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What to Look For When Looking For A New Home

Plumbing Inspections

Buying a new home can be exciting, and can also be nerve-racking. Everyone who intends to buy a new home wants the same thing; a home that they love and that will bring them years of comfort and security. The new homeowner is worried about schools, how close is work or the store, all sorts of details. Unfortunately, they often forget one of the most important things about buying a new home: a professional plumbing inspection.

One great responsibility that every prospective homeowner faces is making sure that their home is in the best condition possible by hiring a professional plumber for an inspection before buying the home.

Most of the plumbing in a home isn’t commonly visible, so problems are sometimes hidden from the average person's eyes. That is why, for any home you are hoping to buy, a professional plumbing inspection is imperative.

For a home that has been chosen for a prospective purchase, there are five main areas that would benefit from a professional plumbing inspection. During a pre-purchase inspection your plumber will:

1. Check the Sewer Lines:

If you are buying a home that is twenty years old or older, it is imperative that the sewer line be inspected. There may be clogs in older sewer lines and even in ones just twenty years old. For homes built in the 1950’s to the 1970’s a sewer inspection might be more urgent.

Some homes built during this period had “Orangeburg” pipes. These pipes were made of wood pulp and pitch, compressed together. PVC pipe replaced them, but occasionally they are found in older homes. If these types of pipes are found they need to be replaced immediately. Another sewer line problem is clogs caused by roots or other materials reducing or stopping the flow of waste away from the home. This inspection is crucial since a sewage backup can be devastating to your home.

You will definitely need a professional plumbing company to inspect your sewer lines. A worst case scenario could include full replacement of your sewer lines! The plumbing company will use a plumbing snake with a special camera attached to it to fully inspect your sewer line and to see whether there are any serious problems that need to be addressed.

2. Check the Water Heater:

The water heater is one of the most visible items to check on a plumbing inspection, but this does not mean you will be able to see possible problems from a glance at the outside of the heater. Your plumbing inspector will check the tank, the pipes surrounding it and the valves to make sure they are appropriate in size and capacity and are in good working condition.

This is a crucial inspection, particularly if your water heater is gas, since improperly sized or installed pipes can be very dangerous. He may also be able to help you determine an approximate age for your water heater, if needed. This is also important, since a water heater’s life expectancy is eight to twelve years.

3. Check the Toilet(s):

A plumbing inspection on a toilet will consist of flushing the toilet and allowing the tank to refill. It sounds simple but your plumber will also be listening carefully to determine if it is re-filling at an appropriate rate. He will also be listening to determine if he can hear any leaking as it refills. He will also check around the base of the toilet for evidence of any prior toilet leaks as well as for missing bolts and china caps.

4. Check for Discolored Water:

Why does your plumber need to check the color of the water? There are a number of problems that can arise in your plumbing and cause discolored water. Hot, rusty water is a good indication there is a problem with the water heater. If it is both hot and cold water, the culprit is probably iron pipes. There are a number of possible sources for water discoloration problems. Remember, the discolored water is just a symptom of a problem. A professional plumber should be able to determine, not only the source of the problem but also the appropriate way to address it.

5. Check the Possibilities for Future Problems:

Dealing with a plumbing problem can be a nightmare for a homeowner. As your professional plumber works his way through an inspection on a prospective purchase, he will not only look for current problems, but for problems that may arise in the future. For example, if there are exposed pipes with no protective covering, he may suggest they have extra protection added. After all, a frozen pipe can be a nightmare.

He can also check for signs of pinhole leaks in pipes. These are tiny holes that weep a drop or two at a time. They are usually not enough to be noticed –in the beginning. However, over a period of time, they can eventually rot out surrounding wood and drywall. Cracks or missing caulk in a tub can indicate possible leaking and future dry rot inside the surrounding walls.

If you are thinking of purchasing a home, a full, professional plumbing inspection can save you money, worry and headaches later.

Kellie Plumbing, Inc., in Franklin, IN, is available to answer any questions you may have about your new home’s plumbing inspection. Call (317)-738-2707 for more information about plumbing inspection or for a full list of their services.