7 Most Common Plumbing Issues In Old Houses

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Houses that are decades old have an enchanting aura, and their sturdy construction speaks volumes. But ignoring a few hidden issues would be a huge mistake.

Plumbing issues, in particular, can be minor or critical. So, we would recommend you get a sound knowledge of these issues in old houses and fix them pronto.


  • Low Water Pressure


If the water pressure seems low, check if the system has a pressure regulator a.k.a pressure-reducing valve (PRV). Low water pressure is usually due to a faulty pressure regulator. You can either repair it yourself (it’s quick and fun) or call a professional.

If you can’t find the regulator, don’t worry. Back in the day, most of the homes weren’t equipped with it. If this is the case with your house too, installing a pressure regulator is a must-do as it protects your pipes by maintaining the water pressure at a safe level.

Bonus: Pair your pressure regulator with a water leak sensor system to minimize wastage.


  • Corrosion


Well, this is a common problem in modern households and therefore, an older house is no exception. Corrosion can occur in both metallic and non-metallic pipes.

Oxygen levels in the water, low pH, turbulence, and several chemical reactions put stress on the pipes and cause them to rust. Eventually, the pipes get thinner resulting in cracks. Different types of corrosion include pitting corrosion, differential aeration corrosion, and crevice corrosion.

Sometimes low water pressure can also be an indicator of corroded pipes.

If your house was built before 1950, and you’re thinking about calling a plumber, then it’s time to call him “now”.


  • Tree Root Intrusion


As underground pipelines are moist, it is natural for tree roots to orient their growth towards them.

Are tree roots strong enough to protrude through the walls of the pipes?

You bet!

Although robust materials like steel last longer than cement, when tree roots try to enter them, the damage, in the long run, can be heavy on the pocket.

The best method to prevent tree root intrusion is to not plant any trees in the plumbing line.


  • Bad Sewer Lines


Sewer lines that were built even before you were born cannot withstand the pressure of modern appliances like dishwashers and washing machines. As a result, they break and often leak water. Trust me, you don’t want that fetid smell in your house.

Trenchless sewer line repair works wonders on shaky sewer lines and the outcome will last for at least half a century. Of course, you’ll have to stay away from clogging your sewer line with trash.


  • Outdated Fixtures


Fixtures are easily replaceable, and early detection will save you from hefty repairing bills in the future.

Upgrading the outdated fixtures should be considered an investment as they aren’t as energy efficient as the present-day fixtures.

Technicians are well-versed with the current designs of fixtures, and you can expect better service from them when your fixtures are upgraded and not straight from the 1920s.


  • Obsolete Materials


The plumbing industry has come a long way, and more efficient materials have been discovered.

Until 1970, galvanized pipes were a popular choice. The toxicity of their lead service lines caused a halt in their production.

Polybutylene pipes, despite being widely used during the 1980s, had to be discontinued as they were revealed to cause property damage.

You may have to completely replace these obsolete materials with PVC. That sounds tedious but is worth every penny.


  • Pipe Bellies


A pipe belly or sag is mainly caused due to geographical changes like shifting in the soil. As the soil layers move, the pipe will also lose its original inclination and develop a belly.

Metal pipes are as vulnerable as plastic pipes in developing bellies. Don’t believe if anyone tells you pipe bellies don’t have real consequences. As the condition of the pipe deteriorates, the belly is blocked with refuse and water flow tampers.

To fix this, simply replace the damaged portions of the pipe.



We hope this list helps you notice plumbing problems in your home as quickly as possible. Always, reach out to a licensed professional, and don’t forget to run regular checks on your house’s plumbing line.


I live in the sunshine state also known as Florida. I have a passion for fashion and makeup because it's an art and people can express them selves. Instagram @royalbeautynerd

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