet, kitchen sink, or outdoor spigot, fix a dripping faucet as soon as possible. While this problem can be fixed by homeowners with an experience in basic plumbing, we recommend calling a professional if you’re unsure how to fix leaking faucets.

However, simple repairs may not be enough due to more complicated issues such as having a worn valve seat, a damaged washer, or a broken supply line.

Slow Draining Sink

A sink drain is important in your home’s plumbing system by carrying wastewater away. So when it starts to drain slowly, it’s a clear sign that something is wrong.

A slow drain can be because of sewer line problems, a blockage in the drain, or simply a build-up of soap scum and hair. Many homeowners try to fix this problem by using a plunger or a chemical drain cleaner. It might provide temporary relief, but it’s not a permanent solution.

If you have done all the quick-fix solutions and your sink is still draining slowly, then it’s time to call a licensed plumber. They can quickly diagnose the problem and provide an effective solution. You can also opt to hire drain cleaners as they specialize in this problem. They will be able to remove standing water and address issues from slow drains.

Running Toilet

Like the water dripping issue, a running toilet can waste a lot of water if left unaddressed. A toilet bowl with continuous running water can waste up to 30 gallons daily, which is significantly higher than the drip issue.

You can check if the stopper is too worn out and should be replaced. Also, ensure that the chain connecting the flapper to the handle is the appropriate length. If it’s too long, it can get tangled and prevent the flapper from sealing the hole properly. If you’re uncomfortable making these repairs, a professional plumber can help.

Clogged Drains

It can be single or multiple drains in your home, but a clog is a clog. A clogged drain can cause several problems, from bad odors to flooding.

While it may seem something any homeowner can do, it is a bit unsanitary, especially when clogged toilets are involved. Plumbers have the proper tools and equipment to unclog drains without making too much mess.

Clogged pipes are located behind the plaster or drywall which makes it nearly impossible for a homeowner to access them. When drain clogs become severe, it will require the expertise of a professional plumber to locate and fix the issue.

Make sure to consider hiring one, especially for old homes. Fixing this yourself can pose risks such as physical injury and water damage.

Low Water Pressure

Low pressure is arguably one of the most common problems in any home. It can be caused by several factors, from mineral deposits to leaking pipes, or even the water main.

In most cases, it can be fixed with a simple pipe cleaning. But if the water flow is weak even after cleaning the pipes, there’s the right time to call a plumber.

As mentioned, there are several causes of low water pressure. And pinpointing what the problem is can be challenging, especially for homeowners who are not familiar with plumbing. A professional plumber can tell what’s causing the low water pressure and provide an effective solution.

No Hot Water or Faulty Hot Water Heater

Water usage typically increases during winter months as we use hot water for showers, laundry, and dishes. So it’s essential to have a working water heater during these times.

If your water heaters are not working, it might be time for a repair or replacement.

The heating elements in the water heater can corrode over time, which will require a replacement. The lifespan of a water heater can extend beyond 10 years..

That means if you are currently residing in an old home, there’s a chance that the water heater is already beyond its lifespan. In this case, invest in a new water heater as soon as possible to avoid any inconvenience along the way.

Frozen Pipes

It is common during the winter months when cold water can freeze, but it can still happen even during the summer. Frozen pipes can cause the water inside to expand and eventually burst the pipe. It is a serious issue that can cause significant water damage to your home.

Wrapping pipes with insulation is the best action to take to prevent them from freezing. But if it’s too late and the pipes are already frozen, you need to thaw them out as quickly as possible.

To avoid expensive plumbing repairs due to burst pipes and water lines, you should invest in an annual maintenance plan. It will allow you to catch any potential problem before it happens.

Jammed Garbage Disposal

Jammed garbage disposal is when the moving parts of the disposal are either damaged or have become misaligned. As a result, it can no longer operate as it should.

In most cases, a quick fix is needed to fix the problem. But if the damage is severe, you should replace the disposal entirely.

Read the article: Pros and Cons of Having Garbage Disposal

Sewer System Backup

In sewer system backup, sewer lines get clogged, and the water has nowhere to go but back up into your home. It can cause a lot of damage, not to mention the foul odor that comes with it.

It can also pose health risks as the sewage can contain harmful bacteria and viruses. For families with kids, pets, or elderly members, this can be a serious problem.

A sewer system backup should be handled by a professional as it can be dangerous. Opt for a provider that offers plumbing emergency services.

Leaky Pipes

Without a doubt, leaky pipes are one of the most common problems homeowners face. It can be caused by several factors, including corrosion, poor installation, or even a settling foundation.

The good news is that most leaks can be fixed with a simple patch or repair. But if the leak is severe, you need to replace the pipes entirely.

It is best to catch a leak to prevent any serious damage. Check your pipes regularly or have a consistent maintenance plan to detect any potential problems. This is especially for plumbing systems of old homes as they are more susceptible to leaks and other damage.

What’s Next?

professional plumbing fix

Identifying the problem is only the first step. The next thing you need to do is take action and fix the issue before it causes any more damage. Don’t be too overconfident when trying to fix a plumbing issue. If you are not familiar, there’s no shame in calling a professional.

While it might cost you money upfront, it can save you a lot of money in the long run. Plumbing issues that are not fixed as soon as possible can cause more extensive damage that will be more expensive to repair.

Don’t wait for plumbing disasters to happen before taking action. Take preventive measures now so you can avoid any costly repairs in the future.

Have the plan to know what to do when a plumbing issue occurs. It can help minimize the damage and keep your pipes and plumbing system running back to normal in no time.

Need help with a plumbing issue? We’re here for you! Whether having a clogged drain, a clogged toilet, or a leaking pipe, our experts can help. If you are located in Phoenix, contact Phoenix Plumbing & Drain for a free quote. Navigate our website to learn more about our services and how we can help!

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