Hidden Plumbing Issues

Posted by on Oct 3, 2016 in plumbing know how

Hidden Plumbing Issues

Math-B4-AfterHidden Plumbing issues

Below are a list of plumbing issues to look for in your current house or if you’re buying a new house.  People may use quick and cheap alternatives that are hiding more severe plumbing problems.  Look for these plumbing issues around your house:

Keep both eyes open for the following

  • Poor Tiling Job – sometimes people cover up a plumbing problem (like a leaky pipe) by throwing down new flooring.  Is this new flooring just a cover up?  Sometimes you can catch a cover up because of the quick and shoddy workmanship.  People who are trying to hide a more severe problem don’t do quality work.  They just want the eye to pass over the trouble spot; which may be a severe plumbing problem.
  • Bathroom or Kitchen renovations.  Renovations may look beautiful, but may be a warning sign to other electrical or plumbing issues.  This could be especially true for new homebuyers.  If the kitchen has been redone, then buyers (and even inspectors) are impressed by the shiny new details and miss what that new sink may be hiding: a clay sewage system or a broken pipe that the buyer won’t discover until six months after the purchase.  Remember to pay close attention to the bones of a house, not just what’s on the surface.  Our plumbers can inspect your home at any time, even if your are in the process of purchasing a new home, to discover any plumbing issues a general inspector may miss.
  • Obtain a current plumbing drainage diagram.  If you didn’t obtain one with your home’s purchase contract, you can purchase one (money well spent).  This shows whether things have moved (a kitchen sink drainage pipe that may have been moved during a renovation) and other updates.  If you purchase a drainage diagram and there are no updates, be wary, especially in older homes.  When new faucets are hooked up to old piping, short cuts have been taken, and if the previous work that the plumbers did was never documented, it may raise a flag about their plumbing work.
  • The age of the hot water heater may be a plumbing concern.  Note the life of the hot water heater you have (they usually last about 10 years).  And pay attention to signs of aging.  Old and corroded pieces may lead to leaks and floods down the line if you’re not vigilant on an older hot water heater (water detector alarms great at alerting you to plumbing problems).
  • Some pipes running to and from your house may be exposed.  Check these pipes with your fingers to see if they are galvanized (thick, pitted, or rough).  Galvanized pipes need to be replaced.  If you are ever in doubt, call a professional plumber to check your exposed pipes.
  • Check for clay sewer pipes in older homes.  You can do this by checking the base of the downpipe or garden taps for evidence.  If you suspect, or know, you have a clay sewage system call a plumber to come inspect your pipes.  To replace a clay sewer system can cost $5,000-$20,000.  Clay sewer pipes only last for about 50 years and will break – guaranteed.  It’s only a matter of when.
  • Cuts out of the concrete.  If there is a section of concrete that has been cut or replaced in your sidewalk or driveway, chances are someone needed to investigate a drainage issue.  Make sure this issue was taken care of properly, not investigated and given a quick fix or forgotten.
  • Brown tap water.  When water comes out brown temporarily after plumbing work, no need to worry.  But when water consistently comes out of your tap brown, this is usually a sign that inside of the hot water tank is rusting.  A good milage marker for hot water systems is ten years, knowing this will greatly reduce the suddenness of this hidden plumbing issue.  If your system is around this mark and you’re beginning to get discolored water, then be glad of the warning.  Start saving your money.  Your hot water heater is on its last legs and it’s just a matter of time before something breaks or leaks.  Be vigilant for leaks that could cause damage.  A water detector alarm that beeps loudly can signal you before a flood occurs.  These are inexpensive and can be used in many places of the home: behind toilets, under sinks, and anywhere that could alert you to water leakage.

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