As local plumbing experts in Concord, CA, we run across the same kind of plumbing problems frequently. The types of homes and the years they were mostly built in Concord largely determine the nature of these problems. We can let you know what the most common problems are and what typically needs to be done about them. This is useful for homeowners in the area but also for anyone thinking of moving into a new home in Concord.
Problems with Old Plumbing Systems
Many of the homes in Concord were built in the 1940s. Since then, much of what we do as plumbers and what we expect from our plumbing systems has changed. That includes our core materials, the volume of hot water we expect to have access to and much more. So, its normal for many of the homes in Concord to has issues associated with older plumbing systems that haven’t quite been adapted to new conditions. What might those problems be?
- Galvanized pipes: Thankfully, most homes in the area were built too late to have lead pipes and too early for the handful of failed plastic pipes that have been tried over the decades (like polybutylene.) However, many of our homes were built in the sweet spot for galvanized iron pipes or iron coated with zinc. Most of these pipes simply break down over the decades and are frequent culprits of rust clogs, burst pipes and major leaks. The solution is to re-pipe your home with a modern material.
- Older fixtures and connections: Pipes need to be sealed to one another and then connected to the fixture or appliance that they are serving. Older homes tend to have poorly constructed connections and fixtures which don’t mesh well with the connection points on modern water heaters, boilers and other appliances. The solution here is to have a plumber truly replace these connections instead of making do.
Problems with Eichler MCM Homes
Few homes are as polarizing as Eichler Mid-Century Modern (MCM) homes. Some feel that they are architectural gems and a piece of home development history. Others really don’t feel like they mesh well with modern life. They were, after all, built in the 1950s and 60s by pioneer Joseph Eichler, who changed expectations for homes in California (and elsewhere). Whether or not you feel like his vision of a family home was ideal or not, you can’t deny that they tend to have sewer issues.
What happened is Eichler MCM homes were built with internal atriums and a challenging roof shape (almost entirely flat), both of which can contribute to water issues. Plant that on top of one concrete slab and you tend to get sewer problems, especially as these homes are now at least fifty years old.
Accessing the sewer below the slab and performing sewer replacements on them can be challenging but are well worth repairing instead of allowing them to get worse and undermine the property’s stability.
Inspect Before You Move
It is smart to get a professional plumbing inspection before you buy a new home in Concord. If you’ve already purchased, getting these problems repaired before they become more of a hassle is also a wise idea.