Once you have your dream home and the inspection is done, you are ready to settle in. Or are you? Even though inspections are a standard, it is not uncommon for sewer pipe inspection systems to be called in for additional inspections, but the problem is that you already own the house. It happens frequently, that new homeowners discover existing plumbing problems too late. Because each home can come with its own unique problems and plumbing issues, the list below is provided to help you find them before you buy.
Sometimes sewer lines between the sewage plant and the home can get clogged. Plumbers can use sewer inspection cameras or sewer crawl robots to see the lines and may find that the issue is caused by deteriorating lines. With older sewer lines, they have often corroded so badly, that only the ground around them is holding them together, which means another clog will form in due time.
With weakened lines, you also run the risk of them collapsing during repair. The silver lining to this problem is that when discovered early enough by a pipe inspection camera, the line can be repaired before it gets too much worse. If left alone, complete replacement is going to be a much more costly option.
It is important to remember that drains clog for a reason. Before purchasing a home, it is recommended to have a plumber inspect the lines with a sewer push camera. If there is any significant damage and repairs are needed, it is better to know that before you own the home.
On average a water heater will last ten years depending on the quality of the water, how the heater is used in the house and the installation and maintenance. If a water heater is used to heat your house and provide hot water for each faucet, then it will have a shorter lifespan.
You need to consider the tank’s location also. If there is a leak, you want to know if carpets or dry wall will be damaged. Essentially, if the water heater is in a place where property damage can occur in the event of a leak, you want to prevent that.
Generally, water heaters are located out of sight such as a utility closet. They can still cause a great deal of damage even when hidden away. You also need to consider if the heater is sitting on a pan with a drain, because in this case, you may never even be aware of a leak until visible damage occurs. Water pans will eventually overflow which will cause damage you can see. If the tank is located in a space where significant property damage can occur, then it needs to be replaced before moving in as a preventative measure.
Have a licensed professional plumber inspect the unit first because they can tell the age of the heater using serial number and model. They can tell you if it is running to code and is safe. You also want to ask them if the heater is the correct size to meet the needs of the house.
When a house has a soaking tub, the water heater is all too often undersized for the volume of water needed. If the tub is not used often, water heaters can be replaced for smaller more efficient units to save money. The first step should always be making sure the tank size is adequate for the family size and needs.
A problem that is often neglected upon buying a home is leaks at the base of the toilets. These leaks are often small but eventually cause big damage as the water soaks into the floorboards and causes rot. You should never try to seal the leak yourself, as this can cause even more damage.
To identify toilet leaks, you should first look for any discoloration around the base. Then test the floor around the base with your foot to see if it moves or feels soft. Finally, the bowl itself should not move; when held from both sides it should not slide or wobble. If any movement is detected the deal could be damaged or the flange may not be secure, and you need to get a plumber.
When you are purchasing a home, it is a significant investment, so you want to be sure you are getting the quality you pay for. When it comes to negotiating the sale price, it helps to know if the house has galvanized pipes, copper pipes, lead closet bends or any inferior system. Having an inspection of the entire plumbing system done with a sewer push camera and pipe inspection system before buying will give you peace of mind and save you money. The minor fixes you do at this point will be easier to handle than the larger ones you will incur when the plumbing system fails.