Plumbing is one of the more “hidden” systems in a house, so it can often be hard to tell if there is a problem until it becomes serious. Correcting a problem with your home’s plumbing can be costly because it often requires opening the walls or digging to get to the pipes. If you take care to maintain your plumbing systems regularly, you can prevent expensive repairs later. However, it’s easy to forget about your plumbing unless something isn’t working. Here are some of the most frequent plumbing issues I come across during home inspections.
Main Plumbing System
1. Cast Iron Sewer Line that Cysts or is Cracked
Like all piping, cast iron has a life expectancy. Cast iron is expected to last up to 50 years. Most of this plumbing has reached or is beyond its expected lifespan. The inside of the pipe rusts through leaving weak areas. The sewage will start to seep out in these areas known as cysts. The cast iron is also known to crack along the seam. Most of the time, this seam is faced up and you will not see the leaks, but will smell the sewer gases.
2. Leaky Trap Under the Sink
Traps are made to be held together with pressure fittings. When these fittings are not put together correctly, they will leak. Silicone caulking or glue should not be used to fix this leak. The fittings should be properly installed.
1. Sink Stopper Not Functioning Properly or Disconnected
The stopper in the sink tends to be disconnected, missing, or so full of hair you can’t operate the lever. Most times people take them out because they don’t want them catching hair and clogging.
2. Bathtub Fixtures are Loose and Leaking Through Wall
The faucet and handle should be tight against the bath surround to prevent water from running behind. If it is not, sealed water will enter and cause rot and mold over time.
Sometimes a plumbing issue has a simple solution, while other times it can lead to catastrophic damage to your home. Hidden leaks could cause mold or rotting, so it’s important to maintain your home regularly to protect it from future issues. While it’s easy to forget about maintaining the concealed systems in your home like plumbing and ductwork, they are also some of the most important parts of your home.