If you love the idea of living in an older home, you may find yourself struggling with some of the construction materials used prior to many regulations put into place. Plumbing repairs in an older home are projects that should be considered a job for an experienced plumber. For a DIY homeowner, you may find that what appears to be a simple plumbing project is an expensive nightmare. Here are a few reasons to contact one of the local plumbing services to work on the pipes and drains in your old home.
Corroded Galvanized Water Lines
Many older homes were constructed with galvanized water pipes. These pipes corrode and can build up material that restricts the water flow. Some of the corrosion can break off and completely clog a pipe. If you have poor water pressure, or have notice it getting weaker over time, you may have clogged galvanized pipes.
If past plumbing work was done on the pipes, instead of replacing the entire system, another DIY homeowner may have decided to replace only portions of the pipe that they suspected were most corroded. This leaves you with a variety of pipes in different states of corrosion.
Another problem is if the homeowner replaced sections of the galvanized pipe with newer copper pipe. Attaching two pipes made of different metals creates a situation that increases corrosion. A special connector, called a dielectric coupling, is available to negate this effect, and if it wasn't used in your plumbing, you'll continue to have corrosion problems.
Fragile Sewer Lines
Sewer lines used to be made of clay or cast iron. Both of these old materials can be a problem. Clay is easily penetrated by tree roots over the years. Cast iron rusts, creating a build up of corrosion. They both can become blocked, requiring an expensive excavation of your yard, and perhaps the driveway and sidewalks.
It may be tempting to try to unclog a sewer drain yourself with a plumber's snake. Weakened sewer pipes can be easy to break through with a snake. This is one case where you should consider having a professional work on the plumbing.
One pro-active option is to hire a service to inspect the pipe with a sewer camera. The service can visualize and record potential problems in the sewer pipes. While these devices can be rented, you need to know what you're looking at to interpret the results correctly.
Many homeowners like saving money by doing the work themselves. In older homes, the plumbing challenges can be substantial, resulting in a higher repair bill than expected. Contact a local plumber to evaluate the plumbing work before you lift a pipe wrench. You may decide that the best plan is to have plumbing services take on the risk of repairing your ancient water and sewer pipes.