The Most Common Plumbing Issues in NYC Homes
Forewarned is forearmed, and knowing how to handle your plumbing is one of the topics you want to learn about well before purchasing a home of your own. To ensure you understand what is waiting for you, here are the most common plumbing issues in NYC homes!
Issues with water pressure
One of the prevalent plumbing issues in NYC is low water pressure. Frankly, it is impossible to list all the things that cause this. It can be a problem with your fixtures, pipes, or even valves. Ironically, most New York residents seem content to ignore this problem from home purchase to sale. This means it often gets passed on to the next owner with no one doing anything to fix things simply because of how common bad water pressure is in New York City.
Odd smells wafting from your drains or sinks are common in older NYC homes. This is an awful thing since this hints at all sorts of problems your plumbing might have. For example, it can signal a gradual buildup of sewage, eventually resulting in a clog. Two things you should never ignore are signs your home needs electrical work and 'mystery smells.'
Slow drainage is another of the most common plumbing issues in NYC homes. This is almost always a sign that you have a clog forming in your pipes. Unfortunately, the sheer age of most residential houses in NYC makes it nearly impossible to find a home in which pipes are not partially clogged by years of hardened gunk. It is necessary to replace some of the plumbing in such residences, but due to the cost of homes in NYC, not many people can afford a lot of renovations, especially something as expensive as replacing all the pipes in your home. This, of course, contributes to the problem growing even worse.
Slow leaks are the bane of NYC homes, especially if you live in an apartment and do not have the privilege of owning the topmost unit. We have already mentioned that pipes in NYC homes are typically old. This makes it easy for them to develop tiny fractures or holes through which water slowly drips into your walls, floor, or ceiling. And if your upstairs neighbor has a leaking pipe, you can do little but watch as the ugly water stain spreads over your ceiling. You may even be forced to move if you cannot reason with your neighbor and convince them to call a plumber. So, sometimes, it will be best to look into hiring local movers. While fixing plumbing issues in NYC isn't the most straightforward thing to do, when it comes to moving, a simple process is possible, especially if you are relocating locally.
After everything we've said, it should be no surprise that clogged pipes are among the most common plumbing issues in NYC homes. Unless you buy a new or freshly renovated house, it is pretty much impossible to avoid it. It is only a matter of time before your plumbing system gives up on you and stops working. So, if you can afford it, it is wiser to preempt the issue and have your pipes inspected, cleaned, or even replaced upon moving in.
Rusted water pipes
Another problem targeting pipes in NYC homes is rust. It is particularly prevalent in apartment complexes, where it is impossible to renovate the entire plumbing system. There is always at least one homeowner opposed to pooling money together for a project like that. Unfortunately, rusted pipes are easily among the most expensive fixes a home inspection can uncover, even if you live in your own house. And rusted pipes are not just a problem you can ignore. The rust inside them contaminates water, and its off-putting coloring will be the least of your concerns.
Faulty water valves
Pipes are not the only thing old in the plumbing systems of NYC homes. Valves might age a bit better than pipes do, but they still suffer the effects of time. Often, they will start to malfunction a little, especially if you use them for the first time in years. While left alone, the rust and damage they might have suffered are undisturbed, allowing them to hold on. But once you start messing with them, the rust flakes off, possibly taking important bits with it. For you, it can mean anything from not being able to turn your water off entirely to being unable to turn it on. Still, valves are a lot simpler and cheaper to replace than pipes.
Bad repair jobs
With how expensive property and its upkeep are in NYC, it is relatively common for homeowners and landlords to try and save money. This means they often hire the cheapest rather than the best professionals. And as the experts from Eagle Van Lines like to warn, prioritizing cost over quality of services is never wise. That is why many New Yorkers have problems with their plumbing even after paying for repairs.
Main sewer system problems
Take everything we've discussed and then apply it to an entire city. In addition, consider the overwhelming number of people living in New York City. Keeping all of that in mind, it should come as no surprise that the city's sewer system grid often suffers all sorts of breakdowns. And the real problem with this is that even if you find the best possible home inspectors to go over your home’s plumbing system, they will find nothing for you to fix. The issues are entirely in the hands of the city to resolve.
How to handle your pipes
Knowing the most common plumbing issues in NYC homes is an excellent first step. However, just as important is reacting quickly when you notice one of the issues we've listed. If you ignore them, they will worsen and cost you a lot more.
Daniel Taker is a long-time plumber and handyman. He has a lot of experience helping people in NYC with problems in their homes, and he likes to write blog posts about the things he encounters at work.