It was an older house with the old galvanized plumbing pipes - supply and drain lines.
During the inspection the water flow was minimal, and the drains were all very slow.
Asking if this was common, my answer was that it would be with this type of plumbing.
Galvanized plumbing was actually steel pipes with a coating layer of zinc inside. It was commonly used in plumbing in houses built up until the 1960s.
Over time the zinc eroded, and corrosion developed that built up, accumulated, and caused clogging inside the tubing.
As that accumulated corrosion built up the inside of the pipe constricted.
Just like cholesterol building up and clogging inside our arteries and veins, eventually lower water flow would be the result. And that was true in this subject house.
When my client asked what the solution was the answer was what you think.
THE ENTIRE PLUMBING SYSTEM WOULD NEED TO BE REPLACED.
And it was. Invited back to look at the remaining plumbing that was cut but not entirely removed, the interior of this drain line was quite visible. The corrosive built up is clearly evident.
The spiders have already moved in!
Now, for years people were drinking and washing with water that was flowing over that corrosive mess! Yummie.
My recommendation: older homes often have expensive challenges. Galvanized plumbing is sometimes one that has not been previously taken care of. The solution is expensive, but permanent. Which water would you rather drink or wash with - that flowing over what you see above, or that flowing inside copper or CPVC tubing? After we looked around I checked on the new plumbing, and the water pressure was really good and the drains worked perfectly!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560