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The Complete Plumbing Checklist You Need Before Paying for a House


Buying a new home is a big deal. So, a lot of thought and consideration has to go into it.

Bad plumbing should be a deal-breaker if you intend to enjoy your new home. You wouldn’t want to buy a new home and immediately start struggling to fix one plumbing problem after another.

If you do not check out the property properly, you might end up buying a liability and spend so much on the house in the long run.

In this article, we help you make a smarter decision. Not just for your comfort, but also for your pocket. Here’s a complete checklist for you to assess a house’s plumbing before you buy.

Complete Plumbing Checklist for Home Buyers

A lot of times, some real estate companies or homeowners want to sell off properties without spending money to fix them. Some home agents will not disclose that the house has some problems — such as poor plumbing — and still try to sell it to you.

Maybe they do it to expand their profit margin?

Whatever the reason may be, avoid being at the losing end of this. To avoid spending more money on installations and repairs, here are some plumbing requirements to put on your checklist and look out for before you buy that house:

1. Water Heater System

When you are about to buy a house, ask to see the water heating system. The realtor should allow you to inspect it. Find out how long the water heater has been in use and if it is functioning well.

With a physical inspection of the water heater, you can spot leakages, corrosion, and other faults with it. You also need to know the date of the last professional servicing of the water heater, if any.

2. Pipes

You need to know the type and size of pipes used in the plumbing system of the house. You also need to know the age of the water line. The essence of this is to know how long they would last before you would need to change them.

For instance, if the house uses galvanized pipes, these pipes would need changing after 30 years of using them. So, knowing the age and type of the pipes could influence your buying decision.

Also, look out for the color of the pipes. Any discoloration in the pipes shows a problem. It could show leaks or damages. It shows that the pipes need replacement.

3. Water Pressure

When you turn on the taps and showers, water should gush out. It shouldn’t trickle. If the water trickles, there is the problem of low water pressure. There are several factors that can cause water to trickle down a tap.

It could be a problem with the faucet. It could also come from corroded or broken pipes. Whatever the problem is, you need to know that low water pressure will affect your enjoyment of the plumbing system.

Low water pressure is more common with old houses. So, if the house is old, be sure to check out all the taps. You need to be sure that there is a good flow of water in the entire building.

4. Water Leak

Before you sign the dotted lines and make the contract final, look out for leaks around the house. Areas of interest are under sinks, kitchen and toilet areas, and the walls. If there are water leaks, you would notice wet areas in these places.

Also, look for stained walls and floors. It is common to find water molds in any area where water leaks. Also, pay attention to any form of peeling on the walls. This is also an indicator of water leakages in the plumbing system.

5. Drainage System

Inspect the drains and ensure they function well. You can pour water through them and observe if it drains quickly. This exercise will also show you if there are blocked drainages around the house.

If it drains slowly and makes a gurgling noise, that’s a sign of a problem. It shows that the plumbing is bad. There could be cracks in the drainage system. There are also rare cases where a tree is already growing inside it.

6. Clear Water

Check to see the quality of water that flows from the taps in the house. Look out for any odor or color in the water. You need water that is clear in your home. If the water is not clean, that shows a plumbing problem somewhere.

Ordinarily, good water should be without color and odor. If the water is brownish, it could show that there is a problem with the water source or there are busted pipes in the plumbing system of the house.

If the water has a foul stench, don’t ignore it. It would mean that there is a broken sewer system or vent under the house. Fixing something like this would make you spend a lot of money. It could also affect the house’s foundation.

Having a slight smell of chlorine in the water is acceptable. This is because people often use chlorine to treat water. So, chlorine in a safe quantity is good for the water. However, where the smell of chlorine or bleach is very strong, then it is a problem.

7. Sewage System

This is the part of the plumbing system that could prove difficult for you to inspect. Sometimes it would require you to dig up some pipes to examine it. In the same vein, it is also the most difficult to fix.

If you buy a house with bad sewers, you would spend so much money fixing it and digging up stuff. So, you need to be sure that the sewage system is in good condition. You can check it out by standing in the shower and trying to sniff out any foul smell coming from the sewer. It will give you an idea if it is in good condition.

However, for a more thorough inspection of the sewage system, you need a professional to check it out. Otherwise, you would buy a house with terrible sewer and become frustrated with endless plumbing troubles.

8. Service History

It is important that you ask for the service records of the house. This will reveal problems with the plumbing that you need to be aware of. It will also show the lifespan of some components of the plumbing system that would need replacement or maintenance soon.

A look at this record will help you make a better and more informed buying decision. At a glance, you would see the issues with the house. With this information at your disposal, you can decide whether to take it or not.

Get a Professional Plumber to Help

Before you get excited about the beautiful house you inspected, do a double-check by having a professional plumber in Missoula look at the plumbing system. A professional eye will pick out issues you may probably miss because you may not be an expert in how plumbing systems work.

At Plumb-Tech, our experts have a 65-point plumbing checklist inspection that we do on homes prior to purchase. Our customers get a deep insight into the condition of the plumbing, so they know what can or should be fixed.

If you want to enjoy your home with no exorbitant repairs and plumbing trouble, contact us for a thorough inspection of that house before you buy it.

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