As you’re out shopping for a home, you certainly take into account the condition of a home’s many systems. Kick the tires and check under the hood. You want to know if the roof is sound with no leaks. Do the windows fit snug and open and close smoothly? Does the house need painting or siding? Is there enough insulation in the attic and walls, and do the AC and furnace work as they should?
You have a list of questions and some calculating to do. But, did you remember to check the plumbing?
Yes, plumbing is easy to forget. We take it for granted so often. Hot water when we need it, clean drinking water and more. It pays, in the long run, to have a plumbing professional fully inspect the plumbing system of any home you are considering buying. An ounce of prevention now can save you a monumental headache later. Here’s what to know.
SEWER CAMERA INSPECTION IS WORTH THE INVESTMENT
You’ve probably reviewed home inspections before. A checklist of systems and features and how they’re doing. But, to receive an accurate and thorough plumbing inspection, it has to be performed by a plumbing professional.
The sanitary and storm sewer are perfect examples. This is especially true for homes with older trees in the yard. Unfortunately, large beautiful trees have root systems that could be digging into the sewer system of the home. There’s no way to know for sure if this is the case without a professional video camera inspection. Skip the inspection and you could pay for it later, or worse, sooner.
If there are tree roots present in the sewer lines, you can get an estimate to mitigate the problem and factor the cost into a reduction of the home you want to purchase.
CHECK FOR HIDDEN PLUMBING LEAKS
You can sometimes spot plumbing leaks by water-stained ceilings, walls, and floors. Other water leaks may be hidden and not showing just yet. Your plumbing pro can assess this problem by turning off all of the water outlets in the home and checking the water meter. If the water meter is turning, you have a hidden leak somewhere that needs to be found.
WATER HEATER INSPECTION
If there’s one appliance in the home that is forgotten about (until there’s no hot water) is the water heater. It works tirelessly ready to deliver hot water 24/7. Your plumbing pro can fully inspect the water heater to make sure it is in good condition.
- How old is the water heater? Water heaters last on average 8 to 12 years, but some parts need replacing after 3 or 4 years.
- Is there any corrosion on the tank?
- Is the combustion chamber burning clean?
- Does the temperature and pressure relief (T&PR) valve function correctly?
- When was the last time the water heater was serviced? There could be internal parts to replace.
SINKS, FAUCETS & TOILETS
All sinks, faucets and toilets should be checked. There shouldn’t be any leaks. Look under the sinks for water stains. Do the toilets flush properly or are they slow flushing? Open up all faucets to maximum output to check water pressure. What about shower heads? How much money are you going to have to put into fixtures?
All of the questions mentioned here are important, and they’re not meant to discourage or alarm you. They are valid questions from prospective home buyers that need straight answers so that you know how to proceed with price and home bid negotiations.
For a professional, honest and fair-priced plumbing inspection, contact us at MN Plumbing and Home Services today at (952)469-8341.