Many homeowners don’t think about their plumbing safety until something goes wrong in their homes. In fact, most people will not even schedule a plumbing inspection unless they are purchasing a home or a problem arises. But, this is the wrong approach. As the old adage goes, prevention is better than the cure, and this is very applicable when it comes to home plumbing. During a home plumbing safety inspection, there are eleven key checks that you can expect, they are:
1. A Toilet Inspection
One of the first things that we will examine is the stability of the toilet. If the fixture can rock from side to side, it could be caused by a failing or broken seal that needs immediate replacement. When a toilet seal fails, it can cause localized flooding, which will damage the floor around the toilet base. Next, it’s time to take a look at the toilet handle and the flapper unit to see if they are working as intended. The flapper is the part that prevents the water from constantly running in your toilet. Another key component is the toilet valve which can cause the constant running of water when it fails. Over time a constantly running toilet can waste a large volume of water that will drive up your bills. Finally, we will take a look at the angle stop, and supply line. The water supply line must be securely fixed and in good shape to avoid water leaks.
2. Inspecting the Main Sewer Line
Every home needs a fully functioning main sewer line to remove the waste and wastewater safely. A visual inspection of the cleanout will be followed by running the taps to check how the water is flowing into the line. This is followed by feeding a sewer line camera into the line to check for cracks, breaks, and any buildup inside the line.
3. Verification of Proper Clean Out
This is a check that’s carried out alongside the main sewer line inspection shown above. It’s important to verify that the correct vents are leading from your water using appliances and plumbing fixtures into the sewer line. If those vents are not working as intended, it’s harder to clean and snake the drain to clear any clogs that may be there.
4. The Drain Line Inspection
We briefly mentioned this earlier. This specialized camera will be inserted into the drain line to see if there are any problems lurking there. In many cases, a clog or minor crack can be fixed without extensive disruption, but this is not always the case. As professional plumbers, we will always prefer a manual clog removal over any other method. This can be achieved with a plumbing augur (snake), or if the clog is deeper, an aqua jet cleaning system will be used.
5. A Pressurized Plumbing Check
The last thing any homeowner wants is poor water pressure, but you can have too much of a good thing. If the water pressure is set too high, it can cause considerable strain on your plumbing pipes and fixtures. This can lead to leaks, cracks, and breaks, which may be expensive to repair. Ideally, the water pressure in your home should be 65-75 PSI, and if it goes above 75 PSI, you’re likely to experience some problems. To check the water pressure, the plumber will use a pressure gauge connected to the hose bib. Then they can turn on the water and get an accurate pressure reading. If the water pressure is too high or too low, they can recommend some ways to get it into the 65-75 PSI range.
6. Inspecting the Ventilation
Many homeowners are not aware that every sink, toilet, and tub in their home needs a clear vent. This is where any fumes that are present in the pipes can escape without creating a buildup of gas. The gas is often caused by debris that travels with the water into the drain over time. If the vent is blocked, these fumes can even back up into the home, creating bad odors.
7. Plumbing Insulation
If you have any plumbing pipes located on the exterior of your home, they must be insulated. The external temperatures can vary a great deal when compared to the temperatures in your home. This situation is exacerbated during the hotter and colder times of the year when the temperature variation can be extreme. So, if you want to ensure that your hot water doesn’t go cold as it makes the journey from your water heater to the tap, you need insulation.
8. Gas Leaks
Many homes have appliances that use gas as a fuel source to create heat and heat water. Some prime examples of these types of appliances include the water heater, clothing dryer, your kitchen stove, and more. The gas lines that connect these appliances to your gas supply need to be inspected for leaks. This is very important to make your home safer, and it’s one of the most important checks that a plumber can make.
9. The Tap Water Quality
The best plumbers carry a basic tap water testing kit with them when they are inspecting a home plumbing system. This is used to take a tap water sample and check it for chlorine levels and water hardness. If you’re supplied with water from a municipal source, there will always be chlorine or chloramine (chlorine and ammonia) present. Chlorine is an effective disinfectant, but if too much is present, it can make your water unpalatable and impart an unpleasant “swimming pool” odor.
If you need help to do the plumbing safety inspection, get in touch with your local certified plumber today.