Home plumbing is a large and complicated set of systems that most home buyers know very little about. This is completely normal and the reason why we have home inspectors, but you can do some amateur plumb inspecting on your own. Here are three easy-to-spot plumbing issues you should always check for before you buy a home.
1. Water Pressure
Many home sellers upgrade their sinks and bathrooms before putting their home on the market, then neglect to make the appropriate upgrades to their plumbing system. As today’s homes demand more water, it’s important to know if your home plumbing is actually up to the task. Always check the water pressure in the bathrooms and kitchens. It can help ensure that your home can handle any upgrades you may want, and the ones it already has.
2. Leaky Taps
Walking around a home, talking to your partner, agent, and the seller, means you don’t get a lot of quiet time, and that means you could miss a couple of things when you’re going through a home. Chief among these is leaky taps. You can hear them in the silence of the night, but hardly ever during the day. Always take a look at taps to see if they’re leaking, and ensure they won’t be come moving day.
3. The Hot Water Tank
The boiler is probably the easiest to inspect of these three things since it’s in one place as opposed to all over the home. Inspecting a boiler is fairly straightforward as well. First, check to see when the boiler was installed or last serviced, which is usually indicated on a card attached to the boiler or nearby gas line. Next, look for wear and tear on the boiler itself, including rust, its insulation, and the lines. Check for the service record as well to see if the boiler has been frequently serviced. A boiler that’s ten years old is usually about 30% less efficient than a new boiler, so it’s important to check both when it was installed and if it has seen regular maintenance.
When it comes to plumbing, it’s always better to understand the system before you buy the home. Always make sure you have a prospective home inspected by a trained and experienced home inspector. They can tell you if the plumbing is up to code and where it needs repaired and maintained. But you can do some of the inspection yourself and catch problems like water pressure and leaky taps, things commonly overlooked by inspectors. If you check these things, you may end up avoiding costly plumbing repairs and upgrades down the line.