Are you considering buying a house? Before making such a huge investment, make sure you protect your future home from costly plumbing disasters. In this article, you’ll find quick and easy checks that can save you from unexpected expenses.
Check for Leaks
It is important to check for potential plumbing problems before you commit to buying a house. For example, you should inspect the property for signs of leaks, which can lead to more serious damage in the future and increase your monthly costs.
To check for leaks, first look around faucets and drain pipes for signs of moisture or water damage. You can also check all of the exposed pipes under sinks, behind toilets, and in other areas. Make sure to look inside cabinet doors as well as behind walls if they are not otherwise inaccessible. If you see any rust or dampness around pipes that may indicate an existing leak or one that could occur in the future.
You should also check drains throughout the property; slow draining or gurgling noises can be an indication of drainage problems that need attention. Additionally, you may want to have a certified plumber inspect the property for any pre-existing plumbing issues before you purchase it.
Test the Water Pressure
When testing the water pressure of a property, it is essential to take into account both hot and cold taps. This can tell you whether there are any underlying plumbing issues that could cause problems down the line. However, it is important to note that the expected water pressure can vary. Generally, though, most households are expected to have a minimum water pressure of around 30psi (pounds per square inch) while average pressures can range from 40-60psi and up to 100 psi in some cases. If anything falls below these averages, it could indicate an issue with your plumbing system that should be investigated further before making a purchase.
It is relatively simple to test the water pressure; there are many residential test kits on the market which include gauges for testing up to 200 psi of static pressures. For more accurate results, though, you should consider bringing in a professional plumbing service provider who will be able to provide an even more detailed evaluation of your house’s plumbing system.
Examine the Age and Condition of Pipes
When evaluating a home you’re interested in buying, it’s important to check the plumbing before signing a contract. Plumbing problems can be expensive and frustrating to manage, so having an idea of the age and condition of pipes can save you from trouble down the road.
First, examine visible plumbing, such as pipes underneath sinks or visible behind walls where possible. Check for any signs of rust, corrosion, or leaks. You will also want to look at how securely pipes are attached – loose supports could lead to problematic fluctuations in water pressure.
If you know when the house was constructed, it will give you an idea of how old and worn out some of the pipes may be. Generally speaking, older pipes are not as reliable as new and should be replaced sooner than newer ones. If records aren’t available for piping replacement and age isn’t evident by looking at it directly, hiring a professional plumber to inspect is always advised prior to signing any kind of contract.
Understanding the age and condition of plumbing could help reduce future costs associated with repairs or replacements – if anything is found that needs attention now, it definitely should be addressed before committing yourself long-term.
Evaluate the Water Heater
Evaluating the water heater is one of the most important checks you should make when assessing a property. The experienced inspector will look for signs of damage, corrosion, and any leaks that could affect its efficiency or lifespan. Testing for temperature and pressure is also necessary to ensure proper functioning of the water heater. A faulty water heater can lead to significant expenses in terms of repairs or replacement.
It’s also important to note how old the unit is—water heaters usually last between 10-15 years, depending on care and maintenance. A good inspector will be able to tell you approximately how old the unit is and whether it is likely to last you a while before needing to be replaced.
In addition, evaluate whether the type of water heater best fits your needs as some are more difficult and expensive to maintain (e.g., tankless). Many newer models are equipped with energy-saving features that can help keep your costs down on heating bills in the long run. If possible, speak with a plumber about what models would work best for your home.
Look at the Toilets and Sinks
When you are taking a look at the bathrooms in a potential house, there are a few plumbing-related items you should always check. Start by looking for cracks or damages to the toilets, sinks and other fixtures. If any issues exist, they can often be repaired, but it’s still important to be aware of them before making an offer on the home.
You’ll also want to:
- Lift up the toilet lids and take a peek into the tank – take note of any debris or rust buildup that could indicate problems with the plumbing system.
- Flush each toilet and run each faucet and showerhead to test how they work – make sure they’re draining properly.
All of these checks should help you get an idea of how much effort it will take to repair any existing damage and provide you with information when writing up your offer for your future home.
Inspect the Shower and Bathtub
When inspecting a home’s shower and bathtub, there are several things to look out for. First, check that the pipes are in good condition and free of rust or corrosion. Also check for any leaks or signs of water damage on the walls or ceiling that could indicate dripping pipes. Replace any showerheads or spouts in disrepair, as well as any loose tiles, cracked caulking, moldy grout, or areas of staining from mineral deposits.
