Buying an Older Home? Ask About These Common Plumbing Issues
There are many advantages to buying an older home. However, some buyers experience buyer’s remorse when they end up with a property that needs thousands of dollars in repairs. To prevent the need for plumbing services in Alexandria, VA, you should ask about these common plumbing problems before you purchase a home.
Why Does Plumbing Matter So Much?
In an older home, there are many details you should consider. The roof, electric, and HVAC system all could be nearing the end of their lives. With so much to consider, do you really need to be concerned about the plumbing?
The short answer is yes. A plumbing system makes up about 15% of the value of a home. Therefore, the price of the home should reflect the status of the plumbing system. If the plumbing is over 25 years old and has not been well-maintained, you should decrease your offer on the home accordingly.
A major plumbing repair will come at a high cost. If the issue is serious enough, you may need to replace your pipes. You can save yourself from an unexpected repair by working with someone who offers 24 hrs plumbing services. Although a home inspector should delve into the plumbing system, they’re not plumbing experts. The expert may not identify all the faults or find signs of defective pipes.
In addition to working with a home inspector, you should also hire a plumber. Have them assess the plumbing and learn more about the home’s plumbing system. To get a better understanding of how much work your system will need, you should ask a few common issues.
What to Ask Your Plumber
If you hire the right plumber, they’ll know how to identify plumbing problems. But you can always ask these questions to make sure an older home won’t be a money pit when it comes to plumbing.
Does it Have Copper Pipes?
Typically, homes built after 1930 have copper pipes. However, older homes don’t always have copper pipes. Decades ago, people were unaware of the danger of lead. Some homes had copper pipes with lead solders. Unfortunately, lead is toxic and can cause kidney and brain damage. If your prospective home’s pipes contain copper, you will need to replace them.
Replacing your pipes is no simple task, nor is it a cheap fix. But it does add value to your new home. More importantly, replacing your pipes will keep you and your family safe from toxic water.
Are the Sewer Lines Leaking?
One of the biggest plumbing headaches is a broken sewer line. Accessing the lines is difficult, and repairing the damage may be labor-intensive. Because older homes tend to have sewer lines that are in disrepair, you should be sure to ask about the condition of yours.
There are a few issues that could become a serious problem. For instance, the pipes can erode over time and need to be replaced. Another common problem is leaking at the joints. Even tree roots pose a threat to your plumbing, as they tend to grow into sewer lines.
Plumbing trouble with your sewer line is more than inconvenient. It’s also hazardous to your health. As soon as you notice a sewer line break, you need to call someone for 24 hrs plumbing services. Or, you can have a plumber inspect your lines before it comes to that.
Is the Water Heater Outdated?
Like most home appliances, a water heater doesn’t last forever. In fact, it only has a lifespan of about eight to twelve years. Getting a replacement heater will cost you money, but keeping an outdated heater could cost you even more.
There are two reasons for this. First, old heaters need frequent repairs. As you get on a first-name basis with the plumber, you’ll be shelling out money for repairs. Secondly, old units are not energy-efficient. Your energy bill could be high, all as a result of your old water heater.
To save money on your utility bill and prevent repairs, you may need a new water heater. Ask your plumber what they think of the existing heater and if they have any recommendations for a new, more efficient model. Be sure to consider all of the options, such as tankless water heaters and hybrids.
Should I Replace the Toilets and Other Appliances?
Your water heater isn’t the only appliance you should ask a plumber about. If there are any other appliances that depend on water, you should have a plumber inspect them. This includes your dishwasher and toilets.
Much like your water heater, your toilet or dishwasher could be extremely inefficient. If you don’t replace them, you might end up with an older home that has high energy bills. There’s another benefit to having these items inspected. During the inspection, your plumber might identify a serious leak or issue with your plumbing. Once again, your thoroughness could save you from spending too much on a home.
Did the Previous Owner Do DIY Fixes?
You can ask this question to the current homeowner, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll answer it with honesty. Hoping to save money, some property owners attempt DIY plumbing repairs. But this is bad news for any future owners. Typically, DIY repairs are not done properly. They also aren’t always up to code, which could create trouble for you.
As a plumber inspects your system, they might notice some unusual details. Those details could indicate that DIY plumbing work was done. You may need to put money into your home to get the plumbing up to code and working well.
Do You Need Plumbing Services in Alexandria, VA?
If you’re buying an older home, you should take a closer look at the plumbing system. But you’re not alone, and you can trust a reputable plumber to inspect your home’s plumbing. When you see the results of the inspection, you might change your mind about the purchase or decide to make a lower offer on the home.
Are you looking for someone you can trust with plumbing service in Alexandria, VA? Call us at Cardinal Plumbing to learn more.