House Hunting? Don’t Forget the Pipes: A Guide to Initial Plumbing Checks

Jun 24, 2024

mike norr plumbing van parked in front of shop

So you’ve found your dream home – congratulations! But before you get swept away in visions of housewarming parties, take a moment to consider the hidden aspects of a property: the plumbing system. Undetected plumbing problems can turn your dream home into a money pit, so a basic check is crucial. Here’s what you can do during a house viewing to assess the plumbing health:

Inspect the Water Pressure

Turn on several faucets throughout the house, including the kitchen sink, bathroom sinks, and shower. Notice the water flow – is it steady and strong, or weak and drippy? Low water pressure can indicate clogged pipes, failing fixtures, or even issues with the main water line.

Check for Leaks

Look for visible signs of water damage around sinks, toilets, and under the water heater. Water stains, peeling paint, or warped floorboards can all be clues of leaks. Run your eyes along pipes and connections for any moisture or signs of corrosion.

Listen for Strange Noises

Pay attention to any unusual sounds coming from the plumbing system. Gurgling noises may indicate clogged vents, while knocking sounds could be caused by loose pipes or water pressure fluctuations.

Test the Drains

Flush toilets and run water down sinks and tubs. Observe how quickly the water drains. Slow drainage suggests potential clogs or problems with the vent system.

Look at the Age of the Water Heaters

Most water heaters last around 10-12 years. If the house has an older water heater, factor in the potential cost of replacement in the near future.

Ask About the Sewer System

Inquire if the home has a septic system or connects to a city sewer line. If it’s a septic system, find out when it was last serviced and ask for any inspection reports.

Remember, this is a preliminary check. While it can uncover major issues, a professional plumbing inspection is highly recommended before finalizing a purchase. A licensed plumber can perform a more thorough inspection, including checking the water pressure at the main line, inspecting the sewer lines with a camera, and evaluating the overall condition of the plumbing system.

By taking these steps, you can gain valuable insight into the plumbing health of your potential new home and avoid any nasty surprises down the road. Don’t hesitate to call Mike Norr Plumbing with your questions, and happy house hunting!

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