Make sure to turn on all knobs and water outlets as you walk through the housing unit to make sure they work correctly. Make sure that all water outlets have enough pressure when you run water. Test for hot and cold functioning levels in both showers and tubs; if either is not responding correctly, it may indicate a larger plumbing issue with the home’s wiring and you will want to talk to a professional about it before making an offer on the house.
Evaluate the Drainage System
Inspect the drainage system to ensure proper flow is maintained throughout the house. Check the gutters and downspouts to ensure they are connected properly and that there are no blockages or areas of potential leakage. Drainage lines should be checked for any cracks or breaks. It’s also important to check all exterior walls for water stains or efflorescence, as well as any wood rot around the window frames, decks, siding, and drains.
Also, look out for any mold or mildew in the basement and attic space; these could be signs of a slow-draining plumbing system. When inspecting the bathroom(s), make sure to turn on every shower head and faucet (including hot water) to assess flow rate and temperature changes/ranges. Test each toilet by flushing it at least twice to ensure it works properly.
As you move through each room of the house while evaluating your potential new home’s plumbing system, look for evidence of past leaks such as discolored walls/ceiling patches or water-damaged flooring/cabinets near plumbing fixtures (i.e., sinks). Poorly maintained fixtures may not make it through inspection so it’s best to put them on top of your checklist before making a purchase offer on a home:
- Inspect the drainage system
- Check the gutters and downspouts
- Check for any cracks or breaks in the drainage lines
- Check all exterior walls for water stains or efflorescence
- Check for any wood rot around the window frames, decks, siding, and drains.
- Look out for any mold or mildew in the basement and attic space
- Turn on every shower head and faucet (including hot water) to assess flow rate and temperature changes/ranges
- Test each toilet by flushing it at least twice
- Look for evidence of past leaks such as discolored walls/ceiling patches or water-damaged flooring/cabinets near plumbing fixtures (i.e., sinks)
- Check poorly maintained fixtures
Check for Any Signs of Mold or Mildew
When you are preparing to buy a house it is important to do some basic checks to make sure that there aren’t any potential issues associated with the plumbing. One of the most important checks is to look for any signs of mold or mildew in areas with high humidity, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Look for patches of discolored walls and ceilings, musty smells or signs of condensation on window sills or walls. It can also be helpful to open cupboards and check behind appliances, as mold can often form in hidden areas.
It’s also a good idea to check for any visible signs of water damage and leaks. Look under sinks and behind toilets, bathtubs and showers – anywhere where the pipes may be exposed or visible. Check other fixtures such as taps, faucets, water heaters and drain connections for signs of corrosion or rusting. All these can indicate potential plumbing problems which you may need to address when you move in.
Hire a Professional Plumber for a Thorough Inspection
Hiring a professional plumber to conduct a thorough inspection of all plumbing fixtures is one of the most important things to do when purchasing a home. The professional should check that all pipe insulation is intact, that no pipes are leaking or corroding, and that all valves and connections are tight. They should also inspect the foundation of the home for signs of water leakage and make sure the water supply lines are up to code.
Additionally, they should check for any pressure problems, visible cracks as well as corrosion in both water and gas systems. By hiring a professional plumber beforehand, potential home buyers can be sure they’re not buying a financially draining lemon!
When weighing the pros and cons of any home purchase, a buyer must always keep the plumbing system in mind. Although it is impossible to determine every potential pipe issue before purchasing a home, one should perform some basic checks.
A visual inspection of water pressure and possible leakage should be done in all sinks and faucets. One should also check the condition of pipes, noting rusting or corrosion as well as general age and age wear. Finally, testing all toilets for proper flushing should be done to eliminate possible plumbing problems.
An expert plumber will be able to look into a home’s plumbing system deeper than what can be done by a visual inspection alone; however, doing the basic checks prior to purchasing a home can help provide proof that a plumbing problem may exist in the future. This does not guarantee against future issues; nevertheless, it can help provide assurance that the home is better equipped to handle them if they occur.
Frequently Asked Questions
What plumbing checks should I do before buying a house?
Before buying a house, it’s important to check for any plumbing issues that might affect the house’s condition. Plumbing issues can range from leaking pipes to clogged drains, and can be costly to repair. It’s best to have a professional inspect the house’s plumbing before signing any contracts.
What can I look for when inspecting a house’s plumbing?
When inspecting a house’s plumbing, you should look for any signs of leaks or water damage, check the water pressure, and make sure all the drains are clear. Additionally, it’s important to check the age of the water heater and make sure the septic system is functioning properly.
How can I tell if a house has good plumbing?
To tell if a house has good plumbing, you should look for any signs of water damage, make sure the water pressure is good, and check that all the drains are clear. Additionally, you should check the age and condition of the water heater and make sure the septic system is functioning properly.
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.