If you’re currently trying to buy a home, it’s essential to check the plumbing system. Many homeowners forget to check the plumbing, and they could end up with a nasty bill later. Whether you’re a brand new home buyer or you’re relocating, the plumbing system should be checked out by a professional. Flushing the toilets and running the faucets during an open house is fine, but most of the plumbing system is hidden, and someone without any plumbing experience will not know what to look out for. For this reason, we have compiled a handy basic plumbing checklist that you should complete before you sign any papers.
- Ask About Lead
According to data from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), approximately one in six children have an elevated level of lead in their blood. Ingesting lead in drinking water is one of the main ways that lead can enter our bodies. Lead is toxic, it’s very harmful, and the last thing you need is lead in your plumbing pipes and fixtures. If the home has lead piping, don’t buy it unless the seller is prepared to pay for its replacement as part of the deal.
- Flush Every Toilet
As you move through the house, make sure to give each toilet a flush to check they work. This will help you to identify toilets that have a weaker flush and if they continue to run after flushing has finished. If the toilets are acting strangely, make their repair a condition of sale to avoid pay to fix them yourself later.
- Examine Water Pipe Sizes
Anyone that’s lived in a home with low water pressure will understand how undesirable it is and this is why you need to inspect the water pipe sizes. The pipes should be located at a minimum distance of ¾ inches from the water supply coming into the home. There should also be a minimum distance of ½ inches to the faucets.
- The Water Heater
Ask the realtor to show you the water heater and visually inspect it for any signs of corrosion. A build-up of scale or corrosion inside the unit cannot be seen, but ask the realtor for the year it was last replaced and when it was last serviced by a certified professional plumber.
- Check the Faucets and Showers
One of the best ways to gauge the water pressure is to check every faucet and shower individually. This also allows you to check if any of these plumbing fixtures are leaking or not working normally.
- Crawl Spaces and Basement
Most homebuyers never venture into the crawl spaces or basement areas. But, it’s worth spending some time in these areas to look for any signs of leaking or hidden water damage. Take a look at the pipes and examine the joints for evidence of poor quality repairs or corrosion. This is hard to do if you have no experience in plumbing, but the pipes should be installed in a logical manner and tethered where necessary.
This basic plumbing checklist only scratches the surface, for a more comprehensive check contact a local certified plumber to carry out an inspection before you buy.
By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.