When you’re in the market for a new home, it’s essential that you make sure that the plumbing is working properly, as you don’t want to be in a situation where you’ve purchased the house and find out that major plumbing repairs will need to be done. The best way to make sure that the plumbing is in good condition is to have a detailed checklist with you during the inspection before you’ve finalized the purchase of the home.
1. Identify Size of Water Pipes
Low water pressure is an annoyance that no one wants to experience. If you ever have, you likely understand how frustrating it can be to take showers and wash dishes when the water pressure isn’t strong enough, which is why it’s important to ascertain the size of the water pipes that are running through the house that you’re considering a purchase of. Any pipe that leads directly to the home from the source of the water should be at least 3/4 inches in diameter, while faucet pipes should be at least 1/2 inches in diameter.
2. Flush Every Toilet
One of the first things that you should do when inspecting the property of the house you’re considering is to flush every toilet located in the home in order to ascertain how well or otherwise each toilet flushes. Doing this will help you determine whether or not the plumbing that leads to the toilets is in good condition or if it requires repairs. Some of the issues you should look out for when flushing each toilet is if the flush is on the weak side, if a gurgling sound accompanies each flush, and if the flush lasts for too long before turning off. All of these are signs that the plumbing will need some work, which means that you may want to consider another house or at least ask the owner to repair these issues before you agree to purchase the home.
3. Inspect Basement and Any Crawl Spaces
This is likely the most important point on this list, as many plumbing issues will display themselves in crawl spaces and basements. When you inspect these areas, make sure that you look for any water pipes that are leaking and signs of water damage such as the development of mold.
4. Turn On Each Shower
As with the toilets, you want to make sure that each shower works properly, which can be achieved by turning on each faucet and making sure that the water pressure is as strong as you want.
5. Visually Inspect Water Heater
When touring a house with your realtor, ask them to take you to see the water heater and visually inspect it. If there’s any corrosion or damage to the outside of the water heater, this is a clear indicator that the unit is on its last legs. You should also inquire about when the water heater was last replaced and if any service has been done to it.
6. Avoid Lead Piping
Lead is a dangerous substance that is no longer used in the creation of piping, but can still be found in many older homes. Find out what the piping is made of and don’t even consider a home with lead piping unless you’re fine with replacing it soon after moving in.
Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.