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Historic Home Plumbing

Posted on 08/09/2021 to Researching Your Home
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The plumbing of a house is very important and can play a big role in decision making of the home you decide to purchase or not. Even more so when it is a historic home because back in the day, the homes had piping that today we have learned causes a lot of issues and could become something that turns out to be very expensive. Below are the different issues you can face with the pipes in an old home.

5 Common Plumbing Problems in Old Houses:

1. Galvanized pipes. These were commonly used in American houses built before the 1960's. Galvanized pipes are made from iron and coated in zinc. Over time, the zinc erodes, leading to corrosion and breakages. Once the pipes are compromised, both the water pressure and quality deteriorate. Often the only solution is to replace the damaged sections of piping.

2. Polybutylene pipes. These were common in homes built from the late 70’s to early 90’s, due mainly to their affordability. However, these pipes have the tendency to react with oxidants in water over time, causing them to weaken and fail.

3. Previous bad repairs. When you get an old house, you are basically inheriting it from one or more previous owners. The quality of earlier repairs and plumbing work can therefore be variable. Due to previous owners avoiding the expense of employing a professional plumber, it is not unusual for to discover inadequate or bungled plumbing that will require more permanent solutions.

4. Pipe bellies. The earth underneath houses are rarely completely static. Over time, the shifting around can cause the house's pipes to buckle or bow. These bends are known as "pipe bellies" and can interrupt the flow of water causing blockages.

5. Old fixtures. Original fixtures such as faucets, valves, spigots, and handles are often compromised in an old house, due to years of wear. This can result in leaks, bad smells, and inflated utility bills. Often the only solution is to replace the worn fixtures.

4 DIY PlumbingTips:

• Always turn off the water main before attempting a plumbing repair.
• Plumbing is by nature a messy business. Always assume that you will get wet and dirty, and dress appropriately.
• The right preparation and tools are important. Ensure measurements are correct and that you have everything you need before you start your plumbing repairs.
• Always keep a professional plumber's phone number handy in case things go wrong and you need help quickly.

With all that is considered as a pipe issue on a historic home, at the end of the day you have to love and appreciate them with all the issues that can arise. They are not for everyone. However, we recommend always hiring an experienced inspector that is familiar with old homes so that you can gather all the information prior to deciding if you want to move forward.

If you are looking to buy, sell, or have any questions regarding Miami Historic Homes, call 305-986-7041 or fill out the contact form. We would love to connect with you regarding your interest in Historic homes and we specialize in renovating, researching, purchasing or selling Historic Homes in South Florida.

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