Why You Should Have a Plumbing Inspection Before Buying a Home
It can feel like you have a million things to consider when you are buying a house. You’ve likely got a lot on your plate, and it can be really tempting to let some things fall by the wayside. Do you really need to worry about all of those inspections? Well, it’s better to get a plumbing inspection.
While you can always rely on emergency plumbing if you need to, you should be aware of the fact that some plumbing work can be pretty major. This means that when you buy a house you might be inheriting some work that needs doing. If you get a plumbing inspection carried out before buying, you can ask that the work is done beforehand or even use it as part of negotiations.
There are many different aspects of a plumbing check, all of which play a crucial role in making sure you’re not going to face costly and disruptive work as soon as you move in.
Check Your Water Heater
When you move into a house, you expect the water to be working. It’s probably something that you have been used to for years in your previous home, so you don’t want to walk into a new house and find that as soon as you get in the shower all the hot water is gone.
Modern systems tend to work very efficiently and do a good job of heating a lot of water. If you didn’t get a plumbing inspection before moving in and find that the water heater is old and doesn’t function as well as you hoped, it is both annoying and costly. A new water heater might be needed, and a whole house system is probably not going to be cheap.
Check Your Water Pressure
Water pressure is low can be really frustrating. It certainly makes showering and washing the dishes a more miserable experience, but it can also be linked to other structural problems in the home. For this reason, checking the water pressure before you move in is one of the most important aspects of the plumbing inspection Make sure you run the rule before you buy.
Check the Drains
Clogged drains can be a messy job, and they can cause a lot of problems within the plumbing. Some of the fixes for drain-related issues can be really expensive. For example, it might cause clogged pipes within your house which then require you to take out some parts of the wall to access the areas you need to make the repairs. You will need an expert plumber to fix such issues, someone who has been working as a plumber for years.
A clogged drain is not an uncommon problem, and many of us experience this at some point, but you don’t want to inherit a home with drains that are in need of work. Make sure you check before buying.
Evaluate Your Sink’s Foundation
This is one of the less obvious issues that a lot of people experience when they are buying a house. Over time, a sink’s foundations can rot. This is especially true if a lot of water is getting onto the countertops.
If you spot it early then you can potentially treat the foundations and avoid potentially pricey repairs, but if not you are going to have to face a new sink. You might even have to replace all of the counters that surround it. It’s best to avoid this kind of structural work if you can.
Fortunately, this can be quite a simple thing to check. Both builders and plumbers can take a good look to see if there have been leaks or other issues leading to mold or rotting, as this can cause the foundations to start to cave in.
Inspecting the State of Your Sewer
A sewer inspection is always a good idea, especially if there are a lot of large trees in your neighborhood. These can cause a real hazard to the pipes in the ground and potentially clog up or damage sewer lines. The last thing you want is for sewage to start seeping into your backyard or even into your home during a storm. (Yes, this really can happen).
The fix is probably a jet of the line and a way to prohibit the roots from growing. It’s more of a problem with older systems. Sewage lines can be inspected with cameras and it is well worth it, especially if you fear there could be some roots growing around your pipes.
Inspect the Septic System
A septic system instead of being connected to the sewer system can bring its own hazards. There are a few ways to check if the septic system is working correctly.
If you see that there is standing water or you notice a smell coming from the system then you shouldn’t proceed until things are sorted out. Seepage from the system can cause a huge amount of issues, and as the buyer, it shouldn’t be down to you to sort it out.
Check for Leaks
A simple method is to turn off all of the water in the home and then check the meter. If it is still moving then you know there is a water leak somewhere in the system. Finding it is usually a job for the professionals. This is something else that should be resolved before you move forward with your purchase and should be done by the seller rather than the buyer.
It can definitely be frustrating having to continue to make a lot of inspections and get professionals to look at the home before you buy, but this is where you are going to live, and you can’t be too careful.
While some plumbing problems are obvious and simple to fix, others can be costly and disruptive. Seek the help of a professional plumber and get the home thoroughly inspected rather than run the risk of moving in and immediately needing an emergency plumber and being hit with big bills as you seek to repair the issues.
Claire Zimmerman is a content marketing specialist at Allstate Service Group. Having almost 9 years of experience in home improvement, Claire is keen on sharing her knowledge on home remodeling, home improvement, emergency plumbing issues, ac installation processes, and water damage issues. Claire’s articles are informative and entertaining, written both for homeowners and experienced contractors.
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