Should I Get a Plumbing Inspection Before Buying a New Home?

Should I Get a Plumbing Inspection Before Buying a New Home?

It’s always an excellent idea to have a home inspection done before the purchase of a new home, but that may not be enough. While a certified home inspector will look at the home’s plumbing among other things, his inspection may not be thorough enough to catch all of the system’s potential issues.

checking-a-water-heaterInstead of trusting just one inspection report, you should consider having an additional inspection performed by a licensed plumber. He may find issues that another inspector overlooked, and that could save you a lot of money and hassle.

Checking the Water Heater

The average lifespan of a water heater is ten years. It’s even less if the water heater is patched into the home heating system. This makes it a good idea to check the age and condition of the water heater in any home you’re considering purchasing.

A leaking heater can damage hardwood floors, carpets, and drywall in a finished basement and create an expensive mess. A plumber can tell you the age and condition of a water heater as well as whether or not it is functioning properly and up to code. They can also determine if the unit is undersized for the home it’s in.

Testing the Toilet

Even if the toilets in a home flush well and appear to be in good working order, it’s important to check for leaks or signs of previous leaks. A toilet should be firmly mounted and not wiggle back and forth. If it does, the seal or flange may be compromised.

It’s also important to check both the floor and subfloor for hidden leaks. Sometimes homeowner’s are not aware of these leaks. At other times, they intentionally install new flooring to hide water damage. A plumber knows exactly where to look for leaks and signs of water damage around a toilet.

Water Colors in the Home

A plumber will run water throughout the home and make sure what comes out of the pipes is clear. If it’s not, he will investigate and tell you why. Discolored water is often a temporary result of problems in the water lines after the local municipality does work on them and should clear in a few minutes. If it doesn’t, your plumber will investigate your pipes and well water for possible sources of contamination and tell you how to fix them.

discolored-waterSewer Line Checkup

Whether your sewer line will be connected to the city’s or run to a septic system, it’s critical to have a plumber look at it with a scope. Sewer lines degrade over time and can collapse completely. They also are damaged or blocked when tree roots grow into them.

A sewer line failure is a messy and unpleasant problem, and one that can be complicated to fix as doing so may require digging up the old line. Verify that a sewage backup isn’t imminent before purchasing a new home.

Look for Lead

Lead pipes may be present in any home built before 1998. Lead is a known environmental contaminate and is known to be potentially dangerous for children. Have a plumber inspect your potential new home to check for the presence of lead pipes.

This can be missed by a home inspector as sometimes plumbing repairs are made with PVC pipe, making it look as though all the plumbing has been updated when it hasn’t been. If lead pipes are found in the home, be prepared to walk away from it or do some intense negotiations to get the cost of replacing the pipes covered by the seller.

Find Freezes

flush-the-toiletIf you are living in an area with cold winters, make sure the pipes aren’t likely to freeze. A plumber will look for insulation and wraps on the pipes which can prevent freezing as well as verify that uninsulated pipes aren’t run along outside walls.

He can tell you if the pipes seem to have frozen before, what was done to fix the problem and how effective that solution was. This is information you may not get during a standard home inspection.

Check the Shut Off

Whether a home is on well or city water, the main shut off valve should turn off the water to every faucet in the home. It may not, however, if the previous homeowner did some rogue plumbing without patching it into the system correctly. Before committing to a home, ask a plumber to turn the water off and then verify that it truly is off throughout the home.

Don’t chance your dream home turning into a nightmare. Have a home inspection done by a licensed inspector and then ask Tampa Bay Plumbing of Tampa Bay, FL to check out the plumbing. Call (727) 223-6400 today and rest assured you won’t have buyer’s remorse over your new home.

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