Owning and restoring a vintage home is always fun. No matter if you are living in a home that has been passed down through the generations or you have just bought a vintage home, this is a project you are never going to regret taking on. Still, just like with any other home, there are many things that can go wrong and give you hard time. Plumbing issues sure are one of them. Right because of this, we have come up with most common issues with vintage homes. Make sure you check them all out and learn how to deal with them.

Frozen and Failing Fixtures

It does not come as much of a surprise to say that older plumbing fixtures tend to be worn out. And there are few things worn out fixtures can lead to. First of all, worn-out valves can fail in showerheads and faucets. Also, rust can build up quite a lot and seize outdoor spigots. Another issue you might face is having shut-off valves frozen in place. It’s also important to mention that in the time when most of the toilets in this type of homes have been made, strains on local water supply were not an issue. That is why many new owners of old houses tend to replace their toilets with the ones with lower flush volumes. Water heaters are the fixture that tends to fail the most. It is no wonder this happens since these run hot water constantly. Just bear in mind that they have a lifespan of 20-30 years.

Different Pipe Materials

Galvanized steel was the material that has been used for pipes in most of the homes build until 1970s. They were coated with zinc, and because of the presence of the non-reactive lining they were thought to be immune from rusting. Still, over the time, it has been proven that zinc coating wears away after around 40 years. This results in narrowing the inner diameter and quite often even mudding the outflow from both faucets and showerheads. So, if your home has been built before 1970s, it’s a good idea to have all the pipes checked out. The best way to do this is to have a local plumber take a look at all the pipes in your home.

Old Pipe Materials

Pipes inside of your home aren’t the only thing the can cause you much problem. There are also pipes running under your yard and going to the sewer system. When it comes to vintage homes, these pipes can be made out of clay, iron or concrete. Cast iron in an option that has been used since the 1800s. Pipes made out of this material have a century-long lifespan but they tend to leak and get weaker over time. When it comes to clay pipes, they are susceptible to both crumbling as well as root intrusion that can cause severe back-ups. And concrete pipes can fail in less than 20 years if put into an acidic environment. Having all of this in mind, getting all the pipes in your yard checked out and opting for pipe relining if a need presents itself is never a bad option.

WHISTORY01 The Ames-Westbrook home will be on the Old Riverside Foundation Vintage Home Tour on May 14. (04/26/2011, NANCY PARRISH / Submitted to The Press-Enterprise)

These 3 plumbing issues are something a large number of vintage homeowners will eventually have to face. Just make sure you get everything fixed as soon as possible in order to reduce the damage plumbing can have on the rest of your home.