For many people, buying a home is perhaps the biggest purchase they will ever make in their lifetime, so it’s crucial to ensure that everything in the home is in proper working order. In order to do that, hiring a professional plumber to inspect the plumbing is the first thing that should be done.
Check the Water Heater
If there is one part of a home plumbing system that needs to be closely inspected prior to closing the deal on your home, it’s the water heater. Because this is an appliance that lasts for 10-20 years, most homes have water heaters that are old and outdated. Therefore, you should make sure you find out just how old the water heater is.
If it’s approaching 10 years old, chances are it’s time the home had a new one. In some cases, the seller of the home may agree to buy a new water heater in order to ensure the deal gets done.
If you think the water heater’s age is not an issue, then there are a few other factors to take into consideration. If you’ve got a plumber doing the inspection, they will look for such things as mineral deposits, corrosion around the bottom of the tank, or other signs of damage.
Sniff the Septic Tank
If you are planning to buy a home in the countryside, chances are it may have a septic tank to handle the home’s sewage needs. If this is the case with your potential new home, make sure you have a plumber give it a thorough inspection. Important things to find out include where the septic tank is located, how big it is, its age, and the last time it was serviced or emptied.
Once the plumber begins an inspection, he can look for such things as standing water and bad odors. If either is found, it could indicate the septic system needs a major overhaul. If this happens, you can expect to spend several thousand dollars on the project.
In some cases, the home’s seller may be willing to either replace the septic system or knock several thousand dollars off their asking price in order to complete the transaction. By doing this, you’ll be able to avoid a situation that could turn smelly, disgusting, and expensive in a hurry.
The Problems with Discolored Water
When touring a home, it’s important to turn on the faucets to see if the water is clear. If it’s discolored, that could be a sign of trouble. If the home is older, discolored water could be a sign of iron in the water, which can result in hard water that could stain sinks, bathtubs, and toilets.
It could also be an indicator the home has very old pipes, which can corrode from the inside over the years and allow rust to get into the water. Thus, it’s important to have a plumber take a close look at the pipes to check their age and condition.
If it turns out the home is going to need a new plumbing system, you may want to look elsewhere for another home. However, if the seller is very anxious to sell the home and it’s one you have your heart set on, you may be able to negotiate a deal to get new pipes in the home before you move in.
Look at the Shut-Off Valve
While a plumbing inspection almost always looks at sinks, toilets, and pipes, sometimes one aspect that gets overlooked is the shut-off valve. Since this shuts off the home’s main water supply, it should be in excellent working order.
Otherwise, you could be in for quite a few problems. If the valve is turned off completely and water is still coming out of faucet taps, you’ll probably need to add this to the list of things to be replaced.
To determine if the shut-off valve works properly, have a plumber inspect it and then turn it off. Once it’s off, the plumber can then go around and see if water is still coming out of the taps. If so, another repair bill may be coming your way.
Inspecting the Toilet
Along with the water heater, it’s important to make sure the home’s toilet is in good working order. To make sure this is the case, a plumber will look at a number of things in the bathroom.
For example, one sign of trouble around the toilet will be water around the floor, which could indicate the toilet may be leaking and rotting the floor in the process. Also, if the tank appears to be sweating heavily, that could also indicate a problem.
Surprisingly, when many people take a tour of a home they are considering to purchase, they rarely bother to flush the toilet to see if it works, and that could be a mistake. In many cases, toilets in homes are older and in need of being replaced.
If a plumber flushes the toilet and it fails to fill up completely or is slow to empty, chances are there may be a problem in the home’s sewage line. Therefore, make sure a thorough inspection of any potential problems is done before buying the home, or you may be facing a large repair bill shortly after buying your home.