It's a good idea to make sure the plumbing is in good shape when you are buying a home, especially if it's an older home. A basic home inspection may not catch some major plumbing problems. Keep the following four plumbing issues in mind as you look over a potential home purchase.
#1: Check the Main Sewer Line
A common issue in older homes is the main sewer line. A clog in this line can cause a messy backup later, resulting in not just replacement or repair of the sewer line, but water damage inside the home. A visual inspection performed by a plumber is your best defense. The plumber will send a camera down the sewer line to look for clogs or damage.
#2: Inspect the Hot Water Heater
You can easily perform a quick visual inspection of the hot water heater. Check the age of the heater, which should be on a label on the top or side. The average life expectancy for a water heater is about 10 years. Also check for any visible signs of corrosion or leaks. A plumber can also be called in to check the heater for any mineral deposit build up inside the heater.
#3: Look for Leaks
There are a few telltale signs of water leaks you should always check for. Look in the cabinets under sinks for water damaged cabinet boards, wall boards, or paint. Check the ceiling in the rooms below upstairs bathrooms for water stains, which can be an indication of current or previous leak issues. Another simple check is to make sure all water fixtures are turned off, and then look at the water meter. If the meter is still running, there is a leak somewhere.
#4: Consider Potential Problems
There are some issues that are specific to the home. For example, homes with basements may have sump pumps, which will require an inspection by a plumber or pump specialist. You may also need to schedule inspections for well or septic systems if the home uses either or both of these. A well inspection will ensure that the pumps for the well are working perfectly, and also that the well isn't in danger of running dry. Septic inspections are vital to ensure the tanks are in good condition, the system isn't due for pumping, and that everything is in good working order. Another concern in older homes can be with the pipes – you will want to make sure that the pipes are not made from lead.