Homeowners should consider getting a plumbing inspection annually. It’s also common to have the plumbing system inspected for any home you plan to purchase or when you’re selling your home.
Businesses will often need a new plumbing inspection every time a new installation is made to ensure everything is up to code. It’s also a good idea to have your commercial plumbing system inspected at least once per year, maybe twice, depending on usage.
What’s Included in a Plumbing Inspection?
A professional plumbing inspection will include a thorough examination of the plumbing system found on your property. Your inspector will check all of the following:
- Existing plumbing fixtures – Sinks, toilets, showers, faucets, showerheads, bathtubs, water heaters, outdoor fixtures, etc.
- All drains and supply lines
- Exposed plumbing – Under sink traps and shut-off valves
- Bathroom venting and draining systems
- Sump pump and discharge
- Sewer system
Depending on the plumbing contractor and your property, the list may include several other items. Make sure you understand how thorough your plumbing inspection will be before you choose the right company to perform the inspection.
Are Plumbing Inspections Important?
Regular plumbing inspections are important to ensure everything is running smoothly. Whether you own a business or you’re a homeowner, you want the best opportunity to foresee major repairs. Plumbing inspections offer an affordable tool for preventative maintenance. Services may be needed for a minor issue to prevent major damage.
Benefits of Regular Inspections:
- A cost-effective way to gain peace of mind
- Plan ahead for plumbing replacements
- Helps prevent many types of plumbing emergencies
- Easier to handle any exposed plumbing issues quickly
- Helps prevent large increases in your water bill
While plumbing inspections are not always required, they offer many benefits. With regular inspections, you can avoid many future issues and address repairs before they cause major damage.
When Are You Required to Get a Plumbing Inspection?
A plumbing inspection is rarely mandatory. However, there are a few situations where you will be required to pay for an inspection, which includes:
- A bathroom remodel
- A kitchen remodel
- New construction or additions with plumbing
- Any other remodeling or home repairs involving plumbing
When new plumbing is added to your home, you may need a rough-in inspection of the new piping and a final checkup once the work has been completed. Hiring a professional plumber ensures you will get the right inspections done and the work will be done properly.
How Much Does a Plumbing Inspection Cost?
The price of a plumbing inspection will vary. Some plumbing companies also offer maintenance packages, which include annual or semi-annual plumbing inspections.
If your inspection needs to include the sewer line, the cost will be higher. A sewer line inspection costs between $300 and $400, on average. This type of inspection will include using a specialized camera inside the sewer line. You might need to have the sewer line inspected if you’ve noticed pooling water in your yard.
How Long Will a Plumbing Inspection Take?
The amount of time the inspector will be at your home or business depends on the size of your property. It will also depend on what they are inspecting. For example, a plumbing inspection with a sewer line inspection will take longer than just a plumbing inspection.
It may also take longer to complete the inspection if malfunctions are discovered. While it’s not easy to predict how long an inspection will take, it’s best to set aside about two hours in your schedule.
Not only can the time the inspection takes be a bit unpredictable, but your plumber’s previous job could take longer than anticipated. If this happens, they might be running late for your inspection.
When you call to schedule your plumbing inspection, ask how long the inspection will take. Based on the size of your home and the details included in the inspection, your plumber will be able to give you a rough estimate.
How to Prepare for Your Plumbing Inspection
It may seem like you shouldn’t need to prepare for a plumbing inspection. However, if you prepare for it, you will get more out of the inspection that you are paying for. Follow these easy steps to prepare for your plumbing inspection:
- #1 – Get a copy of the plumbing inspection checklist.
- #2 – Complete any final adjustments before the inspector arrives, whether you’re getting a rough-in or final inspection for an installation or remodel.
- #3 – Clean out below your sinks and other areas to make it easier for the plumber to access your plumbing system.
- #4 – Be prepared to take notes.
While you will receive an inspection report showing what the plumber found, you want to take notes as they do the inspection. You can also ask about the expected lifetime on any appliances, such as your water heaters.
By taking good notes, you will be able to better prepare for things in need of urgent repairs and systems needing to be replaced in the future.
What to do Between Inspections
If you get a plumbing inspection done annually or semi-annually, you should know what to do in between inspections. Some of the things you might want to do will depend on what the last inspection showed.
- First, make sure you address any repair issues showing up on the last inspection report.
- Second, take proper steps to prevent plumbing issues. Insulate exterior pipes and replace washers, sealers, and fixtures when necessary.
- Third, check your faucets and other fixtures regularly for leaks and any type of damage.
- Finally, pay attention to your water bill. If it goes up unexpectedly, you might be dealing with an issue.
There are several other things you can do between inspections. Talk to your plumber when they do the inspection for recommendations based on your specific plumbing system.
Early detection is important to your plumbing system. Doctors often say, “Early detection can save your life.” While it might not save your life with your plumbing system, early detection can keep your repair bills from skyrocketing.