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7-Things A Home Inspector Should Look For When Inspecting Your Plumbing

What do home inspectors look at when inspecting your plumbing?

Water Source

Where does your water come from? Is it public or private, a well or a spring?

The Main Water Shut-Off Valve

In the case of a water leak, you will want to know where to shut off the valve to turn the water off. The inspector should also look at your low-flow water indicator to determine if you have a small water leak on the owner’s side of the water meter. If there is a leak, it might be under the ground, and you want to avoid ending up with a hefty water bill or an expensive repair. The leak could be in the yard or under the house.

Water Supply Distribution System

The inspector will inspect for the type of pipe used in the home. This is important because some insurance companies will not insure a home with polybutylene or galvanized pipes.

Drain Waste and Vent System

Your inspector will check for proper drain size, materials used, improper connections, leaking pipes, and poor drainage in the showers, sink, and tub. Some older homes have sewer pipes made of cast iron, clay, and Orangeburg pipes. In my opinion, these are the least desirable building drain pipes. The products that I prefer these days are PVC or ABS. ABS has been used since the 1960s.

The Hot Water System Controls and Flues and Vents

The inspector will look for capacity in the hot water tank, such as whether the tank is sufficient for the size of the home. They will also look for the location of the tank (or tankless water heater), manufacture date, manufacturer, and power source. They will look to see if there is corrosion, improper installation, an irregular flame, and whether or not it is near the end of useful life. Inspectors also look to see if the burner ignition ignites. We look to see if there is a drip pan, an expansion tank, water stains, or leakage.

Fuel Storage and Distribution Systems

We will locate the central gas shut-off valve location, because you will need to know where it is in case of an emergency. Inspectors look for corrosion, excessive gas odor, and improper installation.

Sump Pump

Your inspector should locate the sump pump and check for these things: Proper installation, operability, shut-off valve, and need for cleaning.

Be sure to ask your inspector if you have any questions.

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