Buying a new home is a serious investment, and there are lots of things to consider before you make the decision. One thing that should not be overlooked is the importance of getting a professional plumbing
inspection. While this may seem like something that can be delayed until you have gotten the ball rolling with all of your paperwork and moving plans, it could save you a great deal of money and stress. Here are just some of this issues that can be covered in an inspection.
Checking for Water Heater Issues:
Water heaters typically work well for an average of ten years. If the heater has been incorporated into the heating system of the property, this can shorten this lifespan. If the water heater has been compromised and has started to leak, it could be causing unseen damage to carpeting, drywall, and hardwood floors. During the inspection, the condition and age of the water heater can be determined. Additionally, the plumber can also check to see if the heater has sufficient capacity for the property.
Hidden Leak Testing:
Another important element of an inspection is testing for any hidden leaks. In some cases, the previous owner may have had no idea that there was a leak. Unfortunately, some property owners can try to be deceptive and cover water damage with new flooring. Fortunately, a professional and experienced plumber has the skills and knowledge to know where to find leaks and signs of water damage or leaks.
During the inspection, the plumber will run water throughout the whole home to ensure that the water is clear. If the water coming out of the pipes is discolored, this can also be investigated further to determine the underlying cause. While temporary discoloration may be due to local city works on the water lines, this usually clears in a few minutes. So, if the water is discolored, the source of any possible contamination needs to be detected.
If the home you are considering purchasing was constructed before 1998, there is a risk that the property has lead pipes. Lead has been widely recognized as an environmental pollutant and can be dangerous for the health of small children. In older homes, it is very possible that some sections of pipework may have been replaced with PVC pipes due to repairs, but there could still be lead pipes lurking in the property. A professional plumber can assess the property to check for lead pipework anywhere in the home.
Sewer Line Condition:
The condition of the sewer line should also be checked. This will need to be completed using video inspection technology. A small camera is fed into the sewer line and passed through the entire line to check for any damage or hidden problems. This can protect you from issues such as sewer backups or other problems occurring after you have taken ownership of the property.
The Shut Off Valve:
Finally, the inspector will check the shut off valves throughout the property. The home should have a main shut off valve that is correctly patched into the system. In this scenario, if the shut off valve has been turned off there may still be water going to taps or appliances in specific areas of the home. This can be a real nightmare if there is a major leak.
By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solutions.