Buying a new home can be a stressful experience, and one worry is that you will find your Kansas City dream home only to discover that there is some structural or other problem which would cost thousands of dollars to fix.
Spotting those problems before you close on the property is a good idea. That means you need to get a plumbing inspection. Basic home inspection will cover only basic plumbing problems, and getting a plumber in to do a more detailed look before you sign is a good idea. Most people tend to wait until after they have bought the home and are on the hook for any problems found.
During a regular home inspection, the home inspector will generally make sure all plumbing fixtures work and check them for obvious leaks. They will also look at things like the garbage disposal and sump pump. However, this inspection is a bare minimum and can miss some real problems.
If the home inspector flags anything with your plumbing, you should go ahead and get a plumber to take a look, especially as they can also give you a quote on repairs. This will allow you to decide whether to move on with the purchase or whether the problem is a deal killer. You may also be able to get the seller to pay for the repair, especially if you are in a buyer’s market.
For a full plumbing inspection, the plumber will do the following:
- Check the water heater, including its age. They can also evaluate whether the water heater is big enough for the needs of the home, which can result in a chilly problem if not corrected. If the water heater is more than 9 or 10 years old, expect to have to replace it. They will check the heater’s venting, temperature, and pressure, and ensure the gas line is correctly installed. Problems with the water heater can be hugely dangerous.
- Visually inspect all of your plumbing and check the shutoff supplies. They will check for toilet leaks. Leaks at the bottom of toilets are a problem that is common and not always fixed immediately. The home inspector will also do this, but they generally do not do as thorough a job as an actual plumber.
- Check that your water pressure is normal. Water pressure should be between 55 and 60 psi. Be aware that this is affected by local conditions. Water pressure lower than 50 psi causes problems for showers and laundry. Over 65 is worse, as it can cause damage to your fixtures.
- Use a diagnostic camera to inspect the pipes under the home. This may be an extra cost, but is often worth it. Make sure they check the main sewer line, where deterioration or clogs can cause serious issues if raw sewage backs up into your home.
- Check for poorly-done DIY repairs that may need to be redone or may be causing more damage. For example, sometimes people will caulk a toilet leak badly and cause pooling of water that damages the floor underneath.
This is a good time to ask any questions you may have about repairs that may be needed. Of course a plumber is not there to tell you whether to buy the house or not, just to help you determine whether the problems are something you can deal with.
If you are buying a new home in Kansas City and want to get the plumbing inspected, ideally before you close, contact Lutz Plumbing to get a quote today.