Buying a new home can be an exciting yet stressful experience. While it’s all too easy to get distracted by the potential for your future man cave, backyard space and the distance between you and your kids’ bedrooms, it’s vital to take the time to inspect all the homeowner-savvy areas and equipment that could cost you big time after moving in.
While it’s highly recommended that you always hire a licensed, professional plumber to do an adequate inspection before signing any papers, there are some things you can do yourself to ensure you’re making an informed decision. After all, while the current homeowners aren’t required to repair any issues before selling the home, you can easily negotiate the price to reflect any potential fixes with the home’s plumbing system.
Check the Water Heater
Designed to last an average of 10 to 15 years, water heaters are a costly expense you definitely don’t want to worry about replacing immediately after moving into your new home.
Be sure to ask your realtor when the last professional inspection and water heater replacement were done, and check to see that the water heater does not make any strange noises when turned on. In addition, sand or mud coming from the hot water taps, as well as rust or corrosion on the tank itself, could be an indication of damage or a potential issue.
Turn Taps On & Off
To get a gauge of the home’s water pressure, take the time to turn each tap on and off, including multiple taps at the same time. Check to see if the water drains out quickly, meaning there’s likely no major clogs, and also to make sure there are no leaks under the sink or around the edges of the toilet. Water should drain effortlessly when flushing the toilets and shouldn’t make any gurgling noises or run for too long, which could also indicate a leaking issue.
Look under the kitchen and bathroom sinks to check for water damage, mould and leaks which could lead to costly repairs.
Turn off all the taps and check to ensure the water meter has stopped running. If it continues, it usually indicates a leak in the plumbing. Also, be sure to close the shut-off valve and turn on the taps. If water comes out, it’s likely that the valve is faulty and needs to be replaced.
Check the Size of the Water Pipes
As the largest indication of water pressure, pipes from the water source to the home should be a minimum of 1.905 centimetres, while the pipes to the taps should be a minimum of 1.27 centimetres for the best results.
Pay Attention to Lesser Seen & Visited Areas
Water damage in the basement, crawl spaces and ceiling often indicates leaky pipes and poorly executed repairs, so be sure to check these often-ignored areas of the home which could bring a nasty surprise on move-in day.
Unless you’re willing to do major and often extremely costly replacements or repairs, be sure to avoid buying a home with lead pipes. Additionally, pipes made from polybutylene should be replaced, while galvanised steel and cast iron will likely need to be replaced because of corrosion, leaks and potential issues with mineral build-up.
Often damaged over time due to collapsed concrete, tree roots and age in general, our licensed plumbers will gladly inspect the main sewer drain of your potential home, avoiding icky issues later on. Because these issues are not visible without the proper tools, it’s valuable to hire someone who knows exactly what to look for and where to look for it.