plumbing checklist

Plumbing Checklist When Buying An Older Home

Big B's Plumbing - Your Plumber for Life!

For most people buying a home, it’s probably the largest purchase you’ll ever make. Additionally, it’s one of the most exciting yet stressful times. Taking a house and making it a home is something everyone looks forward to. With all the excitement, we can lose sight of unexpected plumbing problems. Every home will have an inspection report, but no one will have your back more than you. When buying a home, have your plumbing checklist ready and make sure all the boxes get checked.

A plumbing checklist is a vital tool when purchasing a home as it helps prospective buyers assess the condition of the property’s plumbing system and identify any potential issues. Plumbing problems can be costly to repair, disruptive to daily life, and even pose health and safety risks if not addressed promptly. By conducting a thorough plumbing check before purchasing a home, buyers can make informed decisions and potentially avoid expensive surprises down the line.

The Knowledge Empowers Buyers To Negotiate Repairs

One of the primary reasons a plumbing checklist is essential is that it allows buyers to evaluate the overall condition of the plumbing system. By inspecting fixtures, pipes, water heaters, and drains, for potential issues such as leaks, blockages, or outdated infrastructure can be identified. This knowledge empowers buyers to negotiate repairs or replacements with the seller or plan for necessary updates in their budget.

Another critical aspect of a plumbing checklist is the ability to assess potential hidden problems. While some plumbing issues are visible, such as leaky faucets or cracked toilets, others may be concealed behind walls or underground. Conducting a thorough inspection or hiring a professional plumber to perform one can help uncover underlying issues like hidden leaks, corroded pipes, or faulty sewer lines. Addressing these problems before purchasing the home ensures that buyers are fully aware of the plumbing system’s condition and can plan accordingly for repairs or renovations.

Avoid Potential Headaches Associated With Unforeseen Plumbing Issues

Overall, a plumbing checklist plays a crucial role in providing buyers with the peace of mind and protecting their investment. It allows them to make informed decisions based on the condition of the plumbing system. It also allows the buyer to negotiate repairs or replacements if needed and budget for any necessary updates or improvements. Buyers can ensure a smooth transition into their new home by prioritizing a plumbing check when purchasing a home and avoiding potential headaches associated with unforeseen plumbing issues.

Sellers Can Use A Plumbing Checklist

A plumbing checklist could also be a useful selling tool for a seller. For example, in most instances, the buyer will pay for a home inspection, but some sellers would rather complete their own inspection before it goes on the market. Similarly, that includes going through a complete plumbing checklist. This will give the homeowner a chance to complete all the repairs, also showing good faith to a possible buyer.

When buying a new home, it is crucial to assess the plumbing system to ensure its functionality and identify any potential issues. Here’s a plumbing checklist to consider during the home-buying process:

Water supply:

  • Check the water pressure in faucets and showers. Low pressure may indicate plumbing problems.
  • Test hot water availability and assess its consistency.
  • Look for signs of discolored or rusty water, which could suggest pipe corrosion.

Fixtures and drains:

  • Inspect sinks, toilets, and bathtubs for any leaks, cracks, or signs of damage.
  • Test the flush and drainage of toilets. Flushing issues or slow drainage might indicate clogs or plumbing blockages.
  • Run faucets and showers to check for leaks, proper water flow, and drainage.

Water heater:

  • Determine the age of the water heater. Typically, water heaters last around 10-15 years.
  • Assess the water heater’s condition and check for any leaks or signs of rust.
  • Inquire about the type of water heater (tank or tankless) and its capacity to meet your household’s hot water demands.
  • Ask for an install date. Depending on the type of water heater, you can usually get the date from the manufacturer’s label that sits right above the energy guide.
  • Snap a picture of the manufacturer’s name and label. Search online for “how to get” the install date of that water heater using the manufacturer’s name. Each manufacturer has its own method of showing install dates, but it is well documented online. At ten to twelve years old, a water heater has generally reached its lifespan.

