5 Plumbing Problems We See In Older Homes
Older homes come with a special type of charm but they also can come with unaddressed plumbing problems. If you are thinking of buying an older home or a home that is being sold “as-is”, a very good home inspection is highly recommended. We receive a higher number of calls from older Toronto neighbourhoods with mature trees than any other, and that comes with good reason. If you’re looking to jump into the hot Toronto real estate market, be on the lookout for these 5 particular plumbing problems we see in older homes.
1) Obsolete water lines
One of the biggest safety concerns is lead pipes. Long exposure to lead through drinking water can cause a long list of health issues in adults and especially children. Lead water piping was not banned in Canada until 1975. There are still a lot of neighbourhoods in Toronto that have lead water lines leading into the home from the City side. It is important to check for this when doing an initial home inspection as all lead piping should be changed before you plan to drink the water.
2) Weakening sewer lines
Clay was primarily used (and made!) in Toronto for use as drainage piping up until 1980. Since clay is made from natural products, it does degrade over time. It can develop cracks, shifts and even collapse in on itself due to its brittle nature once it ages. Clay drainage piping is also notorious for having root blockages. This is because tiny roots can make their way through cracks looking for the water and grow unattended for years. Eventually they can cause catastrophic back ups. Make sure that your home inspection includes a main drain camera inspection to check the quality of your drains!
3) Clogged drains
Older homes have older drains and thus there is the potential for more plumbing problems. If the drain lines haven’t been modernized to a newer material or retrofitted in any way, the sheer age of the pipes may cause you issues. If you have reoccurring back ups, that is a big sign that there is more going on and best to call in a professional to help investigate the issue.
4) Strange plumbing
Additions and renovations are often the cause when we see strange plumbing problems. Contractors often end up doing what is cheap and easy, but not what is correct. These types of issues are harder to investigate as your plumbing is hidden behind walls. A practiced plumber will know what to look for.
5) Outdated fixtures
While vintage faucets and sinks may look dreamy, they often cannot stand up to time itself. You can expect plumbing problems like leaks, cracks and even broken handles. The interior components on vintage fixtures are also harder to find and replace.
If you are in the market for an older home or have purchased one, do not forget to check the plumbing! If you are having issues and need an expert, the professional plumbers at Trouble Shooters are ready to help solve any plumbing problems.