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Are you considering buying an older home? If so, we understand. Older homes can be solid. They can come with more acreage, they can be charming and have so much character. Before you enter into that real estate contract, it’s important for you to be aware of the plumbing challenges in older homes. You don’t want to buy an older home blindly, only to realize that you bought a money pit.

If the plumbing has not been redone, the home’s pipes, drains, and sewers may need to be renovated before they can be reliable. For example, if you need to replace the old pipes in a modest two-bedroom home, it can cost you as much as $10,000 depending on how old the home is, and how hard it is to reach the old pipes located in the walls and under the floors of the home.

If you’re smitten with an older home, that’s great but have a professional plumber take a good look at the existing plumbing to inform you of its condition before you make the purchase. Even if you expect to replace the plumbing eventually, it’s still wise to know how much that will cost before you make the investment in the property. This way, you know what you’re getting into.

If you decide to buy an older home and hire a plumber to replace the old plumbing, make sure that all renovations are adequate to bring your house up to code.

Beware of Lead Pipes in Older Homes

Whenever you buy a house, it’s wise to know your pipes, what they’re made of and how long they’re expected to last. In homes built before the 20th century, builders routinely installed lead pipes, which could last about 100 years. Back then, we were not aware of all the negative health effects associated with lead, and how it could leach into a home’s drinking water. If you ever buy an old home, even a historic one, that has lead pipes, have them removed immediately – they are a serious health hazard.

“Homes built before 1986 are more likely to have lead pipes, fixtures, and solder. However, new homes are also at risk: even legally ‘lead-free’ plumbing may contain up to eight percent lead,” according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Since the 1960s, homes have been fitted with copper pipes, galvanized steel, and polybutylene plastic pipes. These days, most plumbers and home builders use newer plastic pipes. While they’re less expensive than copper, they are very durable. If you’re buying an older home that has lead, galvanized or copper pipes, the best solution will likely to replace them with new copper or plastic piping.

Contact us today to schedule a service call with a Pflugerville plumber!