Plumbing Checklist All Homebuyers Need
Buying a home is a milestone that is typically celebrated with bottles of wine and baked goods during a housewarming party or when friendly neighbors stop by to introduce themselves and welcome you to the neighborhood.
It’s an exciting time for anyone! It’s common to overlook necessary items on the long list of things to check off during the initial buying stage for new homeowners.
One task in particular that should be explored is the home’s plumbing. By having a plumbing checklist during the search for a new home, you could potentially save yourself a huge headache down the road. While an inspection should catch any large issues, you could complete this short checklist of concerns before having to pay anyone to inspect the home. In doing so, you could save yourself time and money in the long run.
Inspect the Size of the Water Pipes
We’ve all experienced low water pressure at some point in our lives. Whether we’ve showered at a hotel or washed our hands at a public location or filled a glass at a friend’s house, low water pressure is a common side effect of small water pipes, regardless of where it occurs. By inspecting the size of the water pipes in the home you’re interested in, you can determine if water pressure will be an issue you’ll have to deal with, or ultimately settle for, should you buy this particular house. Pipes, on average, should be ¾ inches in size from the water source to the actual home and ½ inch in size, minimum, to the faucet.
Locate the Water Heater
Most realtors know where the water heater is located, but even if they don’t, ask to see it. Look for any signs of buildup or corrosion. Inspect the area in and around the water heater to ensure connections are secure. Ask the realtor for details surrounding the water heater, such as the last time it was serviced and which professional performed it. Also, ask when the last time the water heater was replaced. Unfortunately, water heaters don’t live forever and they all need replacing eventually. By gathering this information before purchasing the home, it could help you prepare for any water heater issues going into the acquisition and possibly provide leverage to account for it in the contract.
Underneath It All
It’s important to take time for inspecting under the home as well. Take a trip to the basement and look for more than just potential square footage. Take note of any pipes and the surrounding area, looking at connections and evidence of past leaks or water damage. Any previous repairs should be obvious and warrant questions, especially if a professional didn’t complete them. If the home doesn’t have a basement, inspect the crawl space under the home for the same reasons. Pooling water as a result of leaking pipes could be a bigger problem down the road, so it’s best to discover it during the buying stage.
Lead Pipes Are Deal Breakers
If you discover the home has lead pipes throughout, or even partially, it’s often best to walk away. Unless you’re one of the homebuyers who fall into the category of fixing up homes and will address the lead pipes by replacing them with new pipes upon purchase, lead pipes are a deal breaker. Statistics show the amount of lead found in the blood of children is increasing, as common as one in every six children according to the CDC. If you plan, and are prepared, to replace lead piping in the event it exists, then don’t let it stop you. Otherwise, homebuyers beware.
Let It Rain
After inspecting the pipes for any potential issues, including size for determining water pressure, there’s only one way to truly test the pipes themselves. Turn the shower and faucets on. While touring the home, make a point to turn on every single faucet and shower, both hot and cold, as you pass. Watch them for a few minutes as they run, making a mental note of water pressure and general flow from pipe to faucet.
Flushing Out Potential Problems
In addition to checking the faucets and showers for water pressure issues, flush every toilet for similar reasons. By flushing the toilets in every bathroom, you’re able to distinguish a weak flush from a stronger flush, assess how long it takes for each tank to refill afterwards, and address any strange sounds as the water flows through the pipes. Recognizing a problem at this stage is much easier to fix, versus later when you’re flushing more than just water.
If you’re looking for a plumber to inspect your home before or after a purchase, or if you would simply like to have one on speed-dial to entrust all of your plumbing needs to, reach out to Mason Plumbing. We service Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale and surrounding areas. Give us a call today at (480) 422-6760 to learn more about why you should choose Mason to be your trusted plumbers!