Old homes look beautiful and have a lot of character, but it’s important to look beneath the surface when buying a house. Failing to uncover details about the plumbing could result in some unpleasant and costly surprises later on. Old homes may need more plumbing repairs than others, so working with a plumber can ensure you identify potential problems before you’re dealing clogged drains or leaky pipes. Here are some of the most common plumbing issues found in old homes.

Plumbing Issues That You’ll Frequently Find in Old Homes

1. Low Water Pressure

Zinc-coated galvanized pipes were popular in homes built before the 1960s. Over time, however, the zinc erodes and the pipes deteriorate. This results in a buildup of sediment, which blocks the water flow, creating low water pressure or no flow at all.

2. Discolored Water

Galvanized pipe deterioration is also typically responsible for water discoloration. If your home has porcelain sinks, you may notice a brown stain, which is caused by the iron released from the deteriorating pipes.

plumber3. Pipe Leaks

Whether your home’s pipes are galvanized, concrete, or cast iron, deterioration and shifts in your home’s foundation weaken the pipe structure. As a result, they are more susceptible to damage and leaks. While a plumber may be able to repair the leaks temporarily, it’s best to replace old pipes to avoid extensive water damage.

4. Drain Stoppages

Over time, these foundation shifts can cause the pipes to change shape as well. This creates dips called “pipe bellies” that make drainage more difficult. Sediment, debris, and water all get trapped in these bellies, leading to clogged drains in your home.

5. Contamination

Many older homes were connected to lead service lines. Even if the service lines have been replaced, the galvanized pipes could still leach lead into your water. Additionally, if the original lines are still in place, any work performed on these lines increases the risk of contamination. Found out if your home was ever connected to a lead service line and if so, have a plumber install a filtration system to protect you and your family.


Whether you already own an older home or you’re considering buying one, an experienced plumber can help you with all your plumbing repair needs. For over 60 years, H&N Plumbing, Heating & Electrical has helped homeowners in Fennimore, WI. Their licensed technicians have the skills and training to perform plumbing, electrical, or heating system installations and repairs, ensuring your home is both safe and efficient. Request a free estimate online or call (888) 822-3258.