Are you buying a new home but don’t know how to tell if the plumbing will hold up like the current owner promises? Plumbing repairs and new plumbing installation can really get expensive, so you want to learn what to expect from the plumbing before you sign the papers. We will cover in this simple guide what plumbing issues to look for when purchasing a new home.
How Can I Inspect Plumbing Before Buying a New House
When you get ready to buy a house, you need to inspect the plumbing before finalizing a deal. Honest homeowners should disclose any problems openly, but not all sellers do. We will cover the most important things to inspect as well as the signs of a problem.
1. Water Heater
You need to ensure the water heater can support your household’s hot water requirements efficiently.
Ask about the age of the water heater and whether it still has a warranty on it. Conventional tank-type water heaters last 10 – 15 years, while tankless water heaters can last up to 20 years. Also, ask the Uniform Energy Factor (UEF) to determine the efficiency of the device. Tankless water heaters and hybrid water heaters tend to have the highest efficiency levels.
Ensure the water heater is large enough for you. For tank-type water heaters, you need to know the size of the tank as well as the recovery rating. For tankless water heaters, you need to know the gallons per minute rate (GPM) at the temperature rise you can expect in your climate.
Collect any paperwork regarding maintenance, repairs, installation, user manuals, and warranty information. You should also examine the unit to determine it doesn’t have a leak or show signs of corrosion.
You should ask the owner to replace the water heater if it’s reaching the end of its life expectancy, shows damage/corrosion, doesn’t suit your family’s needs, or runs inefficiently.
Inspect the toilets for leaks, which can lead to costly repairs. Unfortunately, some homeowners try to seal a leak instead of completely fixing it. Signs of a leak include:
- Unstable connection
You should also flush each toilet to ensure they don’t have a clog. When you flush, take note of whether the house has low-flow or standard toilets.
You should ask for the owner to complete repairs if you notice either a leak or a clog.
Check the pipes to ensure they don’t look damaged or discolored.
Two important things to inquire about the pipes are the material of the pipes and the age. Copper pipes tend to be newer than steel or lead, and they last up to 80 years. Steel pipes last up to 100 years, but they likely need to get replaced sooner, since they corrode over time.
You also want to look for leaks. You can find leaks by looking at the pipes themselves and looking for water spots on the walls, floors, and ceiling. You should also search for mold or the scent of mold.
Since water leaks can be difficult to spot, many plumbers use acoustic leak detection techniques that find leaks based on vibrations.
You should ask the owners to replace the pipes if they are getting old or made out of outdated materials. You should ask them to get repairs if you notice leaks.
You need to know that all of the appliances work and how long to expect them to last, especially the laundry machines and dishwashers. Run the units to ensure that they don’t shake or make alarming noises/smells. You also want to get an understanding of how much water the devices use and what they will cost to run. Efficient appliances with an EnergyStar certification will use less water and electricity, something you will notice when you get the bill.
You should ask the owner to repair the appliances if they leak, and you should ask them for a replacement if the appliances have passed their expected life span.
Leaky faucets may not seem like a big deal, but those leaks add up. Check all faucets and fixtures to ensure you don’t see any leaks or water damage. You can also ask about the fixtures used. Low flow showerheads and fixtures can help you control water usage and manage your water bill.
The good news is that most faucets and fixtures don’t cost too much to replace and repair.
6. Water Quality
The water quality at your new home can have a direct effect on the taste of the water and your family’s health. You can get test strips to test the water quality, but you can also spot poor water quality by a funny taste or smell. Some things that negatively affect water quality include:
- Industrial waster
- Old plumbing
- Hard water
If the home you want to buy has bad water quality, you can ask the current owners to install a water filtration system at the main water line and a water softener. You can also install water filters on each faucet, but that won’t provide the same results as a whole-home filtration system.
7. Sewer Lines
Homeowners have a responsibility to maintain the sewage lines. This includes not putting improper items down the drains and keeping tabs on any roots that may cause trouble. Ask for all documentation on professional maintenance and repairs.
Sewer line problems not only result in some of the most frustrating and gross plumbing problems but also some of the most expensive repairs. You will recognize sewer line problems by the smell right away. However, other signs of sewer line problems include:
- Gurgling toilets
- Spots in an otherwise green lawn
- Sewage backup
This situation requires immediate attention before you move in, and you should ask the current homeowners to resolve the problem for you.
What To Do if You Notice Old/Damaged Plumbing
If you notice a problem with the plumbing in your potential new home, you should point it out immediately. You can move forward under the condition that the problems get completely fixed, or you can pass on the deal. Be wary about buying a house as-is, especially if you suspect plumbing problems.
To get a full understanding of the condition of the plumbing, ask for a professional inspection complete with estimates on repairs and a report on how long you can expect the plumbing to last in its current condition.
Top-Rated Service Team Available
Do you need professional assistance inspecting the plumbing in your new home or commercial building? Call Beyer Plumbing for professional inspection services in Selma, TX. We provide installation, repairs, and maintenance on aspects of your plumbing including:
- Water Heaters
- Emergency Plumbing
- Drain Clog Cleaning
- Pipes, both gas and water
- Water softeners
- Water filtration systems
Call Beyer Plumbing in Selma today. Some of our other services include tankless water heaters, shower and tub installation, water quality testing and proven solutions, and much more. Remember, if water waters through it, we do it.