Buying a Home? Here’s How to Inspect the Plumbing System
When buying a home there are many things to consider. Performing a plumbing system inspection is one of the most important tasks. Here are some items to check:
1. Water Heater
Ask the current owner for the age of the water heater. A conventional tank style water heater will last between 8-10 years. Check for signs of corrosion around the tank fittings and bottom of the tank. Excessive corrosion could mean the tank is in need of replacement.Turn on a tap close to the water heater, hot water should begin to flow almost immediately. If not, the tank may have excess sediment that needs to be flushed out, or the burner may be worn out.
2. Check for water leaks
Some leaks will be obvious, such as a dripping faucet or shower head. These are easy to fix. Of greater concern are hidden water leaks. To check for hidden leaks turn off all water using appliances and fixtures and check the water meter after a few hours. If the meter shows significant use, there is likely a hidden water leak somewhere. Also check outside faucets and the sprinkler system for leaks.
3. Check the Sump Pump
Sump pumps are one of the out-of-sight, out-of-mind systems that are rarely checked by homeowners. To check that the sump pump is working, slowly pour a bucket of water into the sump pit. The pump should turn on after a few seconds and remove the water.
4. Check Appliances
Washer supply line hoses should be checked for bulges and cracks. If the lines need to be replaced, use braided stainless hoses for added strength.
5. Inspect Sewer and Drain Lines
If the house is more than 8 years old it’s a good idea to have a video sewer line inspection to check for tree root intrusion or cracks that could cause sewer line failure down the road.
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