Invest In a Plumbing Inspection Prior to Buying a Home
Every reasonable buyer inspects at least several things before making a down payment on a house. Superficial things are something that everyone checks in detail. However, if you really wish to know what state your potential future house really is, you have to scratch the surface. Electric and heating installations and insulation need to be at the top of the list, but your number one priority should be the plumbing since problems in plumbing areas are usually the hardest to fix. Hence, the need to do a plumbing inspection. Here is how to inspect plumbing before making a final decision.
Asking for a professional opinion
If you are uncertain about any plumbing issues the home may have, it is strongly advised to consult a plumbing professional to do a plumbing inspection. It would not be the first time that new owners failed to notice some serious problems due to their inexperience, say the guys who own and operate Dial up Plumbing, which in return will set them back way more than professional plumbing inspection service fee would. On top of that, you will get a repair estimate and you can negotiate a discount with the sellers to cover the unexpected expenses.
A Sewer Camera Inspection Is a Good Investment
There are two very good reasons to insist on a sewer camera inspection of your sanitary and storm sewer before buying. If the house that you have your eye on is an older home in a mature neighborhood you
probably have larger trees on or near the property. Unfortunately where there are trees there are usually tree roots and they love to find water inside of your sewer. There is no way of knowing whether or not you have a tree root infestation without seeing it with a video camera inspection. You can roll the dice and wait for the first downpour but I think you’d rather not. If tree roots are present you can get an estimate to hydrojet the line and then work on a preventative maintenance plan to control their growth. If you’re buying a newer home in a newish development the chances are good that you won’t have those pesky roots however new homes have other sewer issues. When a new homes foundation is back filled it is not uncommon for the site crew to add some new trench backfill and then just push the existing spoils back into the space around the home. Over time that ground settles and when it does you run the very real risk of the sewer line shearing at the foundation wall. The piping drops and a blockage occurs. Many times this problem can go on for years without a catastrophic backup happening however, it will happen sooner or later. Having your sewer line video inspected gives you some piece of mind and it can save you some serious money in the long run.
Water meter and valves
Checking the water meter is a great next step in your plumbing inspection. Close all faucets and check if the water meter is turning. If it is, there is a leak somewhere and this could be serious problem. Move on to the valves. Start with the main shut off valve operation. When shut off, no faucet in the house should have water. This goes for every other shut off valve and their corresponding faucets. If everything is working properly, you are off to a good start.
Water Heater Inspection
Inspect all water heaters for signs of corrosion. Though most common water heaters issues are easily solved corrosion should not be overlooked since it can cause serious damage. Also, bear in mind that an average four member family requires at least 400 gallons per day to satisfy its regular needs and that they last approximately 10 years, depending on frequency of use, water quality and maintenance.
Faucets, sinks and toilets
Check all existing faucet and sinks in detail. They need to be fully functional, no drips or leaks are allowed whatsoever. Test the flow of the water as well. Open faucets to maximum flow and check if the water goes down the sink without any delay. The same inspection principle applies to toilets as well. When you flush them the entire water quantity needs to drain without any leftovers. If this is not the case either with sinks or toilets that means they are clogged and this can turn out to be a serious problem.
If your potential property uses septic tank instead of municipal sewer you need to be careful and check if the entire system is fully functional. Odors and standing water is a clear sign of seepage and this needs to be taken care of as soon as possible to avoid additional complication and health hazards. Naturally, this should be entirely seller’s responsibility.
As you can see, plumbing inspection is not an easy task. Hiring professional help is strongly advisable in case of any dilemma. In any way, take your time and make sure you check everything carefully before you decide to buy.
By Lillian Connors