Have your pipes checked If you're just moving into an older home and haven't had a home inspection, your plumbing is definitely something you'll want to have checked out before too long as you can't really know the condition of the whole system without knowing where and how to look. Problems with your pipes can be fairly invisible...until they aren't, and that can mean serious complications such as pipes bursting or toilets backing up and overflowing. These problems can be avoided if you have either experience with plumbing or the foresight to call someone who does. If you've got plumbing troubles accumulating behind the scenes, you'll only regret avoiding calling a plumber when you're up to your ankles in something you'd rather not be. Plumbing in your home The typical plumbing layout of a house is fairly simple. Water from the municipal hydro lines feeds into the house through the main pipe, which itself splits into two lines. One carries cold water directly to taps, plumbing fixtures, and appliances, and the other feeds the hot water heater. The hot and cold lines run parallel to each other all throughout the house. Sinks, washing machines, showers and tubs, toilets, exterior faucets; each connected to one pipe that's tapped into the main water supply. Sometimes, more commonly in older homes, only one pair of water lines snake through the entire house, visiting each outlet in turn. This is often the reason why a shower might suddenly get cold if someone uses hot water elsewhere in the house, there simply isn't enough water in the one line to sustain both sources so whoever's further down the line gets a chilly surprise. In modern homes, both cold water from the main line and hot water from the tank usually run through a splitter from which a hot and cold line runs to each outlet individually. This doesn't necessarily mean the end of the frigid shower blues because if your hot water tank can't supply enough water to all of the lines, someone will be left out in the cold. When to call a plumber If you notice that water pressure in your home is low, or you're not getting much hot water, or your toilets are backing up, consider calling in aprofessional plumber in to assess the situations as these are all symptoms of plumbing problems. It doesn't necessarily mean extensive repairs, it could be something as straightforward as clearing the pipes of blockage, but sometimes pipes are so corroded or have so much build up that they require replacement. Simple plumbing jobs like stopping a toilet from constantly leaking and refilling can be handled by a layman, but the more complicated the problem gets, the more you'll want to bring in an expert to ensure it's done right. Because pipes are mostly hidden, it can be difficult to track down the source of some plumbing troubles, which is where a plumbers knowledge and expertise really helps. If you're just moving into an older house, having a professional plumber come in to check the integrity of the pipes can help you avoid costly and occasionally smelly problems in the future.