Eight Plumbing Inspections to make when Buying a New Home


Buying a home is  one of the most important decisions you will ever make in your lifetime. Not only that, it is likely to be the largest investment of time and money you will make. That being said you’ll want to find a home that is safe and stable and the best way to do that is to have a professional inspect your home thoroughly before you buy.

A thorough inspection should include the plumbing systems of the home. Taylor’s Plumbing recommends hiring a professional inspector. A professional will know what to look for and will be familiar with common problems found in homes like the one you are considering. Some people may prefer to do their own inspections. If you are one of these people, there are some things you should look for while you inspect the home’s plumbing system.

Look for lead. Some older homes might contain lead pipes.  Lead is a known toxin; therefore lead pipes in a home are something that should be avoided. Having lead pipes may sway you from purchasing the home, but before you buy, you should investigate to learn how much it will cost you to replace the lead.

You will also want to find where the shut off valve to the water supply is located. This can be replaced, but it is best if it’s in good working order. Should a plumbing emergency happen, you’ll need a working shut off valve or else you could experience major water damage. The shut off valve is normally located close to the water meter or it may be where the water line enters the home. Try this test. Turn off the water completely using the valve. Once done, go around the home, turning on taps. If any water comes out, you will know that this is another cost that you will need to consider.

Be sure to inspect the hot water heater. If it is old, or appears to be in poor condition, or seems to have other issues, it could mean an expensive replacement or repair.  While you are inspecting the hot water heater, look carefully for any mineral deposits, corrosion of the tank or any other parts, and any other warning signs that might signal that the tank needs to be replaced. You’ll want to find out if your water heater is a rental or if the previous owners flat out bought it.  If it’s a rental, you’ll inherit the monthly rental fee for the water heater unit, unless you take steps otherwise.

Sewage problems are a very smelly, disgusting, and expensive problem. Find out before you buy, what kind of sewage system is installed in the house. If it has a septic tank, find out where it is, the size and where the lines are. Also find out when was the last time the tank was serviced or emptied. Be sure to inspect the area around the tank or at the lines, check carefully for standing water, any bad odours, or other possible signs of seepage. It is incredibly costly to fix septic tanks and the problems they cause. Therefore, this is something you should insist on having fixed or receive a large discount for before buying the home. Be sure to look around for leaks.

Leaky pipes and fixtures might be a small issue, but it could also point to much larger problems. Check all faucets, inspecting for leaks or drips. Look under sink areas, and inspect any exposed pipes you are able to find. In the basement or crawlspaces, look for areas where pipes may be leaking at the joints.  Don’t forget to inspect the toilets. Look for water around the floor or for any heavy sweating on the tank. Be sure to flush them, to check if they empty correctly and fill up again completely.

Finally, don’t forget to inspect your laundry machine hookups.  Make sure the water valves work going into your washing machine.  Check the washing machine intake hose and drain hose.  They should not be brittle, nor should water be dripping through where they hook up.  On the topic of hoses, be sure to check the faucet where you hook your hose up outside.  Make sure it’s not rusted shut, and the location will work with any outside plans you may have.

Properly inspecting a prospective home for possible plumbing issues and other problems is certainly something you should always do. A proper inspection will ensure a worry-free future in your new home.  If you are okay with the problems, you can negotiate a better purchasing price for you home, to cover the cost of plumbing services needed from a reliable plumbing service such as Taylor’s Plumbing.