7 Plumbing Tips for Homebuyers
Buying a house, new or used, without checking the plumbing can be a lot like purchasing a used car without having it checked by a mechanic – you may end up buying someone else’s problems. Before you purchase your new house and then have to look up nearby plumbing services, following the below tips can help anyone identify signs that suggest a house may have plumbing issues. Anyone buying a new house has enough to organize with the move without needing to worry about potential plumbing problems.
1. Check the toilets
Toilets are a crucial part of any plumbing system and can be a huge inconvenience when they are not working properly. As you inspect the bathroom or bathrooms in a house, listen to see if they are running for no reason. You should also give each toilet a test flush to make sure they work properly and do not show any obvious signs of trouble. If you notice noise coming from the nearest sink after you flush, there may be a problem.
2. The smell test
At each sink in the house take a moment to see if you notice any bad smells. These smells could indicate a clogged drain or potentially even more serious problems with the sewage or septic system.
3. Watch for drainage problems
You should also run some water down each sink to make sure it does not drain slow and listen for unusual noises. A slow drain or noise from one fixture is probably a local clog that only affects that drain, but poor drainage or noises from all fixtures may indicate sewage or septic issues. A drainage problem only in the lowest fixture in the house may be caused by sewage and septic problems.
4. Check under the sink
Another plumbing tip that may prevent you from getting too worried about drainage noises is to look underneath each sink. An unconventional drain setup will can cause drain noises and drainage issues, and potentially problems down the road. You should also look for evidence of water leaks.
5. Water Pressure
Another plumbing tip to use at the sinks – when you run water at the various faucets, be sure to pay attention to the water pressure. Surges in water pressure indicate potential problems with the water pressure tank. It may just need some air, but the pump could also be short cycling, which may sound like frequent clicking.
6. Water Heater
Ask to see the water heater and what kind it is. Most are either electric or gas and should be easily assessable. Check for leaks and water damage and look at the age of the tank which should be displayed on the side of the tank. Check whether there is a drain in the floor. Test the water heater by turning on the hot water at every faucet to see how quickly the water gets warm, as well as how warm it is.
7. Septic System
If the house has a septic system instead of being connected to a sewer, it is worth asking a lot of questions about it, and even come prepared with a few plumbing tips to help spot problems. If the previous owner has lived there for quite some time but does not know much about the septic system or the last time it was flushed, this is bad news.
The Importance of the Self-Inspection
Although you should always use a home inspector before buying, and possibly a plumber as well, a thorough self-inspection can prevent you from getting emotionally involved with a house that has plumbing problems. If you have fallen in love with the house, but have a few niggling doubts, it may well be worth hiring alocal plumber to put your mind at rest (or potentially save you a fortune!) Though the above tips are no guarantee, they will reduce the likelihood that you will need to spend money to fix the plumbing shortly after moving in.