There are few things worse than finding the perfect home only to discover after your purchase that it has significant plumbing problems. Even when you have a home inspected, there are problems that your inspector may miss or may not be able to detect.
Before you purchase the home of your dreams, here are plumbing problems to look out for.
1. Sewer Line
General home inspections don’t include a sewer line check. Yet, it’s one of the top plumbing problems to look out for when purchasing a home. The sewer line is your home’s vital drainage system. It removes wastewater from your home and carries it to primary settling tanks.
A problem with your sewer line can result in significant repair or replacement cost. Tree roots, debris, foreign objects and non-biodegradable substances are common causes of sewer blockages.
Before purchasing a home, have a plumbing professional inspect the sewer line. To thoroughly inspect the sewer, the technician will thread a waterproof video camera through the underground pipes. This takes out the guesswork because the technician will have a clear visual of the condition of the sewer line and be able to spot any existing or potential problems.
2. Water Heater
It’s necessary to inspect the water heater of the home you plan on buying. If the water heater is old and needs replacing, you’ll want to know about it up front. Water heaters, when maintained well, last 10 to 15 years. After that, they become unable to heat efficiently and need replacing.
Modern, energy efficient water heaters cost anywhere from $800 to $2,000 depending on the size, so it’s not a cost you’d want to be surprised with. Check the manufacture date of the water heater and be wary if it’s at the end of its lifespan.
In addition to checking the age of the water heater, have your inspector check the supply and delivery pipes. These pipes are located on top of the water heater and supply cold and hot water to the heater. Leaks are commonly caused by damaged or corroded supply and delivery pipes.
3. Toilet Leaks
Leaking toilets are another thing to watch out for. The most common area to look for leaks is at the base of the toilet. It’s important not to brush toilet leaks off as insignificant. When toilets leak, they cause the subfloor to rot away, which may cost several hundred dollars to repair.
When you flush the toilet, you may be able to see a small amount of water leak from the base, but this isn’t always the case. A soft floor around the base of the toilet is a tell-tale sign that the sub-floor is rotted due to water damage from a toilet leak. Another sign of a leaking toilet is discoloration of the floor around the base.
Make sure your inspector or a plumber inspects the toilets for leaks. It’s a good idea to be there so you can ask any questions you may have.
4. Water Lines
It’s necessary to have a professional check the water lines supplying water to the sinks. This is often included in a general home inspection. You can also check a few things when you do the walk-through of the home. For instance, turn on the water in the kitchen and bathrooms and notice if the faucets are leaking. The base of the faucet and sprayer is a common place for leaks.
You’ll also want to make sure the sinks drain properly. Fill them up and take note of whether they drain efficiently or not. Slow drains and leaky faucets are signs of plumbing problems. These could be minor or may be part of a bigger plumbing issue.
A thorough plumbing inspection will help you avoid purchasing a home with hidden plumbing problems. For your pre-purchase plumbing inspection needs, contact Parker & Parker Plumbing.