Are You a New Homeowner in Need of a Plumbing Inspection?

Buying a new home requires a heck of a lot of work! You have to set your price range, qualify for funding, narrow down your purchase options and schedule home inspections.

home-for-sale-300x200 Are You a New Homeowner in Need of a Plumbing Inspection?Because purchasing a home comes with such a lengthy to-do checklist, it can be tempting to assume “everything is okay” when it comes to home inspections. This is never truer than with inspecting things that are less easily visible, such as the home’s plumbing system.

But unfortunately, skipping the plumbing inspection now can become a very costly mistake later. In this post, find out why you should always make getting a plumbing inspection before buying a new home a priority to-do list item.

Your Plumbing Inspection Check List

The inspection professional you hire should check each one of these items thoroughly. It is important here to be aware that, in most cases, pre-purchase home inspectors do not typically offer maintenance recommendations or price estimates.

So if the home inspection turns up something in the home’s plumbing system that concerns you, it is a smart choice to bring in a plumbing inspection professional to take a closer look.

Here are the elements a home inspection of the plumbing system should cover:

Inspect the Toilets.

In some cases, up to one-quarter of water use can be directly traced back to flushing the toilets. Toilets are also the fixture in the average home most likely to spring a leak.

Happily, there are some simple tests that the home inspector can do to determine how well the toilets are using water. The flush test is one of the most common – in this test, the inspector will flush the toilet and then check that the bowl refills all the way back up.

Inspect the Water Heater.

The water heater is another major repair item, and it can also cause significant damage to the structure of the home if it cracks or bursts.

checking-a-water-heater-300x200 Are You a New Homeowner in Need of a Plumbing Inspection?So the inspector will look first for capacity – can the water heater handle the hot water demands of the household? The inspection will also look at the age and structure of the water heater and the amount (if any) of corrosion or mineral build-up it has sustained.

Where there are significant corrosion and mineral deposits, there is often room to renegotiate the final sale price of the home.

Inspect the Pipes.

This part of the plumbing inspection includes finding out how old the pipes are and what they are made of. For any home built before 1986, there is always a possibility that some or all of the pipes were made of lead, which is now known to be toxic to humans (and in particular, to children).

The presence of lead pipes can offer room to renegotiate the final sale price of the home, and may require repiping.

The pipes should also be inspected for width, which can give an indication of how strong the water pressure is likely to be throughout the home when several fixtures are in use together. And the central pipe that leads to the septic or sewer system (if any) should be digitally inspected via a remote camera for obstructions, leaks or clogs.

Inspect for Discolored Water.

If the water coming out of the fixtures has a visible color (instead of being entirely transparent) this could bring up the question of whether the water is safe to use or drink.

Different colors can indicate different issues. Here are some typical examples:

  • Watercolors in the orange-red spectrum may indicate the presence of rust.
  • Water with a green color may indicate algae growth.
  • Water with a blue color may indicate a chemical leak.
  • Water with a green-blue color may indicate the presence of copper or brass.
  • Water with a black color may indicate mold growth.

There are varying degrees of health impact from the different colors that may be present in indoor water flowing through a home’s plumbing system. The key is to inspect the water carefully, so you know what you are dealing with.

Inspect for Dampness.

Along with leaks comes moisture, and along with dampness comes mold, fungi, and mildew. If the issue becomes severe enough, it can cause long-term health problems to the home’s occupants. It can also be very costly to remediate mold, fungi or mildew once it has taken root.

The inspector should visit every area of the home, including basements, crawl spaces, attics and the surrounding water main and sewer line areas outside. If areas of damp or leaks, pooled water or soggy structures are found, this is cause to inspect more carefully for mold. If an odor is present, it is even more likely mildew may have already begun to grow.

Inspect for Systemic Leaks.

discolored-water-200x300 Are You a New Homeowner in Need of a Plumbing Inspection?Up to 14 percent of all water used in a household each month flows right out again due to the presence of leaks. The inspector should check carefully for the presence of hidden leaks that may be underneath the foundation or hidden in the walls where they are not easily detected.

If a sizable leak is detected, this can offer room to renegotiate the final home selling price.

Inspect for Overall Useful Life.

Finally, in some sense, a plumbing system is only as good as its oldest, weakest and most worn out component. For this reason, the overall goal of the plumbing inspection is always to determine how much useful life the existing plumbing system has in it.

By getting a sense of what is working well, what is in need of maintenance/repair, where problems may be brewing and what should be replaced soon (or now), you can decide if the home purchase price is fair.

To schedule a timely plumbing inspection in Central FL that just might save you a bundle, contact the plumbing experts at Ross Plumbing by phone at (352) 728-6053.