Before You Buy: Plumbing Inspection Checklist for Home Buyers

When most people look at a home they consider size, layout, bedrooms, and curb appeal. However, there is usually a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to plumbing. The last thing you need is extensive plumbing repairs shortly after purchasing your dream home. Do your homework with each walk through by following this simple plumbing inspection checklist.

What to Check On Your First Walk Through a Home

1. Flush: First, flush each toilet in every bathroom. You’re checking for slow moving water, weak pressure, or toilets prone to clogging.

2. Wash: Turn on the showers, try the hot water, and look for adequate water pressure. Showers are usually the best indicator of typical water pressure in the home.

3. Drips: Look for drips in each faucet. Little drips are usually a sign of either a worn out faucet, or a leak somewhere in the system.

4. Pipes: Look at the pipes under the sink. To ensure good water pressure, pipes under the sink should be at least ½ wide or more. For pipes from your water source to the home, they should be at least ¾ inches wide.

5. Rust: Look for signs of rust or corrosion on any water heater, water softener, or other home plumbing appliances. Ask for the dates of purchase and the dates of last plumbing inspection on these items as well. Your home inspector should also do this, but it doesn’t hurt to do your due diligence as you walk the home to look for any signs of a water heater on the fritz.

6. Outside: Walk around outside on the lawn and see if there are any soppy areas, puddles, or poor drainage. This is particularly important if the home has a septic tank.

7. Warnings: Check around home appliances, tubs, and showers for any signs of warping or cracking in the floor. Also check flooring and ceilings for any signs of water staining or previous water damage.

Before You Make An Offer

When you are serious about purchasing a home, it’s time for a second walk through and more thorough inspection to check for the nitty gritty details. When you walk through a house for the second time, it is a good idea to bring a licensed plumber along to learn more about any past or current plumbing issues in the home.

A second pair of eyes can may see things you may not notice or know to look for, and can provide professional advice if necessary. You should also check to see if a sewer line or water line was repaired/replaced in the past, check for any water damage or possible leaks that may cause future issues and thoroughly inspect crawlspaces, attics, and basements for any signs of water.

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