Dreaming of the holidays in your new/new-to-you home? With falling house prices, it may be the right time for first-time homeowners to move from renting to buying. It may also be the right time for others who are looking to trade up or downsize for various reasons.
Many will include a home inspection as a condition of their offer to make sure everything is as it should be and there will be no unwelcome surprises. A home inspection will cover most aspects of the house except for the plumbing. Yet, plumbing is an essential part of a functioning home.
Book an inspection of your entire water and wastewater system with Plumbtech Plumbing. The Barrie-based firm has been serving the plumbing needs of Simcoe County, Muskoka, and Parry Sound areas since 1986.
An experienced plumber will do a walk-through of your new home with you. That way you’ll know if any potential problem areas are hazardous to your health and/or become an issue for leaks in the future.
The age of your plumbing is a major factor. Old waterlines and pipes that are hazardous to your health can still be found in Barrie homes today.
Lead plumbing, for example, may exist in some homes built before 1950. Lead contamination can cause major health conditions such as kidney damage, headaches, high blood pressure, and more. As a result, it will need to be replaced.
Any galvanized pipes, found in homes built before 1960, will also need to be replaced. They too are a health hazard but for a different reason.
Primarily used to deliver fresh water into the house, galvanized pipes and fittings are made from steel and dipped in zinc to prevent rust and corrosion. Unfortunately, galvanized plumbing can break down over time, clog the inside of the pipe and potentially place your drinking water at risk for lead toxins.
Age can be a factor in how long the plumbing lasts. New materials, now the industry standard, have been developed to combat old failing plumbing lines. Plumbing that fails means leaks.
Poly-B piping is one example. It became popular in home plumbing in the late 1970s because it was flexible and easy to install.
It was used up until 1995 in Barrie and elsewhere but fell out of favour because the tubing would become brittle over time, sometimes cracking and leaking particularly in plumbing systems with high chlorine levels. The ‘push-and-turn’ fittings and joints were also prone to leaking.
Once the fitting starts to leak, the entire line will need to be replaced. If the leak is in the cold water line, the hot water line is sure to follow.
Beyond plumbing pipes, leaks can occur in some fittings such as faucets, fixtures such as toilets, and a variety of appliances that use water. Some of it may be obvious – a dripping tap, water pooling on the floor – and some leaks may be hidden from sight.
Electric hot water tanks are not immune to age-related issues. While the life span can range from 10 to 20 years, how long it will last depends on the condition of the water, manufacturer, and quality of the tank. Older tanks can start to leak, damaging any flooring or carpeting, furniture, and anything else that happens to sit on the floor.
If the house has an old laundry tub faucet, some of the water may divert to the floor drain because the washers need to be changed.
All of the above has the potential to add more costs to a home purchase.
For an inspection of your plumbing, call Plumbtech Plumbing at 705-722-7209.