Are you concerned about plumbing problems in your home? You need to take the necessary steps to ensure that all pipes, fixtures, and appliances in your household are properly inspected and maintained.
This article provides an essential checklist for household plumbing inspections so you can feel safe and secure in your own home:
- Inspect all pipes for signs of corrosion, rust, or leaks.
- Check all fixtures and appliances for proper functioning.
- Ensure that all water supply lines and drain lines are properly connected.
- Look for signs of water damage or mold.
- Check for any loose connections or faulty valves.
- Test all water pressure and temperature levels.
- Check for any blockages or clogs in the plumbing system.
Check for Leaks
It’s important to check for leaks in your home’s plumbing system as these can cause significant damage and lead to expensive repairs. In order to thoroughly inspect the home’s plumbing, the following items must be checked:
- Faucets: Check for any signs of dripping or leaking by testing each faucet in every room. Check for corrosion on pipes and fittings as this is often a sign of long-term leaking. At the same time, check all toilets for signs of potential flooding due to backflow from a sewer line or another source of water inside the house.
- Water Heaters: Check the water heaters in each room and make sure they are properly installed, connected and free of any corrosion around exposed pipes. Make sure all hoses and fittings are tightly sealed with no leaks present. If you find any evidence of an active leak, shut off the energy source (gas or electricity) before attempting a fix as it could present an electrocution risk or lead to further damage if not handled properly.
- Appliances: Inspect all major appliances including dishwashers, washing machines, ice makers and refrigerators. Test these appliances regularly for possible malfunctions that could cause a water leak such as loose seals and washers, clogged filters or overloading issues that can put too much strain on hoses and connections leading to breaks in fragile components like lines made from plastic tubing.
Examine the Condition of Pipes
When inspecting the condition of pipes, start by looking at the exposed pipes. The condition of piping can give you an idea of where water pressure may be low in your house, how much calcium and lime is impacting plumbing performance, or if cracks in pipes are allowing dangerous gases to enter your home. Look for signs of corrosion or build-up on these pipes since this could indicate a bigger problem.
Under sinks, check for leaks and evidence of deterioration. Look for airdrops and moisture around the drain if there’s a sink basin present. Peer into the space and look for any possible blockages as well as evidence that back-siphoning from contaminated sources is happening.
Inspect all valve boxes throughout the house – both indoors and outdoors – for excessive wear or deterioration due to age and weather conditions. Make sure all valves are properly tightened, connected to other sections properly, hinge pins well lubricated, gaskets round and undamaged, fittings turned correctly so no cross threading has occurred during assembly, nuts evenly torqued with the correct amount of pressure applied to hold everything together correctly so further damage or leaks won’t occur.
Finally, perform basic inspections on any shower/bathtub faucets & fixtures as well as exterior hose bibs or garden spigots that may connect directly to your systems main piping system. Check to see if they are all firmly secured with tight fittings that don’t show signs of being damaged by wind or foot traffic over time: loose screws indicating tampering over time could be a warning sign to inspect further for more hidden plumbing issues within those areas (if accessible).
Evaluate the Water Pressure
When evaluating the water pressure in your home, look for an even flow of water from each faucet. Low flow may indicate a problem with the pressure regulator or well pump. High-pressure output can create unnecessary stress on pipes and other plumbing components, leading to potential problems in the future.
Checking the pressure level is an important part of a household plumbing inspection, and it needs to be done with a stable gauge. If you don’t have one on hand, consider visiting your local hardware store or ordering online for your own convenience. To take reading, hold the gauge horizontally and turn on each faucet in the house one after another. Make sure all other appliances like washing machines and dishwashers are turned off so that you can get an accurate reading of just how many PSI your house is dealing with when it comes to water pressure.
After testing each faucet, you’ll be able to compare numbers across different outlets throughout your home to make sure they’re all consistent and within the recommended range (30–50 PSI). It’s best practice to contact a professional if your readings are outside this range or if you experience any other problems during evaluation.
