Previously we have discussed that plumbing is one home repair that you should almost in all cases have a professional or extremely handy individual on hand to assist you. While there are obviously little maintenance issues that crop up from regular wear and tear, especially if you have an older home, there are more serious issues that should be dealt with as soon as possible. Here are some of the more common plumbing problems that should warrant immediate intention.
1) Galvanized Steel Pipes Corroding and Stopping Up
If you have an older home, one with plumbing from the 1960’s or before, it’s likely that you have galvanized steel pipes. One way to test if they are going is to turn on the hot water. If you have low water pressure, it’s a sign that the hot water pipes are soon to be in need or in need or being replaced. Many experts will say that the entire piping system will need to be replaced, but really all that needs to be replaced are the problematic areas with updated copper or plastic pipe.
It is important to note – if copper piping is being used as a stopgap measure, dielectric coupling is required to stop any corrosion that would be caused by the copper and steel touching. If done by a professional plumber you can be sure it will be done right. But it’s highly possible that a former homeowner might have tried to do a DIY repair on the cheap and that could be part of your problem right there. In any case, you want to make sure that any patches done to your plumbing are done correctly without any chance for corrosion or leakage.
2) Vent Pipes
If you’re experience poor drainage in your sinks, tubs, or appliances connected to the plumbing, it may not be the sewer line. If you live in an older home, it’s also possible that the vent pipes used in the outgoing flow are only 2 inches in diameter. Being only two inches in diameter, slow drainage is very possible, especially with the load that modern appliances put on them. It’s also far more likely for them to be obstructed much more easily. Today, such pipes are usually 3 inches in diameter. If there is a replacement required, you will notice the difference after it’s replaced. You definitely want to be sure that these internal pipes aren’t the problem first.
3) Sewer Line
If your home is connected to a sewer, while the street side is the responsibility of the city or town, the pipe leading to the street is the responsibility of the homeowner. The way to check if anything is wrong is to shut the water off in the house and if the water meter shows there is still water flow, it means that there is very likely a leak somewhere. If it’s determined to not be within the house itself, it could well mean there’s a problem with the sewer line.
A bad sewer line can be a serious problem because it means that you’re wasting water without even realizing it. It’s even worse on the outbound side, as it means that sewage is leaking out underneath your lawn or your driveway, which can cause long-term damage to both.
However, there could just as easily be a plug. One way to check the condition of the pipe is to rent a sewer camera, which can cost between $150-250 a day, but you need a professional to actually understand what you are seeing, which is a somewhat additional cost. Older sewer lines may have to be replaced, and depending on the extent of the damage it could be an extremely expensive repair. However, it could be something fixable within the house itself. If you suspect there’s a problem, it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially if it turns out that it doesn’t mean digging up your property; in many cases you may not. You won’t know unless you look.
If you aren’t connected to a sewer, you’ll want to contact a septic tank expert. (Check with Dale about this)
City Renovations is equipped to deal with all sorts of plumbing problems, with an industry-leading five-year warranty on workmanship. If you are experiencing any sort of worrisome plumbing problem, feel free to give us a call!