Get a plumbing inspection before buying a home

So you’re about to become a new homeowner. Just before you close that deal, there are plumbing issues in your home that need to be addressed to take care of, well you. Almost any home could have potential plumbing concerns which could be completely hidden without proper testing and inspection. Would you buy a home knowing there could be tens of thousands of dollars in damages that come with it? Here’s Plumber To’s ultimate guide to a plumbing inspection BEFORE you buy a house.

Why you should get a plumbing inspection before you buy a house

If you get stuck with a home with damaged plumbing, you can lose thousands in property damage and repair costs just to have them fixed. Get it inspected for sake of your budget and legal purposes, even if it seems to be in decent condition. When you have a successful inspection and have all plumbing matters fixed and addressed, you’ll have something to negotiate for and know whether or not the purchase is worth it. 

These include:

  • An in-depth look at your house’s internal health

Having your plumbing inspected beforehand will prolong its life and help you avoid costly repairs in the long-run. 
Your soon-to-be-home will need thorough plumbing inspection to deliver your water and eliminate your waste. Once carried out, you will be able to uncover things such as 

  • Any major clogging 
  • Wobbly toilets and sinks
  • Low water pressure
  • Contaminated water systems
  • Leaking pipes
  • Damaged sump pump
  • Corroded water heater
  • Saving dollars

Buying a new home in full with additional costs in repairs will leave a big dent in your finances. There have been cases where a homeowner can be living at a residence for a year or two without recalling any problems to their plumbing system. Those relocating and purchasing a new property in a new location may be at risk of over $40,000 in damages because sewer lines underneath their home have been rotting and were in need of a replacement without their knowledge. 

Having the right inspection done gives you full awareness of the price you are about to pay. Finding a secure and liveable space shouldn’t include surprises and additional money loss. After viewing the plumbing inspection results, you’ll have a clear choice of either walking away from the offer or paying a negotiable price for repair fees. When you request a plumbing inspection through Plumber To, you are guaranteed an in-depth analysis of your home’s plumbing system at a reasonable cost.   

  • Plumbing not covered through a regular home inspection

Regular home inspectors do not inspect multiple areas for plumbing. When you hire a home inspector, there are certain things they do not include in their reports: plumbing is one of them. They do not check the water or sewer systems, they’re job is to provide a basic scan since they aren’t trained experts.   

What you should inspect before buying a home:

  • Fixtures:

The very first thing you must have inspected are your home’s necessary fixtures, which are the toilets, showers, bathtubs, and outdoor faucets. 

  • Faucets and Sinks

Before calling a plumber, you can check your house’s water pressure by turning on and observing every tap and faucet. They should be able to drain easily and are not leaking. If if you are seeing issues, you could have a clogged drain. You can also do a test by filling your sink up and draining it out. The large amount of water going down will help detect leaks. A common place for a leak is the drain stopper, which will require the nut to be tightened. Some sinks that take more time to drain out will have hair stuck. Hearing a glugging sound, you may have a venting issue, as air is getting sucked through the trap in the sink.   

A plumber will go through this protocol for faucets and sinks:

  • Check both hot and cold functions 
  • Check how well the drain works 
  • Ensure there are no leaks when looking at the supply and drain lines
  • Shower

You need to consider whether there are cracks in the tiles, stripped joints, and the various types in most homes.
To test metal showers, you can simply check for leaks by turning it on.
To test glass door showers, point the showerhead towards space between the door and the wall and turn it on. If you do not see leaks after several minutes, your shower has passed. If there is a leak, you can get it repaired by caulking the inside of the shower where the base and wall intersect. Be sure to correctly seal the tub or shower base around the floor. Leaky glass doors will only let a small water leak, so be aware in order to prevent further damage to your subfloor.
Showers with tiles floors are known to be at risk of leaking and usually take a while to even be discovered. To inspect tiled showers, check for breaks on the floor or patching on the ceiling downstairs. You can test by filling the shower at least two inches using a rubber shower dam. This will help uncover leaks, although it would take longer to notice if the ceiling is leaking downstairs. If a tiled shower has a leak, you cannot simply repair it by fixing the caulked areas, you will need a plumber to completely remove and replace the tiles.

When inspecting the bathtub, you can fill it to the top when the water pressure is at its highest.

In addition, a plumbing inspector will conduct a similar shower inspection by checking:

  • The water pressure
  • Whether the hot and cold functions are working properly
  • How well the shower and bathtub drain
  • That there are no leaks from the showerhead
  • Toilet

Most homeowners try to tolerate common toilet issues like a leaky base, but will not realize that this could mean making its way past a newly finished floor and rotting the subfloor underneath. Make sure to check for the following issues:

  • Discolouration around the base of the toilet
  • A softer than normal base when pressure is applied
  • A rocky or sliding toilet bowl. This could mean that either the seal is damaged, the foundation is not secure, or the toilet is not properly attached to the flange.  

A plumbing inspector will conduct a toilet inspection by checking:

  • How strong it flushes
  • The toilet’s draining system
  • Any leakage due to a failed seal
  • How quickly it’s ballcock fills
  • Sewer

Before buying a home, you must ask questions about its sewer-system. The sewer line is usually buried deep underneath the foundation and is most commonly overlooked. If you are purchasing an older home, you could have tree roots growing into them causing serious sewage blockage, overflow, water contamination, and foul odours you’ll need to pay to have fixed. If you have a professional plumber uncover sewage issues before your purchase, don’t close the sale until the owner has it repaired or offers a lesser price.  

