Categories
Plumbing

Keep an Eye Out for Drum Traps in Old Homes

Trap ReplacementIf you’re in the market for an older home, it’s important to look for outdated plumbing and electrical components that might need to be replaced with more modern alternatives. A drum trap, for example, is an obsolete style of plumbing trap that can be found in many old homes. These traps are prone to clogging, and they even constitute code violations in some areas. Fortunately, drum traps are typically easy to spot.

What do drum traps look like?

Look for a reservoir shaped like a coffee can that’s located in the floor alongside a tub, mounted in a closet or hidden behind an access panel. If the drum trap is in the floor, you might be able to see a circular metal cover flush with the floor. You may be able to find drum traps suspended under the flooring in a home’s basement as well.

Why were they used?

Drum traps were designed to capture debris and prevent sewer gas from entering the home. In theory, homeowner would regularly open the trap and clean it to avoid clogging; however, this rarely happened in practice. Try to clean the drum trap now, and you may find that the cover has corroded and can’t be easily removed.

What problems are they associated with?

Clogging is a major issue. Clogs are especially difficult to address with a snake, since water flows into the trap at one level and out at another. Moreover, the metal reservoir can rot out, causing the trap to leak.

What should you do?

The best option is to have drum traps replaced with a more modern design, such as a P-trap. This is an easy and inexpensive fix that can save you a lot of headaches down the road.

A thorough home inspection can help uncover drum traps, along with other issues that are common in older homes, such as foundation problems, insulation gaps and more. If you’re in the Chicago area, call First Choice Inspectors at (773) 429-9711 to get your free quote today.

Categories
Home Inspection Plumbing

It Time to Replace Your Old Water Heater?

It Time to Replace Your Old Water Heater?If you have a hot water heater that is more than 10 years old, it’s probably time for you to think about replacing it. Your typical tank water heater is only meant to last for about a decade, and while you might get a little bit more life out of it than that, you should be prepared for a water heater replacement once your water heater turns 10. There are also a few other signs that will tell you it’s time to replace your old water heater. Check them out below.

Your water heater is delivering rusty water to your home.

Have you noticed that the hot water in your home has a rusty color to it? This may be the result of galvanized plumbing pipes in your home, but it may also be your water heater kicking up sediment from inside the tank and sending it out into your home. You obviously don’t want to use this water for an extended period of time, so if you start to notice it on a daily basis, you should start checking out new water heaters.

Your water heater is making strange sounds.

The sediment in your old water heater can do more than just cause rusty water. It can also cause loud banging sounds inside the tank. This happens when the sediment is heated up over and over again, which causes it to harden. These sounds are not going to go away, so you should not ignore them. Rather, you should take it as a sign that it’s time to look at new water heaters.

Your water heater is leaking.

When your water heater fails completely, it will usually start leaking all over the place. This is a pretty obvious sign that you will not be able to use your water heater anymore. Even if it’s just a small leak, it means your water heater is on the verge of becoming completely unusable.

If you’re in the process of purchasing a new home, you should have it inspected for potential problems, like an old water heater that will need to be replaced soon. First Choice Inspectors can provide you with a quality home inspection and identify these areas of concern before you buy. Give us a call at (773) 429-9711 today to schedule an inspection.

Categories
Plumbing

The Importance of Inspecting a Home’s Plumbing System Before Making an Offer

Plumbing SystemsBefore you buy a home you should have First Choice Inspectors check out the home’s plumbing system. After all, you’re spending the most money you’ve ever spent in your life to make the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. It’s important to check to make sure you’re getting a home in good working order, and the plumbing drains and pipes are intrinsic to that!

In general, a plumbing system is not something the average person thinks about, unless it’s not working, right? However, a plumbing inspector thinks about the plumbing system in great detail and then investigates it. For example, how does it connect to the main sewer? Can a camera be inserted along the lines to see if there are any clogs that need cleaning out? How old are the home’s pipes? Are they all connected properly?

Water heaters play an important role in daily life, providing hot showers and more. An inspector will examine your new home’s water heater to see if it’s in need of replacement or functioning just fine. Where is it located in the house? If it leaks, will it ruin your stuff? Is it the right size for your needs? Will you need a bigger one if you plan to install a giant tub, or a smaller one if you prefer taking quick showers?

Then, of course, there are the home’s toilets. Try going a day without a working toilet and you’ll know how bad that situation gets! A professional inspector checks toilets at their base to look for any leaks. You’re not likely to know if your new toilets have bad seals or aren’t properly secured to the flange, but your inspector will.

First Choice Inspectors can and will examine the physical components of your potential new home’s plumbing system. They’ll look for outdated materials that should be replaced as well as any leaks that need fixing before you take ownership of the place. Call 773-429-9711 to schedule an inspection.