Plumbing illustration for 360 Magazine

Plumbing Inspection Checklist for Homebuyers

It’s very common for new homebuyers to get too excited about a few features of the house and hurriedly finalize a purchase. Sometimes they may focus too much on certain aspects and completely ignore other important features. But, when deciding about purchasing a house, ignoring the plumbing faults can be a major mistake. Certain plumbing details that escape your inspecting eyes can turn out to be major faults and cost you expensive repairs. How would you feel if the day after you move in you find overflowing tubs of water in the toilet?

Read ahead for some tips and tricks to keep in mind while you house-hunt.

  1. Check the toilet flush: Don’t let the fear of embarrassment keep you from checking the toilet flush in every bathroom. Each and every toilet flush should be checked to inspect the plumbing. This way you will be able to figure out if there is a poor water pressure, a clog, or a leak.
  2. Test the water pressure: Most of the water-based home appliances like the dishwasher and the washing machine require adequate water pressure for optimal functioning. You can easily check the water pressure of your prospective home by running the shower or the hot water.
  3. Question the pipe age and material: Pipes can be made of different materials including copper, cast iron, galvanized, or PVC. Depending on the type of the material, pipes may be prone to damage or wearing off sooner. For example, if you consider galvanized pipes for example, they would need to be replaced after 30 years. Therefore, being informed about the age and material of the plumbing pipes will help you gauge their effective lifespan. In any case, if the plumbing is made of lead pipes, you should steer away from the deal immediately because of the risk of lead poisoning.
  4. Keep a lookout for visible signs of damage: Keep out for pipes or fixtures that look rusty or worn out. Some places you should definitely check are the inlet and outlet pipes of the water heater, water purifier etc. In fact, do a thorough inspection of these appliances for detecting leaks, corrosion and buildups.
  5. Check the basement: You may think that the basement would just be another storage space in the house, and don’t care about taking a trip underground. But as a prospective house owner, you should not ignore the basement inspection, especially from the plumbing point of view. Inspect any pipes and drains in the basement for leaks or damage. Enquire about the sump pump and check the reliability of its perimeter drainage system.
  6. Check outdoors: While the backyard and the lawn may not catch much of your attention, they carry some plumbing secrets you ought to unravel. Outdoor leaking pipes may commonly go unnoticed by homebuyers. While you take a walk outdoors look out for any suspicious water puddles, wild growths near the walls and mold growth on the building surface. These may be indicative of pipe leaks.
  7. Ask about the septic tank: Feel free to enquire whether the house has a septic tank and where it is located.
  8. Inquire about the rain drains: Every house needs a fault-free and effective rain drainage system. Rain water flooding can cause huge water damage and even health issues due to unreasonable humidity levels in the house. It’s a good idea to inspect the rain drains and downspouts and be assured of their effectiveness.

If you are not satisfied with the quality of the home’s plumbing after a thorough inspection, you should inform the agent or the seller about your opinion. In fact, it would be a smart move to get a professional plumber to inspect the plumbing further and give you a clear state of affairs of the house’s plumbing.

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