Buying old homes instead of brand-new ones is the cheapest alternative to owning a house. Doing so has many advantages, including good foundations, established properties and charm, but these older homes do sometimes hide plumbing problems due to their age.

Common Plumbing Issues in Old Homes 
Pipes Reaching the End of their Lifespan

Supply pipes that are under constant pressure are the most likely to cause damage when they leak. Most supply pipe materials are designed to last 70-100 years. However, if you live in a hard water area or the pipes have not been serviced for years, the numbers can significantly decrease.

As such, look at when your home was built as well as the last time the pipes were serviced or upgraded.

Tree Root Damage

Damage caused by large and growing tree roots can be a huge issue on properties, especially if it is planted near the plumbing system. Tree root damage can cause serious problems for drainage and sewerage pipes.

Pipe Corrosion

Galvanised pipes were mostly used before the 1950's. So, if your home is from this time period or before, it is worth checking to see if they have been replaced or upgraded. Chances are the original pipes are still in place and are already worn out, making it prone to pinhole leaks and corrosion. 

What Can You Do About These Plumbing Issues?
  • Before purchasing, make sure you get a thorough building inspection that includes an extensive check of the plumbing system. Many building inspectors are not plumbing experts, so we strongly suggest getting a qualified plumber in to look everything over, too. Trust us. You would rather spend a little on a plumber now than a whole lot more later when larger and more expensive problems arise.
  • Already in your home? Check out the drainage diagram that should have been in your purchase paperwork. If it is not there, your local council should be able to provide them. They are an invaluable tool to help you see where things are and what changes have been made to the drainage.
  • Check your drainage diagram for updates. If your home has had renovations done by the previous owner that are not shown on the diagram, this is a red flag that corners may have been cut or unlicensed plumbers may have been used. Definitely worth investigating.
  • Get a drainage inspection if you haven't had one in a while. Using CCTV we can check over your entire drainage system to potentially pick up small issues before they have the chance to get worse, including the beginnings of corrosion and pipe damage, as well as keep an eye on older pipes so you know if you still have a few more years before needing to replace.

There is a lot to love about old homes, and with a little TLC and monitoring, you can look forward to many more years enjoying yours. As such, get in touch with Level Plumbing Canberra today at (02) 6188 6088 and book a plumbing system inspection with us.