It’s common for older bathrooms to suffer a bit in the style department. But if you’re buying a new home and wondering whether its plumbing was installed by the ancient Romans, it’s probably a good time to call Ohmstead for Rutherford County, North Carolina plumbing services. We’ll help you address some of the most common plumbing problems faced by home-buyers and homeowners.

Before You Buy

A home inspection is required before any purchase, and you should make sure the inspector is one with a reputation for thoroughness. But there are a few things you can check out as you make your way from one property to the next.

  • Check the flush strength of the toilets, listening for odd noises and paying attention to their fill times
  • See what the pipes are made of, since older pipes made of lead, galvanized metal, and polybutylene will each cause problems and are likely to need replacement
  • Check water pressure, clarity, and smell on each faucet
  • Examine the shower head for signs of hard water deposits
  • Look for signs of leaks under sinks and in vanities (discoloration, warping, wet wood)
  • Look for signs of age or leakage on the water heater
  • Look for uneven or soft floors around toilets, dishwashers, and washing machines; that’s often a sign of leaks
  • Look for signs of puddles, mold, and mildew around mains, drains, and in rooms like the basement and bathroom
  • Ask how old the appliances are, and whether their maintenance histories are available


After You Buy

Of course, Murphy’s Law dictates that even the best-intentioned home buyer, the most diligent inspector, and the most scrupulous previous owner still can’t guarantee nothing will go wrong. Here are some other things to keep an eye out for, both before and after you buy.

Sewer Defects

Your personal once-over and the home inspection should have given you an idea of your indoor plumbing’s condition, but it doesn’t always account for the outdoor parts of indoor plumbing. Drainage, mains, and sewers can experience problems too. One of the most common is root incursions, which cause blockages and backups. Another is what’s called a pipe belly, a sagging in the pipe that’s caused by shifting or settling soil.


Old plumbing is prone to clogs due to years of constant use. The stuff that goes down your drain and your toilet builds up over time, especially if the previous owner was in the habit of flushing or draining things that didn’t belong. In extreme cases, replacement of pipes that are causing bottlenecks is a better option than having a plunger — or your plumber’s phone number — close at hand.

Outdated Fixtures

Sometimes old fixtures add to the charm of a place. But what works for a charming bed and breakfast isn’t the best thing for a bathroom that sees daily use. Looks are important, but there are even better reasons to change out older fixtures. They’re less leak-prone and more efficient, too; older toilets, for instance, can use as much as eight gallons per flush, much more than the 1.6 GPF currently mandated by Washington state law.

Outdated Appliances

Your central air, your furnace, and other lager appliances like your water heater and dishwasher won’t last forever. Sellers often balk at replacing older stuff as long as it works well enough for now, since it cuts into the profits from the home sale. But older equipment that’s inefficient or improperly sized can cost you in repairs and higher utility bills, so make sure you account for the possibility of its replacement.

Help with Problem Plumbing

Of course, there are lessons here for those of us who’ve been in our (“Burnt Chimney”)  Forest City homes for a while, too. So whether you’ve just moved here, or you’ve called the same place home for most of your life and your plumbing is showing the problems that come with age, get in touch with Ohmstead Plumbing. We’ll help with everything from emergency plumbing repair to larger projects like installations, water heaters, and plumbing inspections.

Plumbing Tips for Homebuyers