Vancouver: (360) 768-0141 | Portland: (503) 606-8771 | Longview: (360) 326-0477

Plumber Tips: Common Plumbing Problems In Old Homes | Vancouver, WA

vancouver plumbers

When homeowners purchase a new home, they tour the whole house. Some may find it hard to believe that the house was built many years ago because older homes possess unique features, unlike modern buildings. The superior building materials and antique interiors make them more appealing to potential buyers.

Behind the fancy look, these prehistoric homes have some hidden plumbing issues. They may not be original or not up to the latest codes. While some plumbing problems might be obvious, others could be on standby to surprise you when you least expect them. Just like other appliances in your home, plumbing fixtures have a lifespan, and eventually, they will need repairs or replacements by a certified plumber.

Also, with the advances in plumbing technology, they may not keep up with the demands because of changing household needs and wear and tear due to prolonged usage. It would be wise to understand the plumbing layout of the house you plan to purchase. That will help you address plumbing concerns efficiently during the renovation project. Be aware of the following plumbing issues hiding in older homes.

Old Pipe Materials

If your Vancouver, WA home is over 30 years old, there are high chances that plumbing pipes are no longer up to the current building codes. While some homeowners believe that older fixtures are built with quality materials than modern ones, they still wear and tear over time and may even result in costly repairs if left unaddressed.

Old pipes may also have undergone many repairs from recent plumbers or previous homeowners, making them more susceptible to problems. Besides age, you should also check the pipe material used in the older home. They may have pipes that are considered defective in current buildings.

Galvanized and polybutylene pipes are common in ancient houses, and these are the ones that give homeowners headaches. These pipes corrode easily, causing leakage issues. If your home still has outdated plumbing, hire an experienced plumbing company to update them to PEX pipes that are durable.

Tree Root Intrusion

Your plumbing pipes or sewer line may be out of sight, but you should never ignore them. Most old houses have big, beautiful trees surrounding the buildings, and they can be a pain on your sewer line.

Trees in your yard get moisture from the sewer pipes, and their roots over-grow around them and may even penetrate the pipes. It may result in clogs, leaks, or water pressure issues. So, if you experience any of the signs, do not hesitate to call your plumbing professional to conduct plumbing inspections. A plumber can know whether you have a tree root invasion problem and remedy it before it can get worse.


Blockages are the most common plumbing issues that most homeowners face. An old home has many years of draining food waste, soap, and dirty water, and these items can mess with your drainage system.

Clogging usually happens in kitchens, toilets, and bathroom sinks. When you shift to a new home, you may not have an idea of what previous dwellers flushed down the pipes.

Children like flushing foreign objects such as toys and keys as they watch them disappear down the drains. Slow draining sinks is an obvious sign you have a drainage problem. Also, if you experience backflow issues or decreased water pressure, call a plumber to check your drains.

Bad Repairs

Faulty repairs and installations can hurt your plumbing pipes badly. If you plan to buy a home in Vancouver, WA, it does not matter if the house has had repairs but who fixed them. In most cases, older residences often feature projects done by the homeowner or handyman instead of a qualified plumbing professional.

An inexperienced plumber may not have the correct tools or use inappropriate equipment to fix the issue, and that can cause more harm to your plumbing system.

Some house owners may also do shoddy work in a rush to resell a home. Incorrect repairs can result in issues, such as faulty water heaters, leaks, or poorly sloped showers. Therefore, if you reside in an old house with the said plumbing problems, you will need to talk to a plumber to assess the situation and offer a solution.

Pipe Bellies

Also known as pipe sags, bellies are common plumbing issues, especially in aged homes. Underground pipes may develop bellies due to gradual movements or the house settling over time.

The change in the position of pipes can obstruct water flow, which leads to sediments or waste accumulation. If it happens to your sewer line, it can cause waste matter to seep into your house or yard, resulting in an unsightly environment and health problems. They may also cause slab leaks, which lead to a flooded basement or damaged property.

Watch out for issues, such as slow drains, backflows, green patches in the yard, or odd smells. Hire a certified plumber to perform camera inspections and fix pipe bellies.

Worn-Out Fixtures

Plumbing fixtures cannot last forever, and this makes sense if you live in an older home. Damaged pipe fixtures and connections are the main causes of plumbing issues in vintage homes. Water faucets, nozzles, handles, and washers degrade over time.

Apart from being outdated, faulty fixtures are more prone to breaking, which may cause severe leaks or floods. They may also result in high water bills, mold growth, and unpleasant smells. Regular maintenance is the key to preventing such issues in your home. It’s best to hire a professional plumber to replace your plumbing fixtures with new ones that work efficiently.

Low Water Pressure

Water pressure issues are common in older residences because they feature steel pipes that are more susceptible to corrosion. Possible indicators of corroded pipes include frequent clogging and discolored or smelly water.

A blocked water line obstructs water flow to your home, leading to diminished water pressure. A drop in water pressure is not only annoying but also affects the efficiency of your water-based household appliances.

Get Help From a Licensed Plumber

Pilot Plumbing & Drain has provided comprehensive plumbing services in Vancouver, WA, and the surrounding areas for over 15 years. If your house is old, let our professionals come to your home to perform inspections and address your plumbing issues. Our professional plumbers are licensed, precise, and offer prompt and reliable plumbing services. We are ready to help. Call us at any time of the day.

Share This Post
More To Explore
Water Heater Repair Signs

7 Common Signs You Need Water Heater Repair

Maintaining a reliable supply of hot water is essential for daily tasks like showering, dishwashing, cooking, and laundry in Portland, OR. Most homeowners only realize

Pipe Leak Causes
leak detection

Understanding Vancouver Pipe Leak Causes

Every homeowner dreads finding their residence flooded due to pipe leak causes, especially in Vancouver. This mess can cause significant water wastage and the resulting