Old Plumbing Pipes

January 20, 2020

BY Home Inspector Gene Ballin

If the house your looking at was built before the use a PVC Drain, Wast and Vent pipe, what should you be concerned about the most regarding the drain, waste and vent system?


I strongly suggest to all my clients that before I inspect a house of this era or older, they should have the building drain and sewer pipes inspected with the camera because there’s things I just can’t tell people about the pipes under and inside the house. I can tell you that the water left the bathtub or the toilet, but as to where the waste water went after that, I have no way of knowing.  

The picture you’re looking at, is of the interior of a cast-iron pipe from the Drain, Waste and Vent system that has been in service for several decades. It does not take long for the interior of the pipe to get rusted and slow down the flow of waste products through it. Once the flow slows the pipe is no longer "self scouring". If the pipe becomes smaller than it was intended to be all sorts of problems begin to happen in the drain waste and vent system; slow drainage, back-ups, stoppages, etc. Many of these conditions are not covered by home warranties and could cost you hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars to repair. I strongly suggest that you get a camera inspection done of the plumbing drain and waste system when considering a purchase of any house.