Inspect the Toilets
When inspecting toilets for a household plumbing inspection, you should make sure to check for leaks and water flow. While flushing, observe the fill valve to make sure that the tank is filling up with water as it should and that there is no unusual noise from the toilet. Inspect the back of the tank to confirm that the shut-off valve is functioning properly and check for any signs of water contamination or water seepage inside or around the toilet bowl.
Next, inspect beneath the toilet by carefully removing any access panels (if there are any) and checking for any signs of moisture or mold that could indicate a plumbing issue. Make sure to check all accessible seals around the base of the toilet to ensure they are in good working condition with no visible signs of leaking or damage.
Lastly, check all other accessible piping leading away from and near to the toilet in order to identify any issues such as clogs, damaged pipes, or connections that have come loose. If you spot anything out of sorts, mark your findings and plan on taking further action before completing your inspection.
Check for Running Faucets
When completing a household plumbing inspection, it is important to check for running faucets. These are a common source of waste and can significantly increase your water bill if left unchecked. Take the time to inspect all sinks in your home, both inside and outside, to ensure that no faucets are left running unnecessarily.
First, turn off all faucets in the house and wait a few moments before turning them back on. Note any changes in pressure when you do this; low pressure could indicate a blockage or an inadequately sized pipe system. Additionally, check each sink for any signs of dripping water or leaking pipes around the joint where two sections of pipes connect.
You may wish to also check your outdoor faucets for signs of leaks. Check for wetness or discoloration around the tap’s base indicating that water has been seeping into the ground below it. Make sure to test each hose connected to each exterior spigot by turning on the tap completely and checking its integrity; replace any hoses with visible cracks as they greatly increase your chances of experiencing unchecked wastewater loss. Lastly, ensure that all exterior taps are fully turned off when not in use so that they do not inadvertently create a steady current of leaky pipe loss over time.
Evaluate the Age and Condition of the Water Heater
When examining the age and condition of your water heater, it is important to assess the following:
- Determine whether or not the water heater is old. The current life expectancy of a water heater tank is 8-12 years. If it has been in use for more than eight years, you should consider having a professional inspect and possibly replace it what needed.
- Check for tank corrosion: A crusty white mineral deposit on the outside of the tank indicates hard water which caused by elevated levels of calcium and magnesium. If left unattended, this can damage the tank over time which necessitates replacement.
- Inspect the anode rod: This component helps protect against corrosion and should be checked annually or replaced every 3-5 years if still in serviceable condition.
- Check valves and connections: A stuck pressure relief valve or a leaking drain valve could be signs that maintenance needs to be performed, such as tightening pipes or replacing seals as needed.
- Ensure proper insulation: Nowadays most tanks come with some form of insulation wrapped around them that helps reduce heat loss from warm water in transit to its destination faucet or showerhead. If there isn’t any installed already, you might want to consider having this done as an added preventative measure against lost energy efficiency in your home’s hot water consumption.
Look for Signs of Mold or Mildew
Mold and mildew have the potential to cause a variety of health problems as well as detract from the aesthetic appeal of your home. It is important to inspect your plumbing system for signs of mold or mildew growth. If any is found, it should be treated immediately.
The most common area that mold and mildew are found in residences is the bathroom, where moisture can accumulate around tubs, showers, and sink fixtures. Spread around the joints of bathtubs or tile grout are a few signs that you could be dealing with mold or mildew in your home. Other signs include discoloration on walls and floors near plumbing systems, a musty smell in bathrooms and utility rooms, and stained areas near sinks caused by water overflow.
If there are visible signs in these areas, it is worth taking the time to check for potential issues before they become a major problem down the line. The following items should be inspected carefully:
- Drain pipes
- Sink drains
- Shower heads
- Toilet tanks/seals
Check the Drainage System
Drainage is a critical component of any home’s plumbing system and the most basic components include sinks, toilets, showers and tubs. Each of these need to be regularly inspected to ensure optimal operation.
