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5 Plumbing Inspection Tips for Home Buyers

plumbing inspection

The long process of buying a home is coming to a close – you’re financing is in place, you’ve scouted and toured homes – and you’ve finally found the perfect one! All that’s left before closing is your inspection.  Having a certified home inspector go thru the home is all you need, right? Wrong.  At Flat Rate, we strongly urge you to look over your home as well- after all, this is the biggest investment most people will ever make.

Plumbing problems can be costly, and depending on the extent, cause a messy disruption in your home. It’s estimated the 44% of consumers will need to call a plumber in the first year of buying a home.  A little extra work up front can end up saving you time and money in the long run.

What to check:

  1. Hot water heater. Size, location and condition of your hot water heater is important.  Since you’ll be using hot water for showering, doing laundry, and cooking, a family of four usually needs a 40 gallon tank. Be sure the placement of the water heater is up to code in your area.  Check the age and condition, if the water heater is outdated or corroded, consider requesting the existing owner to install a new one as part of your purchase agreement.
  2. Pipes. Look for leaks or cracks. Many older homes still have lead pipes – these are an environmental hazard and should be replaced.
  3. Sewage system. Check with the city to find out if waste goes into the city’s sewage system or if you have your own septic tank. If you have your own, check to see when it was last emptied and serviced.
  4. Water meter. Be sure your shut off valve is working. When the valve is turned off, you should have no running water in your home.  If that is not the case, it will likely need to be replaced.
  5. Faucets. Check toilets, showers, sinks and drains. Make sure there are no leaks or slow drips.  Also, check the last few water bills – this is sometimes your biggest help in finding hidden leaks.