Antique houses are often cherished for their unique conventional charm. Those that manage to stand even after decades are made of prohibitively expensive materials and are close to impossible to build in modern construction. The latter is because buyers are not able to put forth such huge investments. However, old houses that need some extra renovations are a great attraction for young buyers as their first houses.

On the other hand, the older houses often have deeper problems under their crown plaster walls. While some of these issues can be minor and easily fixed with little money and time, others can be ticking time bombs. These problems are mostly related to plumbing systems like pipe leaks, drain problems, and more.

Diligent house owners always keep in mind the potential plumbing problems that are unfortunately quite common in a few decades-old homes. Here are a few plumbing problems that you may encounter in an old house, along with their solutions.

Old Homes And Plumbing

Old structures tend to have a distinct allure and character that modern buildings lack. However, they also come with some strong plumbing problems. Even if the house is remodelled from the outside, still the structure of the house is decades old.

Even if the catching details of the house, like crown mouldings and extravagant floors, are appealing, old plumbing can easily be problematic. The plumbing in the homes may be as old as the home structure. Resultantly, old plumbing can cause serious problems and bring a lot of unanticipated costs, especially if the plumbing system was not maintained properly over the years.
Common Plumbing Problems In Old Homes

You can not let go of a charming old home just because it might have some plumbing problems. For every problem, there is a solution, and plumbing problems are no exception. Some of the old home plumbing problems with their solutions are explained below.

Old Pipe Materials

In the 1900s, the materials used in construction were no longer approved by most of the state building codes. However, if the home you are buying was renovated in the last two or three-decade, there is a possibility that all the pipes were changed. To be on the safe side, it is always recommended to get the house plumbing system inspected for potential older pipes and other associated problems.

The three types of outdated pipes old homes can have include;

Lead pipes

Galvanised pipes

Polybutylene pipes


The only possible solution to get rid of old pipe materials is by changing them with new pipes that adhere to modern building codes. Doing this before shifting into your newly bought old home will save you from a lot of rucks and problems.

Pipe Bellies

Pipes in the older construction patterns were installed on the floor of the house or were encased in the concrete slabs. The pipes gradually move and bend by the shifting and changes in the house structure over time. These movements make the pipes bend downwards, creating a curve known as pipe bellies.

These pipe bellies, as expected, hinder the movement of the water through the pipes. Resultantly, the pipe bellies then become home to stagnant water that contains waste and sediment. If left unattended for an intensive period of time, these pipe bellies can cause leaks and structural damage, not to forget the permanent unpleasant smell in the home environment.


The solution to pipe bellies depends on the nature and severity of the problem. Usually, the trenchless pipe bursting is the best repair for this problem. However, you will need a professional plumbers to better assess the severity of the problem and provide the best solutions.

Failing Sewer Lines

Sewer lines are often overlooked and neglected because they are out of sight and buried underground. The only time they are paid attention to is when they fail or when the sewage water seeps into the ground and causes a foul smell in the home.

Sewage lines experience heavy loads, especially in the older homes, as they were potentially laid before the incorporation of modern gadgets (garbage disposal and dishwashers). Hence, the system flushes more water in them. Moreover, the sewage pipes are also suspected of failing if the house has major underground remodelling or due to shifting and blockages by tree roots.

Plumbing system renovation is a permanent solution to the potential threat of sewage system failure in older homes. Trenchless sewer system replacement can be the fastest way to solve a failed sewage problem. This is helpful when you get to know about the problem after shifting into the house.

Outdated Fixtures And Connections

Outdating fixtures and connections are an understood problem old homes can face. Nothing lasts forever, and as the house ages, the faucets, switchboards, fixtures, and other building components start reaching the end of their usable life span. Witnessing general wear and tear and corrosion in the fixtures can block the water flow and cause leaks. This can make the simplest activity of water usage in the house inconvenient at best and a disastrous experience at the worst.


Replacing the old and outdated fixtures and connections with the help of a professional and trained residential plumber is the best solution to the problem.

Author's Bio: 

In conclusion, although the bliss of owning an antique home is unmatched, the accompanying plumbing problems can turn the feeling sour. However, timely identifying these problems and getting them fixed will significantly pay off.