Pipes and plumbing infrastructure:

  • Inspect visible pipes for signs of corrosion, leaks, or water stains.
  • Check for exposed pipes in basements, crawlspaces, or utility rooms.
  • Inquire about the plumbing materials used (such as copper, galvanized steel, or PEX) and their condition.
  • Assess the insulation of pipes in cold climates to prevent freezing.
  • Pipes should be a big concern. Remember that copper and galvanized pipe’s lifespan is 40-70 years. When going through your plumbing checklist, ask how old the home is and if the pipes have ever been replaced. If the house still has galvanized pipes, then the pipes are at least sixty years old or older and should be replaced.

Sewer system:

  • Verify if the property is connected to a public sewer system or has a septic tank.
  • Request information about any past sewer line backups, clogs, or repairs.
  • Consider hiring a professional to conduct a sewer line inspection to identify potential issues or blockages.

Water leaks and moisture:

  • Look for water stains, mold, or musty odors, indicating water leaks or moisture problems.
  • Check under sinks, around toilets, and in basements for signs of water damage.

Outdoor plumbing:

  • Inspect outdoor faucets, sprinkler systems, and irrigation lines for leaks or damage.
  • Assess the condition of the gutters, downspouts, and drainage systems to ensure proper water flow away from the house.

Professional inspection:

  • Consider hiring a licensed plumber to conduct a comprehensive plumbing inspection.
  • A professional can assess the plumbing system thoroughly, identify potential issues, and provide an estimate for any necessary repairs or replacements.

Toilet Inspection:

  • Another thing to remember is that toilets made before 1994 use way too much water. The Energy Policy and Conservation Act, passed in 1994, ordered that all toilets sold in the U.S. must not use more than 1.6 gallons per flush. 
  • The average family of four uses 400 gallons of water daily, and 25% of that’s flushed down the toilet. The point is you don’t want toilets using excessive amounts of water. 

Remember, this checklist serves as a starting point to evaluate the plumbing system of a new home. It is advisable to consult with a qualified plumbing professional to ensure a thorough assessment and accurate evaluation of the property’s plumbing condition before making a purchase decision.

A Plumbing Check Ensures Buyers Have A Clear Picture Of Any Plumbing Issues

Having a plumbing checklist when buying a home is of utmost importance. It serves as a valuable tool to assess the plumbing system’s condition, identify potential issues, and make informed decisions. By thoroughly evaluating fixtures, pipes, water heaters, and drains, buyers can gain a comprehensive understanding of the property’s plumbing health and potentially avoid expensive surprises in the future. 

A plumbing check ensures buyers have a clear picture of any visible plumbing problems, allowing them to negotiate repairs or replacements with the seller. It also helps uncover hidden issues that may not be immediately apparent, such as hidden leaks or deteriorating pipes. Addressing these problems before purchasing the home protects buyers’ investment and enables them to plan for any necessary repairs or upgrades in their budget.

Your Checklist Can Save Buyers From Future Headaches And Financial Burdens 

Furthermore, a plumbing check provides peace of mind and minimizes the risk of unforeseen plumbing emergencies after moving into the new home. Buyers can make confident decisions and ensure a smooth transition into their new property by being proactive and diligent in evaluating the plumbing system. Ultimately, a plumbing checklist is a crucial component of the home-buying process, allowing buyers to assess the plumbing system’s condition, anticipate potential expenses, and make informed decisions. Investing time and effort in a thorough plumbing inspection is a wise decision that can save buyers from future headaches and financial burdens associated with plumbing issues. License #986152

Brandon and Family, Licensed plumbing contractor

Family Owned & Operated

My name is Brandon Mageno. I'm the founder, President, and CEO of Big B's Plumbing Company. As the founder, I never thought about being average or good. My passion for being the best plumbing company in Southern California has always been the same. Providing plumbing services to this great county is simply in my DNA. Nothing makes me happier than to see a satisfied customer. Learn More About Us

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