Buying a new home can be such an exciting time for you and your family. While a certified home inspector should do a look through of the home before you sign any papers or put money on the table, make sure you also look around yourself to see if there are any warning signs of potential problems. Look at issues such as the roof, electrical wiring, floors, walls, and the plumbing in the home. Of the issues that could cause problems if overlooked, plumbing is one of the most devastating, and also is one of the most commonly overlooked in home inspections. It never hurts to have a licensed plumber do an inspection of the home’s plumbing system in addition to the home inspector. A little money up front could save you potentially thousands of dollars in the long run. Here are some common plumbing areas to pay special attention to as you conduct your home inspections:
Check Out the Water Meter
Home inspections of the plumbing and water systems must start at the home’s source. Find the location of the home’s water meter and determine the condition of the box, controls, and shut off valves. If the home operates off of a well, shut off the inside valve and then check the sinks and water outlets to ensure that no water is getting through the systems and the pipes. Any home inspections done on plumbing issues should include this check of the water meter right off the bat to ensure there are no issues.
Check For Lead Pipes
Lead is widely known to be an extreme health and environmental hazard. Older homes often have lead pipes and plumbing or systems with lead components, so keep this in mind while you are house hunting. Lead can be harmful to everyone, however young children, older adults, or those with severe or chronic health conditions are more susceptible to the dangers of lead. Lead pipes can pollute your home’s water so be sure to include a check for this in your checklist for home inspections.
Inspect the Water Heater
When inspecting the water heater, make sure that there are no broken or worn components and no signs of leaks or drips. A family of four will generally need at least a 40 gallon tank in order to have enough hot water at one time for things like showers or several loads of laundry. Make sure the heater is located in a place that is safe and easy to access, that it is not too old, and is in good shape. If the water heater seems to be in bad shape during the home inspections, you could ask to have a new one installed as part of the purchase agreement.
There is more to water usage than what comes into the home, so it is important to understand where the water goes. Is the home hooked up to city sewers or does it have a septic tank? Understanding the use and limitations of your water waste disposal system will help you know whether or not the home can handle your lifestyle and water usage, or if you will be able to adapt to accommodate any limitations the system puts on how much water can be used.
Identifying common plumbing issues with home inspections is an essential step to save yourself time, money, and hassle later on down the road. Request that necessary repairs or replacement work be done before you move in. Taking the time to get good home inspections done before you buy your new home is worth the effort, giving you peace of mind as you move into your new home.