Plumbing Inspection Checklist For Home Buyers

Thursday, 16 May 2024 11:32
Plumbing Inspection Checklist For Home Buyers

Statesville and Iredell County are popular destinations for people looking to buy a home in North Carolina. Located in the Piedmont region, both areas offer a high quality of life, a low cost of living, and a wide range of recreational opportunities. Statesville is a vibrant city with a rich history, charming downtown, and growing economy. 

Iredell County also boasts a strong economy, excellent schools, and beautiful natural surroundings, making it an ideal place to raise a family. With a variety of housing options, from historic homes to modern developments, Statesville and Iredell County have something to offer everyone looking to make a home in the area.

When considering the purchase of a home, the condition of the plumbing system is a crucial factor that often goes overlooked. Plumbing issues can lead to significant expenses and headaches, making it vital to conduct a thorough inspection before closing the deal. 

In this post, we are providing an essential plumbing inspection checklist for potential homebuyers, helping you identify potential problems and ensure that the plumbing system is in good working order.

Understanding The Importance Of Plumbing Inspections

A proper plumbing inspection can reveal hidden issues that may not be apparent during a typical home viewing. These issues can range from minor leaks to severe blockages or even systemic problems that could require complete replacement. Identifying these problems early can save you a significant amount of money and prevent future disruptions.

Five Key Plumbing Systems To Inspect

When conducting a plumbing inspection, it is essential to focus on several key areas:

1) Inspect The Water Heater

It's important to check the age, condition, capacity, type, and efficiency of your water heater to ensure it's functioning properly and meets your household's needs.

  • Age and Condition: Check the age of the water heater. Most have a lifespan of about 10-15 years. Look for rust, water stains, or corrosion around the unit.
  • Capacity: Ensure the water heater is adequately sized for the home. A family of four, for instance, typically needs a water heater with at least a 50-gallon capacity.
  • Type and Efficiency: Note whether it's a traditional tank model or a tankless water heater, which is more energy-efficient.

2) Inspect The Pipes

Inspecting the material, condition, and insulation of your plumbing pipes can help prevent leaks, corrosion, and other issues that can cause damage to your home.

  • Material: Determine the types of plumbing pipes used (copper, PVC, PEX, etc.). Some materials, like galvanized steel, are prone to corrosion and other issues.
  • Condition: Look for visible signs of damage, such as leaks, rust, and corrosion. Check for water stains on ceilings and walls that might indicate hidden leaks.
  • Insulation: Ensure pipes in vulnerable areas such as basements and attics are insulated to prevent freezing.

3) Inspect The Water Pressure And Quality

Testing the water pressure and quality can help ensure that your water is safe to use and that your plumbing system is functioning properly.

  • Pressure: Test the water pressure to ensure it is within a normal range (typically 40-60 psi). High pressure can damage fixtures and appliances, while low pressure indicates potential blockages or leaks.
  • Quality: Check for discolored water, which could suggest rust or decay inside pipes. Consider having the water tested, especially if the home has older pipes.

4) Inspect The Drainage Systems

Checking the speed of drainage and hiring a professional to inspect the sewer line can help prevent blockages and other issues that can cause problems with your plumbing.

  • Speed of Drainage: All drains should empty quickly and efficiently without gurgling sounds, which can indicate a blockage.
  • Sewer Inspection: It's advisable to hire a professional to inspect the sewer line with a camera to look for potential issues like tree root intrusion or cracks.

5) Inspect The Fixtures And Appliances

Testing all faucets, showers, and toilets, as well as checking for the presence and proper function of a sump pump in a basement, can help ensure that your fixtures and appliances are working correctly and that your home is protected from flood damage.

  • Faucets and Toilets: Test all faucets, showers, and toilets to ensure they function properly and do not leak.
  • Sump Pump: If the home has a basement, check whether there is a sump pump installed for flood prevention. Test to see if it operates correctly.

Detailed Plumbing Inspection Checklist In Each Area Of The Home

Here is a detailed checklist to use during your plumbing inspection:

1) General Home Plumbing Inspection:

  • Check for any signs of leaks in exposed pipes.
  • Look for rust or corrosion on pipes.
  • Ensure that the water heater is free from leaks and rust.
  • Inspect the condition and operation of the water softener, if present.
  • Check for any signs of water damage or moisture in the walls, ceilings, and floors.
  • Inspect the condition and operation of faucets, showerheads, and toilets.
  • Look for any cracks or chips in bathroom and kitchen fixtures.
  • Check the water pressure to ensure that it is within the normal range.
  • Inspect the condition of the sump pump, if present.
  • Check for any signs of pests, such as rodents or insects, in the plumbing system.

