Buying a home is a major purchase so nothing should be overlooked when deciding if you have found the right home for your family. With all the factors you’re juggling – price, location, number of rooms, etc. – it might not occur to you to have your plumbing inspected.
The plumbing of your home should be a deciding factor in your choice. Everything about your potential home could look fine on the surface, only to discover upon moving in that the plumbing is one blocked drain away from collapsing. Having a plumber perform a plumbing inspection of your home plumbing system will help you bring up problems with your realtor before you make your purchase.
Don’t be afraid to have a plumber inspect your home before you make a purchase. A reputable seller won’t mind you being informed about the property and should encourage you to find out as much as you can.
During a plumbing inspection, a plumber will confirm that everything is safe, legal, and installed by licensed professionals.
A plumbing inspection will include:
Inspect for leaks
During the inspection, your plumber will make sure that your shower, dishwasher, sinks, faucets, tub and toilet are not leaking. Small leaks increase your water bill and can cause much bigger problems.
By checking the size of your pipes, a plumber can determine the water pressure of your home. For good water pressure, the pipes should be at least ½” in diameter and the lines should be ¾” to 1 inch from the main source of water. If the home was built before 1986, a plumber will also check to see if it has lead pipes. As we know now, lead is an environmental toxin and you may not want to live in a home that has lead pipes.
A plumber can determine where your water heater is located, its capabilities, and its age. If the home water heater is in need of repair or replacement, you may be able to knock money off the asking price. You can also request that a new one is installed before you move in.
A plumber will also inspect emergency water shut-off, drain valve, thermostat, gas/electric connections, temperature and pressure relief valve, temperature setting, gas thermocouple, emergency gas shut-off, and flue pipe. The water heater plays an important role in your home, and having it unexpectedly break down is not only inconvenient but also expensive.
Sewage system and exposed pipes
A visual inspection of your pipes will reveal if there are any changes that need to be made before you move in. A plumber can also help you determine whether there is a septic tank installed on the property or if your waste goes to a municipal sewer system.
If there is a septic tank, your plumber can determine if there are any problems with it as well as where it is located, what pipes lead to it and when it was last serviced. A broken septic tank is an expensive problem that you can avoid by making sure it’s in good working order before you buy.
Make sure that you are properly informed on all areas of your potential home before you buy. A plumbing inspection can help you make the right choice and familiarize you with your plumbing for later on if something goes wrong.
More to think about:
Inspections Don’t Find Everything
Arguably, the most important in this category would be a plumbing inspection. That’s because the potential hazards that could manifest themselves once the move has been completed could be extremely costly. In fact, it’s not inconceivable to consider the possibility that failure to take care of these issues could eventually make the home uninhabitable.
However, such concerns can be alleviated by employing the services of Legacy Plumbing, which performs such tests on a regular basis and is well versed in all the nuances that make up a plumbing system. The tests that we conduct are much more thorough than the standard one that every home receives prior to purchase, which can often miss out on key trouble areas.
Finding Slab Leaks
One area that rarely gets looked at in a new home inspection is above or below the slab, where the major concern relates to leaks that could literally be draining the home of its value.
While there are clear signs of what actually constitutes a slab leak, someone purchasing a home may be unaware of them. Those signs include such things as: water pressure that’s far below normal; a monthly water bill that surges; mysterious moist spots that develop on the floor or one that’s either warm or hot; water that can be heard running despite none being used; and floors that begin cracking.
The different causes for this trouble relate to pipe corrosion, poor installation of the plumbing and a shifting foundation. In the latter case, this is a geographical reality when it comes to living in North Texas. These leaks will often take place on either sewer or water lines that lie directly below the home.
Legacy Plumbing offers a plumbing inspection known as a Water/Sewer Static Test that’s currently available for $285, with exposed clean-outs usually included within the testing process they conduct.
Detecting Drain Issues
Regarding other options, a frustrating issue for a homeowner can develop when a sewer drain line becomes clogged for whatever reason. While certain consumer products can handle basic issues that develop from time to time, there are a number of instances where a call for professionals to handle the job is the only answer.
Those more serious cases relate to sewer problems that again may be due to shifting ground or poorly-conceived installation. More specific reasoning might relate to pipes that are either made of clay tile or old cast iron, bellies in the line or roots from nearby trees that have found their way into this area.
This is also an area where Legacy Plumbing has the expertise to make a clear detection of the problem. By using an in-line camera to look at the affected area, we are able to see exactly what the problem is, eliminating any guess work.
Legacy’s Camera Drain Lines through cleanouts offers up to one hour of camera use and comes at a cost of $248. Once the problem has been officially diagnosed, the issue can be handled.
Money Well Spent
In some cases, the damage done may already make potential plumbing repairs beyond the scope of what someone wants to pay. So that investment made in either plumbing inspection offered by Legacy could help someone thinking of purchasing a home avoid becoming saddled with a money pit.
Therefore, when a new home inspection is needed, make sure to trust the experienced personnel here at Legacy Plumbing. They’ve been a fixture in the North Dallas community for more than two decades and are ready to assist with any plumbing needs or concerns. Contact us with any questions you may have or to schedule your inspection today.
Alicia S. of Fairview, TX asked:
Do I need a plumbing inspection before bidding on a home for sale?
It depends on the age of the home. Older homes tend to have more problems, and it’s less likely that the regular inspection report will include a full plumbing inspection. This is because the inspectors only check the readily visible parts of the house, while a complete camera inspection is needed to determine if there are any problems with the plumbing. Some common plumbing problems in older homes include tree roots in the drainage system, damaged sewer pipes underground, and leaking pipes inside the walls.
If the home is older than ten years old, it is worth it to pay for an inspection from a licensed plumber. This way, if any problems are discovered, you can negotiate for a reduced price on the home, which covers the cost of any plumbing-related repairs.