Plumbing Inspection: What to look for when buying a home

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Inpsect your plumbing sytstem before you close

Homebuyers should schedule a plumbing inspection before purchasing a home. Often, the lender requires a home inspection before closing to protect their investment. However, these home inspections can often fall short when it comes to the plumbing system. Since major plumbing repairs can be costly, you should protect your interests by hiring a licensed plumber to perform a complete inspection of the plumbing system. Uncovering potential plumbing problems before you close could save you thousands of dollars in repair costs down the road.

Septic Tank System

Problems in a home’s sewage system can lead to costly repairs, especially when septic tanks are involved. It would be very beneficial to know where the tank and all applicable sewage lines are located. Ask when the last cleaning and inspection occurred. Also, ask for records to back it up. Your plumber will look for seepage or standing water around the drain. He or she can also look for leach field or foul-smelling odors that could indicate a septic problem. Since septic repairs and replacement are costly, it is imperative that you receive a complete analysis of its condition before closing.

Water Supply

Municipal water supply meters should be tested for accuracy and working condition. If the home is on a private well, it is extremely important to have your plumber inspect and determine the condition of its water pump. Also, the plumber should look for related equipment such as pressure tanks and water softeners. In addition, it would be wise to have the well water tested to determine its quality and to ensure it is safe for human consumption before you are locked into the purchase.

Water Supply Lines

Your plumber should check water pressures throughout the home. In addition, they should check the condition of all water supply shut-offs, including the main to verify working condition. A faulty shut off valve could allow hundreds of gallons of water to damage your home in the event of a plumbing problem. Your plumber should also inspect water supply lines and determine their composition. Lead and galvanized plumbing, although acceptable in years past, have been linked to serious health problems and should be replaced.

Plumbing Fixtures

The plumbing inspection should include testing of fixtures — sinks, faucets, hose bibs and toilets — to verify working condition. A dripping faucet or running toilet will waste precious freshwater and increase your utility bills. Even the smallest leak under your sink can ruin cabinetry, flooring and invite mold and mildew growth, which could lead to serious health problems.

Water Heater

Ask you plumber to determine the size, age and working condition of the water heater. Determining the size of the water heater is important to ensure it will supply your family with enough hot water, especially during the winter months when water heaters fail more frequently. In addition, since most water heaters begin to under perform and lose energy efficiency after about ten years, it would be good to know before you move into or close on your new home if it needs replacing.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.


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