  • Septic System

Ask if your home has a septic tank, and ensure it is working properly. You’ll need to know where it can be found, the size, the lines running towards it, and the latest service date. It is the seller’s responsibility to make sure there are no signs of seepage. This includes odours or standing water which can cause health hazards if not addressed.     

  • Ask a Plumber for a Sewer Water Test

You will want to know if your sewer or water leaks underneath the property. If you purchase a home without having the sewer tested, even a simple sewage backup will have you end up paying it to get fixed. 

  • Drain Pipes

Pipes are usually out of sight problem, since they’re hidden behind the walls of the home. For a thorough drain inspection, have the plumber check the drain for leaks, check the function of the various drains, as if you have a main drain clean-out, line damages or clogs, and its connection to the sewer – whether it be a septic tank or municipal sewer. You should also make sure they are not galvanized and corroded, as homes before 1980 are susceptible to these. You should be aware of these factors when inspecting your pipes:

  • Size
  • Water pressure
  • The sink

Your inspection will typically include:

  • Drain fixtures and those in the interior 
  • Any leaks present
  • Checking for blockages or damaged lines
  • Its connection to the municipal sewer
  • Lead Pipes

Lead can be a serious health risk if not replaced. Older properties may not have changed their lead pipes to copper or PVC, which has been revealed to produce high levels of water toxicity. Potential sources that can be contaminated by lead poisoning include: 

  • service line of your home and main drain 
  • solder in pipes 
  • older valves and faucets made of brass 
  • Water Heater

A water meter inspection is one of the most important and will save you a lot more in the long run if it’s working properly. A faulty water heater is an expensive one to fix and is not only a functional problem, but a health hazard as it could cause serious carbon monoxide or gas leaks. Older water heaters especially are more prone to tank leaks, and could lead to basement flooding.  Your plumber will conduct different inspections for those with gas or electric. It is essential that your machine is producing hot water, and also without any signs of corrosion. You must keep in mind the following for a water heater:

  • Where it’s located: Depending on where it is in your home, could lead to potential property damage. If there is a leak, you need to consider if it will ruin carpet or hardwood, damage the drywall, and what the steps are in preventing it further. Places that place higher risks include a utility closet, water heaters in mobile homes, and ones in separate garages. Damages are also not as obvious. Most water heaters sit atop a pan with a drain, but will only hold so much before they overflow.  
  • Current state: If your tank shows signs of corrosion or buildup you need to get it replaced as soon as you can. Check that the lines connected are completely secure. When with your real estate agent, ask when the last service was performed and the plumbing company responsible.   
  • Age: Not all water heaters will have their age displayed, so it’s integral to know the last service date and installation date. You can check with your manufacturer by providing the serial and model numbers. The average lifespan of a water heater is around 10 years, depending on when it was installed and the number of regular maintenance. Minimizing leaks means changing an old water heater. 
  • The capacity: your plumber will be able to check the size of your heater and see whether or not it is appropriate for the size of your house. Water heaters that are too small for its volume could be due to homes with soaking tubs that were not used anymore as the previous owner decided to downsize.     

With these in mind, you will be able to know how soon and necessary it is for a replacement to manage your budget. Your plumber will inspect the following with your water heater:

  • If it is functioning up to code
  • The shutoff pressure relief valves are working
  • The flu 
  • Leaks in all gas or electrical connections to your residence, as well as how well their condition is 
  • Unusual sounds coming from the unit while in operation – noises might be a sign it is damaged
  • Carbon monoxide leaks – carbon monoxide is an odourless gas that can be lethal

Sump Pump and Backwater Valve Inspection

You should include your home’s backwater valve and sump pump, which help protect from flooding and other serious damages. 

Sump pump: your sump pump is responsible for removing access water from the basement. A french drain is also a substitute, acting with the same purpose. The sump collects water at a pit, and any issues can lead to the float arm not being able to remove the water. Your plumber will do the following when checking your sump pump:

  • Its basic function by pouring water into its pit
  • Making sure the intake screen is clear
  • Any blockage to the discharge line

Backwater valve: your backwater valve is responsible for making sure your sewage and other wastewater are running out of the lateral while preventing a reversal flow. The plumber will visually inspect for signs of damage or malfunction, as well as open the cleanout to look for blockage and check the gate.    

Plumber Toronto Pro’s Inspection List:

Before you are ready to seal the deal with your new home, it’s integral to call Plumber To for a full inspection of your plumbing. These are the most overlooked issues that cannot be detected through casual inspection by yourself or a home inspector. We are a plumbing company with over 13 years of experience, trusted by countless new and recurring homeowners within the GTA. We provide the necessary services that fit a new buyer’s budget in addition to a repair estimate and a post-inspection diagnostic report.

Plumbing Camera Inspection:

When searching up for a plumbing inspection, many will recommend a sewer, pipe, or drain camera inspection. This can eliminate guesswork and won’t cause evasive tactics to your new home – making repairs go much faster. Plumbing camera inspection service will look into the hard to reach areas, including underground to check the need for hydro jetting a line blocked by tree root overgrowth. A sewer video inspection can look into trench clogging and give you an estimate in fixing costs.   

Plumbing inspections are important preventative measures that will enable you to sleep soundly, knowing your home and your wallet are protected. Contact Plumber Toronto Pro for a free quote and inspection consultations. 

Call Us For All Your Plumbing

Licensed plumbers Toronto residents count on. As a plumbing technicians, we are here to protect your home and business, meanwhile saving your money for the long run.

Plumber Toronto Pro is known for comprehensive plumbing in Greater Toronto Area for both residential and commercial customers. We are always here when you need us with 24-hour availability, 7 days a week.