When inspecting the drainage system, it’s important to check for all potential problems such as clogs and blockages. First, run some water from a sink or tub and check for any slow draining or pooling of water around the fixture itself. Check each sink, toilet and shower separately for any additional signs of slow drainage. It’s also important to regularly inspect pipes for corrosion or leaking seals that could lead to bigger problems down the road.
Next, flush all toilets in the home one at a time to ensure that they are functioning properly. For more complex systems using pumps or other equipment, it’s best to consult with a plumber prior to inspecting and testing the machinery. This can often save you money in repairs by finding smaller issues before they become larger ones down the road.
Evaluate Shower and Bathtub Condition
When evaluating the shower and bathtub condition, it is important to check for leakage, defects and rust. For showers, look over the showerhead, tub spout, tile grout and faucets. Repairing cracks in tile grout can prevent water damage and future issues in the bathroom. Additionally, look for signs of water leakage around the bathtub and shower fixtures.
For bathtubs, check that all plumbing fixtures are operating correctly by checking faucet handles for loose connections or leaks. Inspect that all parts of the tub are in good condition such as caulk lines, tiles and surrounding walls for any visible cracks or water damage. Test the stoppers to ensure that they are sealing properly so no outside contaminants enter the bathtub).
If you detect any discoloration on your faucets or tub spouts along with leaking from fixture components then replace them immediately as they may contain lead particles in it which is unsafe to drink. To avoid any hazardous situations call a licensed plumber if you detect any plumbing issues referred here.
Inspect Under-sink Plumbing and Hoses
Inspecting under-sink plumbing and associated hoses is an important part of proper home maintenance. In addition to being sure the hoses and pipes leading to the sink itself are secured and working properly, it is also essential to inspect for any potential problems with drainage.
When inspecting underneath the sink, look for:
- Signs of corrosion on any metal pipes.
- Weak connections or connections not completely tightened.
- Blockages or buildup that should be cleaned from time to time.
- Any signs of leakage or detachment from the main water supply line.
- Signs of deterioration or wear in any hoses.
Look for irregularities with the venting system built into most sinks – this will be a pipe leading up through your cabinet space. Inspect the interior dry wall around the vent piping as water can sometimes seep back through this line causing mold inside your walls if not properly maintained.
If you have a garbage disposal connected to your sink, make sure it has been grounded properly – there should be a grounding wire running between it and an outlet nearby – and that power cords have not been chewed by mice or other rodents over time. Make sure you periodically use ice cubes to help clean out your disposal as they can sharpen its blades while also removing any excess materials which can cause buildup over time if not regularly cleared away by grinding action created by using this method.
After your home plumbing inspection, you should have a full understanding of the condition and functionality of all the pipes, drains, fixtures, and appliances in your home. Your inspector should provide you with a clear report detailing any areas that need repair or replacement. In some cases, the inspector may even provide guidance on cost-effective solutions to fix any existing problems.
It is important to address any issues uncovered during the inspection as soon as possible to ensure the continued safe operation of your home’s plumbing system. Regular plumbing inspections are an essential part of maintaining a healthy home environment and help you to avoid costly expense in fixing or replacing problematic components.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Household Plumbing Inspection Checklist?
A Household Plumbing Inspection Checklist is a list of items that should be checked and maintained regularly to ensure proper functioning of plumbing systems in a home.
What should be included in a Household Plumbing Inspection Checklist?
Typical items to be included in a Household Plumbing Inspection Checklist are inspection of the water heater, checking for leaks or corrosion in pipes or valves, examining faucets, testing water pressure, and inspecting toilets for proper operation.
How often should a Household Plumbing Inspection Checklist be completed?
A Household Plumbing Inspection Checklist should be completed at least once a year to ensure proper functioning of plumbing systems in the home.
Andrew Lee is the founder of My Plumber. He has been in the industry for over 20 years and has extensive experience in all aspects of plumbing. He also enjoys sharing his knowledge with others and has written several articles and given talks on plumbing.