When purchasing a new home, it is essential to complete your due diligence in the form of a professional home inspection before making any verbal or written commitments. An important part of the home inspection process includes examining the plumbing components, but you should ensure which of the major aspects of the home’s plumbing system are included in your inspection agreement. If you find important systems are missing from that agreement, determine if you’re able to include the additional components with your inspection company or by contacting a reputable plumbing company for assistance.
Ensure The Home’s Plumbing is Fully Functional
Over time, plumbing systems, fixtures and appliances in any home can require repairs or replacement in order to remain fully operational. To determine if the home you’re interested in buying is in suitable condition from a plumbing perspective, ask beforehand to learn what is and isn’t included in the plumbing evaluation portion of the home inspection.
Your Checklist for Plumbing Inspections Before Buying a Home
This involves checking to see that all toilets flush properly and drain all the way before refilling the bowl with water. Ensure the toilet is bolted to the floor and there are no visible leaks around the base.
For each shower in the house, a plumbing inspection includes turning on all the faucets, inspecting the shower heads themselves and the drains. If the fixture can switch from the tub spigot to a showerhead, it’s necessary to ensure the flow of water changes accordingly, with good water pressure at each. The inspector will note how quickly the tub drains, or if water lingers longer than it should. Turn off the shower fixture and ensure it does not drip.
3. Faucets and Sinks
Each sink in the house should also be tested to ensure that the faucet and drain work properly. Make sure the inspector turns on each faucet, engages the drain stop, then disengages it to check that the water drains properly. Examine the faucets after you’ve turned them off and wait to see if they drip or not.
4. Kitchen Sink and Garbage Disposal
Over time, build-up in the kitchen sink drain can lead to partial or full clogs that require professional assistance to fix. Besides checking to see the kitchen sink drains effectively, the plumbing inspector should also test the faucet and examine the pipes underneath the sink basin for leaks. Have them turn on the garbage disposal to ensure it works as well.
5. Water Heater
Your water heater is a very important appliance to inspect. Many homes have tanked water heaters, which tend to last around 10 years and require inspections and maintenance. Ask about the tank’s last flush date, have the licensed inspection professional check the anode rod for tank rust prevention and ensure the water heater works properly by testing for hot water in the home.
6. Sewer System
Whatever type of sewer system you have, you may want to reach out to a local plumbing company to have them conduct a video camera inspection of the sewer lines. If the home’s pipes do not lead to a municipal sewer system, then there’s a septic tank system that should be examined to ensure there is no blockage or seepage which are hazardous and costly to fix. Note the date the septic tank was last serviced or emptied if possible.
7. Leak Inspection
Leaks can pose a serious problem to any home, whether they occur in visible spots or inaccessible locations. To avoid potentially problematic water damage and costly repairs, it’s often best to have a professional plumber inspect the home for leaks and perform a test with the water meter if this service is not included in the inspection.
It’s the responsibility of the current owner to disclose and fix any existing plumbing issues, but after the sale is closed (unless otherwise negotiated), that becomes the buyer’s burden. Plumbing system repairs can be costly, which is why you need to be rigorous in your inspection process. For assistance with a professional plumbing inspection, get in touch with a member of our team. Contact us at Atlas Home Services today.