So, you’re ready to purchase a new home. Congratulations! Before you sign on the dotted line and get the keys to your new house, make sure to thoroughly inspect the plumbing. In fact, it’s best to let a professional plumber handle this in addition to any routine inspections you’ll need before you close. 

Why is a plumbing inspection important? Because it can save you a lot of money on repairs down the road, and can even alert you to some very serious problems that may make you think twice about buying the house. Additionally, the last thing you want to do when you move into a new home is to spend time making repairs that could have been fixed before you booked the moving van. 

You can avoid the surprises and move into a home worry-free by checking these important plumbing areas before you move in.

The pipes. Make sure to look at all pipes – from the top floor to the basement – as well as any outside pipes – and repair any leaks or cracks you find immediately. You’ll want to turn on faucets and make sure there aren’t any leaks or pools of water around them when you do. 

Inspect the toilet and surrounding floor. It’s simple to replace a toilet, so make sure all of them in your potential new home are working properly and that there aren’t any cracks or leaks where the toilet should be sealed and secured to the floor. If you see any water on the floor around the toilet, it may be an indication of water damage, which can amount to a costly repair in the future. 

Do a water heater check. A home’s water heater is absolutely essential for day-to-day living and a house with an old water heater, or one that needs repair, can lower its value. Make sure the home you’re about to purchase has a solid water heater by checking for leaks around its base. 

Ask about the sewer line. It’s important to ask the seller or realtor how long it’s been since they’ve had the sewer line inspected. If it’s been longer than two years, we recommend getting a plumber out to inspect it with a camera inserted down the main line, to make sure the sewer system is working properly before you purchase the home. This will ensure you don’t inherit a mess! 

Take a look at our article: Signs you have a sewage backup 

Are the pipes ready for winter? The plumber can also check to make sure the pipes are ready for cold weather. Ideally, pipes will be wrapped, and vents will be checked to make sure that they can be closed off in winter when the temperature drops below freezing. 

A word about water pressure. You’ll want to make sure the water pressure is good, so first, learn what size the pipes are in the home. In most cases, lines should be from ¾” to 1 inch from the main water source and pipes should be at least ½” in diameter. 

Eliminate lead pipes. It’s very important to check whether the home you’re about to buy has any lead or galvanized plumbing. Homes built before 1986 may have lead pipes and lead is a serious environmental toxin that has been linked to illness. If the home indeed has lead pipes, you may want to steer clear of the purchasing it, or negotiate so the owner can replace the pipes before you buy. 

Here’s a great video of a whole house plumbing inspection. Take a look to get a great idea of what to expect doing the inspection, and give us a call before you decided to buy.