Six Essential Plumbing Features to Check When House Hunting 

Your house isn’t just a place to hang your hat; it’s a huge chunk of your savings! So when you’re on the prowl for a new pad, keep your eyes peeled for a couple of crucial things, **especially** the plumbing. Let’s dive into six key elements you need to check out. Peek for any drips from **faucets**, **showerheads**, or **toilets**. Scout for signs of a soggy basement or a wet foundation. Don’t forget to give the water heater a once-over, peek at the water meter and its supply line, check the pipes’ health, and test the water pressure in every room with plumbing. It’s like being a detective but for water stuff!

  • Check for Leaks in Faucets and Appliances

You may notice if the kitchen or bathroom faucet leaks by looking at it when you enter the room. You must also check under each sink to see if the pipe or drain leaks. Carefully inspect the dishwasher and inside it for leaks or pooling water. Also, look at each of the toilets. Examine the base for leaks. If you see evidence of a leak, check the floor around it because a persistent leak could result in subfloor damage. If the toilet rocks back and forth when you sit or touch it, it signals a leak at the base. In the laundry room, you must check for leaks in the water line to the washing machine and any handwash sink. Check all of the outdoor fixtures as well. Many people forget these as a leak can cause unwelcome foundation damage plus high water bills.

  • Basement and Foundation Dampness

In the basement and/or crawl space, check the ceiling for leaky pipes in the inside water lines. Also, closely examine this area for water damage or indicators of poor repair jobs. Look at the base of every wall. If there are boxes or other items against the walls, ask that they are moved so you can see the wall base. If you observe discoloration on the walls that look like a shadow or an area where the paint is darker, this signals water damage. Other signs include peeling paint, rotting wood, and chalky dusting on the walls. In the attic, look for dampness, mildew or moldy wood.

  • Water Heater Condition

The realtors or homeowners should be able to tell you the age of the water heater. The typical water heater lasts about ten years, and anything older than that needs replacing. Check it for leaks and check the lines running to it for leaks. Examine the flooring surrounding it to determine if a previous problem with a leak existed. Multiple leaks of corrosion or rust may signal a need for water heater replacement.

  • Water Meter and Supply

You probably must wait until you plop down the earnest money for this step, but you need to check the water meter and supply line for leaks. To do that, you have to conduct a four-step process.

  1. Shut off the water supply. 2. Read the water meter. 3. Wait for one hour. 4. Read the water meter.

If the reading changed while the water supply was turned off, you have a leak. It would help if you had that fixed before moving into the home. If you can only test this once you move into the house, you should call a plumber immediately.

  • Condition and Materials of the Pipes

After the leak check, the two most important aspects of the pipe condition are their age and material. These water supply pipes cost a great deal to replace and would cost more than earnest money would cover. If the pipes are lead, they must get replaced. You could quickly develop lead poisoning from drinking the water from them. If you find plastic or copper pipes, they either got built or the current owner replaced them. Older homes may have galvanized steel pipes or cast iron pipes that you will need to replace. Consider it a red flag if you see a mixture of various pipe materials. That signals minimal repairs. Rarely will you find polybutylene pipes. Made of flexible gray plastic, they were only installed from the 1970s to the 1990s since they were later found to erode when exposed to chlorine.

  • Water Pressure

Test the water pressure by turning on all the faucets at one time. Low pressure might indicate pipe diameters that are too small. 3/4″ pipes should deliver the water from the water source to your home, while the lines to the faucets should be 1/2″ or greater. Check the showers for water pressure, too. If you notice low pressure in the shower but not in the sinks, check the showerhead for a low-flow device. You can easily remove these to get a regular shower. Also, observe the faucets and showers for signs of rust in the water.

Considerations in Home Buying

A plumbing leak does not have to mean you won’t buy the house, but considering the cost of purchasing a home, it should make you pause and take a closer look at the home. Most home sellers go the extra mile to ensure their home’s condition improves before selling it. They do that before the home appraisal occurs in the buying process, and they typically do it before listing the property with a realtor.

When you find leaks or water damage, the home’s seller did not care for the property properly. This proves that you should look carefully at the rest of the house for other problems, such as the furnace or attic insulation.

You can estimate the repairs before taking any further steps in the purchase. If they exceed the earnest payment amount, think twice or negotiate. You can negotiate with the seller to lower the home’s price and the amount of the repair. That way, although you experience a minor inconvenience when you first move into the house, you still do not have to spend anything more than the original planned cost of the home. Contact your realtor for help with this process.

Call us at JP Mechanical Services for help inspecting the property or for a plumbing repair estimate. We provide effective, efficient repairs for your plumbing in Coquitlam.