10 Plumbing Checks To Make Before You Buy a House

April 23, 2024

Buying a house is an exciting milestone, but it comes with a myriad of responsibilities, one of which is ensuring that the plumbing is in good condition. Overlooking plumbing issues can lead to costly repairs down the line. Therefore, before you sign on the dotted line, it’s crucial to conduct thorough plumbing checks to avoid any unpleasant surprises. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential plumbing checks to make before purchasing your dream home.

Why is It Crucial To Check Plumbing Before Buying a House?

Before committing to the purchase of a new home, it's essential to understand why inspecting the plumbing system should be a top priority. Here are several reasons why conducting thorough plumbing checks before buying a house is crucial:

  1. Prevent Costly Repairs: Undetected plumbing issues can turn into costly repairs after you've already moved in. By identifying any problems beforehand, you can negotiate repairs or factor the cost into your budget before finalising the purchase.
  2. Ensure Safety and Health: Faulty plumbing systems can pose health and safety risks to occupants. Leaks can lead to water damage, mould growth, and poor indoor air quality, which can exacerbate respiratory issues and allergies. Additionally, contaminated water due to outdated or damaged pipes can jeopardise the health of you and your family.
  3. Avoid Future Disruptions: Dealing with plumbing emergencies shortly after moving into a new home can be disruptive and stressful. By addressing any plumbing issues before buying, you can enjoy a smoother transition into your new living space without unexpected interruptions.
  4. Assess Long-Term Maintenance Needs: Understanding the condition of the plumbing system allows you to assess its long-term maintenance needs. By knowing the age and material of the pipes, you can anticipate when repairs or replacements may be necessary, helping you plan and budget accordingly.
  5. Protect Your Investment: Buying a home is a significant financial investment, and ensuring the plumbing is in good condition helps protect that investment. A well-maintained plumbing system adds value to the property and reduces the likelihood of costly surprises that could diminish its resale value.

10 Plumbing Checks To Make Before You Buy a House

Heating and Plumbing Services experts at Lazard Plumbing have listen the ten most important plumbing checks you should do before buying a property:

Inspect the Water Heater

Start by examining the water heater. Check its age, condition, and whether it has been regularly serviced. An old or poorly maintained water heater can lead to issues like leaks, insufficient hot water, or even complete breakdowns.

Check for Leaks

Look out for any signs of leaks throughout the house. Common areas to inspect include under sinks, around toilets, and in the basement or crawl space. Even minor leaks can indicate underlying plumbing problems that need attention.

Test Water Pressure

Low water pressure can be indicative of various issues such as clogged pipes, mineral deposits, or faulty fixtures. Turn on faucets in different areas of the house to assess the water pressure and ensure it meets your needs.

Inspect Drains and Sewer Lines

Clogged or slow drains can be a sign of blockages in the sewer lines. Pay attention to how quickly water drains from sinks, showers, and tubs. Additionally, consider hiring a professional to perform a sewer line inspection to check for any potential problems underground.

Check for Signs of Water Damage

Look for water stains on walls, ceilings, or floors, as well as mould or mildew growth. These could indicate past or ongoing water leaks that may have caused structural damage or compromised indoor air quality.

Examine the Toilet

Flush toilets to ensure they operate properly and check for any signs of leaks around the base. Wobbly or rocking toilets may indicate a loose seal or damaged flange that needs repair.

Inspect the Pipes

Take a look at the exposed pipes in the basement, crawl space, or utility room. Look for signs of corrosion, rust, or mineral deposits, as these could indicate ageing or deteriorating pipes that may need replacing.

Test the Sump Pump

If the house has a basement, make sure to test the sump pump to ensure it functions correctly. A malfunctioning sump pump can lead to basement flooding, causing extensive water damage and costly repairs.

Check the Water Quality

Consider having the water tested for contaminants such as lead, bacteria, or excessive minerals. Poor water quality can affect your health and the longevity of your plumbing system, so it’s essential to address any issues before moving in.

Evaluate the Plumbing System’s Overall Condition

Finally, assess the overall condition of the plumbing system, including the type of pipes used, their age, and any recent upgrades or repairs. A well-maintained and modern plumbing system is less likely to encounter issues in the future.

Closing Thoughts

Incorporating these plumbing checks into your pre-purchase inspection routine will provide you with valuable insights into the condition of the property’s plumbing system, helping you make an informed decision. Remember, a thorough assessment now can save you from costly repairs and inconveniences in the future. Happy house hunting!


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