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Plumbing Inspection: What To Check Before Buying A Home

Copper pipes

If you are in the market to buy a new home, you probably already know that the process can be overwhelming, even before you dig into the electrical, plumbing, structural integrity, and other items conducted during a home inspection. While these inspections can be scary, they are an important step to be completed before signing the paperwork. You should be including plumbing inspection as part of this pre-signing assessment. Faulty plumbing can be a big expense and/or headache, and because of this, it is important to know what you’re in for before agreeing to purchase a house, so you can make a more informed decision.

Some major plumbing utilities you’ll want to include in your plumbing inspection are; sewer lines, septic, water heater, toilets, water supply lines, drain lines, water taps, water pressure, water damage, showers, boilers/furnace.

Plumbing Inspection Items:

    Install field line sewer system

  1. Sewer Line – Inspecting your new potential home’s sewer line (to the street) is important and the best way to do this is by using camera technology. Your plumber will be looking for any blockages, tree root penetration, corrosion, clogs, etc.
  2. Septic – If the home you are looking to buy uses a septic system, you are definitely going to want to do a septic inspection. Replacing a septic or leech fields is a very pricey project, so you’ll want to know its condition ahead of time. Odors, standing water, and seepage, are all clear signs that a septic tank is failing.
  3. Water heater

  4. Water Heater –How old is the water heater in the home? Is it leaking? There are a few reasons why this may be happening; some smaller than others. Is it gas fueled or electric? Is it high efficiency? Is it tankless or standard? These are just a few of the questions your plumber should answer for you during your home plumbing inspection.
  5. Toilets – Toilets are usually an easy fix, so they are often overlooked or overshadowed by the beautiful shower, or double sink. But, your plumber should look for signs of neglect, leaks, softness around the base, warping, toilet not flushing correctly, etc.
  6. Water supply line

  7. Water Supply Lines – One of the important things to discover when inspecting water supply lines is what material your pipes are. Depending on this answer, there may be some concerns like age, durability, lead presence, etc. Functionality and condition of pipes/lines should also be observed during your plumbing inspection.
  8. Water Taps/Pressure – You should turn on the water to test for a number of things; hot water functionality, look for rust, dirty water, check water pressure, etc. If the pressure seems low, you’ll want to inspect further to find out why.
  9. Check For Water Damage – You will definitely want to check for what looks like signs of previous water damage; especially in basements or crawlspaces, as these are the most common areas for flooding to occur. If there appears to be signs of water damage, you will want to investigate further to find a potential source and/or ask the seller for more details.
  10. Boiler

  11. Boilers/Furnace – Your plumber/heating specialist should also be inspecting your furnace or boiler to determine it’s condition. An unexpected boiler replacement or furnace replacement shortly after moving into your home is never fun. If the boiler or furnace does need to be replaced, this could be a bargaining chip for final sale price of the home. Also, knowing ahead of time how these appliances are functioning is always better so you can properly plan!

Purchasing a new home is exciting, but it is also a big investment and can be overwhelming. Making sure to properly inspect the home prior to signing is a really important step in avoiding costly and unexpected headaches after moving in. A plumbing inspection should absolutely be a part of your home inspection process when purchasing a home, and should include the sewer line, septic systems, water heaters, toilets, tubs, water supply lines, water pressure, signs of water damage, and heating appliances. Kulk’s Plumbing & Heating is happy to provide you with a comprehensive inspection of these key plumbing components within your potential home! Before you agree to purchase, give us a call!