When it comes to purchasing a new home, having a home inspection is a must. However, when it comes to a home’s plumbing there are some things you can check for yourself. Purchasing real estate is a big investment, one that often comes with hidden expenses. Many new home buyers find themselves calling a plumber out in the first year. With purchase season in full swing here are some tips to help you check the plumbing before you buy.
When you go to check the plumbing before you buy, one place you will want to check is in the bathroom. Look for visible signs of water damage around toilets, showers, and bathtubs and be sure to check the floor for any weak spots. You should also check the toilets; see how quickly they flush and check for any leaks. It is also a good idea to check under the sink for leaks or signs of water damage. Remember, not all telltale signs are visible. You should also use your nose too. Mold and mildew have a distinct smell that is similar to wet dirt. Just because you don’t see mold, does not mean it isn’t there, in fact, your sense of smell may be more accurate at depicting mold, as visible signs of mold can be covered up.
A water heater is an expensive thing to replace, another reason to check the plumbing before you buy. Look for any visible signs of damage as well as any sediment buildup on the outside of the tank. Make sure the water heater is free of dust and debris, any clutter and excessive dust could cause the water heater to work less efficiently and also be a fire hazard. Turn off the hot water and see if there is any discoloring, over time sediment can build up inside the tank turning the water a lovely rusty brown color. In addition, listen to the water heater when it is engaged, to check for any loud rumbling or banging. This could indicate a large mass of sediment inside the tank, which could eventually rupture the tank and cause damage. You should also inquire how old the water heater is. Most tank storage water heaters last about 10-15 years if properly maintained. The older the tank the more likely it will need to be replaced soon.
You will also want to check the water supply before you buy. Turn on faucets in bathroom and kitchen sinks, as well as shower heads and bathtub faucets. Check the water pressure and the condition of the water. You will want to look for any adverse water conditions that could elude to hard water or excessive sediment buildup. Older plumbing is more prone to sediment buildup due to the building materials used at the time, so keep this in consideration. Also make sure you know where the main water supply shutoff is, make sure it is easily accessible.
Some other things you may want to consider when you check the plumbing before you buy are: the garbage disposal, make sure it is in good condition, and if there is a basement, make sure the sump pump is in good working order, you may also want to look around the yard and make sure there no unexplained soggy patches of ground.
Home buying should be a fun and exciting thing. However, it is important to do your due diligence before you buy. While you can check the plumbing yourself, it is also a good idea to have the plumbing properly inspected before you buy. Contact us today to learn more.