2) Bathroom Plumbing Inspection:

  • Test all sinks, showers, bathtubs, and toilets for proper operation and water flow.
  • Inspect for leaks under sinks and around fixtures.
  • Check caulking around fixtures for deterioration.
  • Check the water pressure in all faucets and showers to make sure it is within the appropriate range.
  • Ensure that the hot and cold water supply is working properly in all fixtures.
  • Inspect the drain lines for clogs or slow drainage.
  • Test the flushing mechanism in all toilets to ensure that it is working properly.
  • Check the toilet tank for leaks and ensure that the water level is appropriate.
  • Inspect the flapper valve in the toilet tank and replace it if necessary.

3) Kitchen Plumbing Inspection:

  • Test the sink and faucet for leaks and proper drainage.
  • Ensure that the garbage disposal and dishwasher are functioning properly.
  • Inspect for any water damage under the sink or near appliances.
  • Verify that the drain stoppers and plugs are working correctly.
  • Ensure that the water supply valves are not leaking and are functioning correctly.
  • Inspect the faucet handles to ensure that they are not loose and are working smoothly.

4) Basement And Utility Area Plumbing Inspection:

  • Examine exposed pipes for leaks and corrosion.
  • Check the sump pump for operation if present.
  • Inspect laundry hookup areas and floor drains.
  • Check the water heater for proper operation and signs of leaks.
  • Inspect the roof and ceiling for any signs of water damage or leaks.
  • Make sure all appliances are functioning properly and are in good condition.
  • Check the condition of the walls and ceilings for any signs of cracks or water damage.
  • Inspect the foundation and basement for any signs of cracks or water intrusion.

Hiring A Professional Plumber For A Plumbing Inspection

While many aspects of the plumbing inspection can be performed independently, it's often beneficial to hire a professional plumber for a comprehensive evaluation. A licensed plumber can provide an in-depth assessment, including checking areas that are not immediately visible or accessible, such as under the house or inside the walls.

Reasons You Need A Professional And Thorough Plumbing Inspection

1) Water Health And Safety

Water quality testing is not just about taste or visual assessment; it also includes testing for harmful contaminants. Common harmful contaminants that might be found in residential water include lead, especially in older homes with outdated plumbing systems, and organic growth, which can pose serious health risks. 

This testing is particularly crucial if the home uses a private well. Homebuyers should consider this as part of their inspection process to ensure the water supply is safe for consumption.

2) Future-Proofing Your Home

In addition to current plumbing conditions, consider the potential for future issues. For example, if you plan on remodeling or adding a bathroom, assess whether the existing plumbing system can accommodate these changes. This could include evaluating the main sewer line's capacity to handle additional wastewater or determining if extra water heaters are necessary to supply larger volumes of hot water.

3) The Costs Of Plumbing Repairs And Upgrades

If problems are identified during the inspection, get an estimate of the repair costs and weigh them against the home's price and overall value. In some cases, the seller may be willing to undertake repairs or reduce the sale price. 

However, it's essential to consider whether the investment in repairs will proportionally increase the home's value or if it would make more sense to continue looking for a house with a more reliable plumbing system.

Action Service Company, LLC: Your Plumbing Inspection Team In Statesville And Iredell County

A thorough plumbing inspection informs your home-buying decision by identifying potential costs and headaches down the line. If significant issues are found, you can negotiate repairs with the seller, adjust your offer, or even decide to look for a different property if the problems are too extensive.

If you're looking for a reliable and professional plumbing inspection team in Statesville and Iredell County, Action Service Company, LLC is here to help. Our licensed plumbers provide comprehensive evaluations, including checking areas that are not visible or accessible, such as under the house or inside the walls. 

By trusting us to inspect your plumbing system, you can ensure the water health and safety of your home, future-proof your property, and avoid costly repairs. Contact us today to schedule your plumbing inspection and have peace of mind knowing your home's plumbing is in good hands.