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Home Buyers, Get a Plumbing Inspection Before it’s too Late

Stop Right There!

So you’ve found the home of your dreams, made an offer, and have completed the standard inspection. All things appear to be in order, yet are you sure that the plumbing system has been adequately analyzed?

While home buyer inspections are the rule in today’s market, calling in specialists to distinctly conduct a follow-up on the plumbing should be your next step. Often, homeowners bypass this and end up facing significant challenges to their plumbing system that they did not know existed.

flush-the-toiletA plumbing inspection is worth the extra cost when you’re making one of the most important purchases of your life and this contingency should be part of your contract.

When a plumbing inspector analyzes a home, they will check for things such as the water pressure, run specific components such as the dishwasher and washing machine, review the functioning of the septic system, check the water heater, and look at the sewer system lines.

Within one to two days, the inspector will provide a written report of the findings. Let’s review the nine most common plumbing areas that should be inspected prior to buying a home.

1. Water Meter

Once this has been located, a determination will be made if the shut-off valve to the home’s water supply is in working order. If the home contains well water, the valve will be located inside the home. Once the shut-off valve has been activated, there should be no water coming out of the taps in various areas such as the kitchen and bathroom are turned on.

2. Lead Pipes

Many homes built prior to 1986 contain lead or galvanized plumbing. While it is a useful material, it is also an environmental toxin. This can be a big deciding factor for many individuals, especially if children will be present in the home.

3. Water Pipes

The size of the water pipes in and around a home helps determine the water pressure that should be present. For adequate water pressure, lines typically range from 3/4″ to one inch directly from the main water source. The actual pipelines throughout the structure should be at least 1/2″ in diameter.

checking-a-water-heater4. Hot Water Heater

There are two main components to look at when your water heater is inspected. This includes the size of the tank and condition.

Generally, a family of four should have at least a 40-gallon tank to accommodate needs.

Furthermore, signs of mineral deposits and corrosion of the tank’s elements can show the potential for a shorter life span.

5. Sewage System

The type of sewage system will be determined based on whether waste goes to a municipal sewer system or a septic tank. In the event that a septic tank is present, the installation location, tank capacity, and lines should be identified. Septic tank repair can be very costly but often show telltale signs including seepage around the tank area, standing water, or noticeable odors.

6. Water Leaks

Although your standard home inspector should be able to pick up on signs of water leaks, a plumber has more knowledge in this realm. Inside the home, kitchen and bathroom faucets will be checked, as well as walls and underneath the sinks for signs of water damage.

7. Toilets

It may not seem like a major concern if your toilet’s tanks do not empty and refill all the way, but it can indicate a bigger problem. Besides the obvious sanitary concerns, improper flushing and filling could mean a backup in the plumbing system.

8. Water Temperature

checking-for-hot-waterWhen discussing water temperature in a home it could apply to it being either too hot or too cold. Turn on the shower in the room closest, as well as farther, from the home’s water source. If the temperature is too hot, the valve needs to be adjusted. Similarly, if no hot water is making its way to the distanced room, it needs to be addressed.

Any and all problems that are discovered in the home’s plumbing system should be tackled prior to making an offer or closing a sale. Often, homes come with a warranty that covers various systems for a specified period of time yet frequently there are additional out of pocket expenses. Most of the time, sellers are willing to work with potential buyers to fix problems in order to close the deal.

Overall, as a buyer, you have the right to know about any defects or deficiencies in the property you are buying. Although not every problem is a potential deal breaker, there are quite a few that could lead to modifications of the asking price or an agreement that components will be fixed as a condition of the closing.

If you are considering having a plumbing inspection done on a new home you are interested in purchasing, Contact Jim Wagner Plumbing, Inc, in Lombard, IL at (630) 577-9241 for assistance.