Plumbing Issues to Look For When Buying a Home
When buying a new home, you will likely have your hands full with your financial documentation and insurance requirements. Unfortunately, plumbing often comes last on this list, even when it is one of the essential items that could cause you to forego your home purchase. A casual inspection will still not cut it as this will fall short of proper plumbing diagnostics. To save yourself from the myriad of plumbing problems that could leave you in need of a property overhaul, here are some plumbing issues to look for when buying a home.
Inspect Your Sinks for Slow Drainage
Sinks are the most common culprits for leakages and will often be the most straightforward plumbing issue to look for when buying a home. To get started, fill your bathroom or kitchen sink with water to the top. Large volumes of water produce high pressure and allow you to reveal any leaks that could go unnoticed during low pressure drains.
Once the water starts to flow, check if your drain stopper has any leaks. If it does, tighten the nuts around this area to eliminate any runoff water. If your sink also drains water slowly or has gurgling sounds, it is likely that your pipes are clogged and will need to be unblocked. Your faucets should also not have any leaks, whether they are in use or when closed. If you have any faulty taps, a quick replacement will be enough to fix these fixtures.
Poor Pipe Performance
While sink problems are easy to spot from the outside, pipes will be hidden behind your walls and below your floors, requiring a bit more attention. For help, start your inspection by looking at your home’s water pressure. Homes built with galvanized pipes will corrode faster than those made with PVC pipes and often have plumbing issues, most notably in hot water pipes. Turn on your hot water pipes and check for signs of low pressure. If this is present, your pipes are likely to be corroded or have blockages that need to be repaired.
Another way to test pipe performance is by looking at your water meter. After going through your home and ensuring that all water faucets are fastened, check if your meter dial is still running. If you notice any movement, then it means that you have a leak in the house that needs to be fixed.
Check for Leaks in Your Toilets
Leaking toilets are other plumbing issues to look for when buying a home. For starters, look for signs of wetness around your toilet base. Water leaks could end up seeping into your subfloor, a factor that could leave you with rotting floors. To avoid this, be on the lookout for discoloration or warping in areas surrounding the toilet base. If the floors around the base are also soft and move, have your real estate agent call in plumbing experts. In addition to this, toilet bowls that rock when grasped are signs of faulty seals or flanges that also need a professional check-up.
Outdated Water Heaters
Water heater problems could leave you with hefty makeover costs, with the average homeowner spending at least $588 on repairs. Once you identify where your water heaters are, look for signs of build-up and corrosion around the inlet and outlet pipes. Where corrosion is present, your pipes could get blocked and require professionals to replace them before making any purchases. Next, walk around the heater and confirm that all connections are also fixed securely.
In addition to this, make it a point to switch on your heater and listen to any strange noises. Where present, have a plumber check it out. Your water should also be free of discoloration, sludge, and sand, with any indication of these requiring urgent professional inspections. Finally, make it a point to ask your agents to provide details of your water heater’s examination with attention to the latest upgrade, areas repaired, and its installation date. This will give you an idea of the kind of issues you will likely be dealing with in the future.
Sewer Drain Problems
Sewer problems are another area to check during your home tour. Most septic tanks are hidden out of view, meaning you will have to ask your realtor about their whereabouts. Where possible, walk around its perimeter and look for signs of seepage. Any seepage will likely be accompanied by an odor, while some leaks will come in the form of standing water. If your home also has a main sewer drain, consider getting plumbing experts to look at it. Inspections of this will often involve camera checks, allowing you to get to the root cause of any blockages.
Check for Leaks in Showers
Numerous showers are built with tiled floors, a factor that will work in your favor when checking for plumping issues. For starters, look for caulked joints on the floors and cracks in the tiles. Next, check for patching on the ceiling below your shower. For this test, fill your shower with about two or three inches of water where possible. Next, proceed with your home inspection, after which you can check for leaks on the ceiling below your bathroom once enough time has passed. Shower leakages will need a complete overhaul of your tiles as technicians try to identify the faulty connectors in your shower lines.
While you may have your mind preoccupied with budgeting concerns and mortgage requirements when buying a home, plumbing will be an essential consideration to add to your checklist. Make it a point to look at your sinks, toilets, and water heaters. Leaks in your showers and pipes are also other plumbing issues to look for when buying a home, as these can also turn your dream house into a costly mistake.
If your skills fall short of the above inspections, Echo Air Conditioning will be the partner you need. Call us today to get a comprehensive home check.